by Nishant Mandal
Complete Strength is your ability to lift heavy objects. The heavier the barbell you can lift, the greater will be your absolute strength. The barbell is arguably the best equipment that can be used to build strength better or with more versatility. No other tool comes close to it. If you haven’t lifted with barbells, make sure you do so as you can literally build elite strength and a world class physique with only these 5 barbell exercise which have stood the test of time .
1) The Back Squat: One of the most popular barbell exercises of all time is the back squat. Back squats are often called the king of all barbell exercises by many fitness experts. The fact is if you want to build a body you, better start with squatting as it’s the best closed chain way to train your entire lumbopelvic hip complex. Nothing builds functional leg strength more effectively than the barbell back squat.
2) The Conventional Deadlift: This lift can actually be ranked #1 , it just really depends on who you ask. I personally consider the deadlift to be the most functional of all barbell exercises as there is nothing more functional than bending down and lifting something heavy up from the ground. No other exercise builds more strength to your posterior chain muscles than the deadlift. A strong back is a healthy back. Just make sure to prioritise correct technique and maintain spinal tension when deadlifting at all times.
3) The Bench Press: My least favourite barbell lift because how often in real life (outside of the gym) are you lying flat on your back and forced to press a heavy weight off your chest? Not that often. However I’ll still rank it #3 as it is undeniably effective at building a lot of upper body pushing strength. No other upper body pushing exercise allows you to press more weight than the barbell bench press.
4) The Overhead Press: Also referred to as the strict press or the military press, this lift is much more a functional exercise compared to the bench press as we often have to lift heavy objects overhead like putting your luggage in overhead compartments of a plane or a train. Although it’s often the most difficult lift to improve upon, learn to embrace it and train it often to build size or strength in shoulders effectively.
5) The Bent Over Row: Want to build brute strength, mass, and power? Do HEAVY bent over rows. This exercise builds strength in the entire posterior chain and you will find this staple in every serious lifter’s routine.
These all lifts are the most basic. No other exercises build foundation strength or complete strength as effectively as these. Remember to prioritise the basics and don’t stray from them.
Nishant Mandal is a certified Personal trainer/Online fitness coach based out of Delhi NCR. He is ACE-CPT, Crossfit L-1, PN-L1 certified and Calisthenics enthusiast, Deadlift Junkie, Movement & Mobility expertise Getting people to move and better themselves since 2010 through individualised and challenging routines but not much than what one can’t handle. You can connect with him on Twitter at @NishantPTrainer