Sometimes it’s not what exercises you’re doing but how you’re doing them.
You can have the greatest, toughest, most difficult program their is, but if you’re training half-assed then you’re going to get some half-assed results. On the flip side of the coin, if you have a crappy program but you bust your arse (click the link for a definition of this fine word) every time you train, you’re probably going to see some pretty bad-ass progress.
That being said, I don’t know of a guy who doesn’t want to become more athletic, have a better physique, become stronger or just get in overall better shape. Every one of us wants to improve some aspect of our physical fitness and there are a few exercises that help more than others. Some help our bodies release testosterone and HGH, others make cardio fun and more intense, while others help improve specific aspects of our training or athletic abilities.
Here are 7 exercises that every guy could benefit from doing, myself included.
Sprints are the truest form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) there is. Start with a 1:1 sprint to walk (or jog) ratio, then progressively shorten your rest periods (the walking or jogging). Sprints help boost our bodies release HGH and testosterone which in turn helps us build more muscle and burn more fat.
I say truest form of HIIT because it’s one of the few exercises where you can actually go at a maximum speed and a maximum intensity. There is no down phase or rest phase in a sprint, it’s straight up balls to the wall as fast as you can go. It’s the ultimate intensity exercise.
2. Box Jumps
Plyometrics like box jumps help improve athleticism, power, and vertical jump, but they also give a boost to other, heavier lifts like the squat and deadlift. Push yourself with this exercise, do low reps with a bit of a longer rest period but push yourself when it comes to the height of the box. I’ve added a weighted vest into my training over the years which I think is a great progression, but definitely something to build up to. If you increase the difficulty too much, too fast, you risk injury.
3. Hit the heavy bag
I love to hit the heavy bag. I’ll add it into a circuit or finish up a workout with a few minutes of intense punching. It’s a great way to mix up your cardio and to have some fun with it at the same time.
Skipping is one of the few total body cardio exercises, and it’s great for fat loss. Again, push yourself to become better at it. Skipping is definitely a skill, take a look at Floyd Mayweather‘s jump rope routine. Work on your speed and add in some tricks to keep pushing yourself.
5. Decline Weighted Sit-ups
Build solid abdominal muscles by adding weight to your exercises. Start with decline sit-ups with no weight, but increase the weight each week.
6. Ab roll-outs
No matter how many times I do them they don’t get easy. It’s a great exercise not only for your abs but for strengthening your lower back. Start by doing a plank, but work your way up to roll-outs.
Lifts like the deadlift and the squat are great for not only building muscle but also for building your functional strength. Most lifts in the real world – like the one’s you do helping a friend move or picking up your beautiful girlfriend – as well as most explosive movements in the athletic world mimic the deadlift.
Add strength and power in your legs and hips. Continue with your progression at a safe pace, but push yourself to continually be improving. I didn’t really mean to put these exercises in any specific order. If I had I probably would’ve put this one in the first spot.
I had to cut it to 7, and most are cardio-based exercises. But what exercises would you add in here?