First Things First

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Exercise Suggestions:
Dave's Top 20

About the exercises upon which I suggest you concentrate: These are the building blocks most used by champions and children alike. They are the simple movements that involve the body’s complicated system of muscles, bones and ligaments advantageously, safely and joyously. They are the basics. They work best. The rest is up to consistent, strategic and intense performance supported, naturally, by sound nutrition.

Here’s my list, The Top 20:

1) Bench press
2) Dumbbell press, flat and incline
3) Lateral raise, sidearm, front, bentover
4) Stiffarm dumbbell pullover
5) Cable crossover
6) Pulldowns
7) Seated lat rows
8) Bentover row, one- and two-arm
9) Standing barbell curl
10) Dumbbell curls, standing, seated alternate, incline
11) Triceps pulley pushdown
12) Triceps extensions, lying and overhead
13) Dips
14) Chins
15) Squats
16) Leg extension
17) Leg curl
18) Calf raise, seated and standing
19) Deadlifts
20) Midsection, crunches and leg raise

The exercises listed above include 90 percent of the basics, though there are numerous more non-basic movements (thumbs-up curls, pullover and press, front squats) practiced to add variety and nuance. The truth is there are limitless movements when you consider grip and body-position variations, exercise finesse and the execution of personalized exercise grooves.

Of the Top 20, you can extract six or eight major moves on which to concentrate to avoid excessive instruction time and learning time and, therefore, devote more intense quality training time in the near-future workouts. This will assure greater muscle and strength response and a more solid training and musclebuilding experience.

Stick to the basic exercises that work the larger muscle groups completely and are responsible for fuller and more effective muscle growth. Exercise repetition is needed to gain the maximum an exercise has to offer. Changing exercises frequently for novelty is frivolous and defeats one’s purpose to grow in training understanding and muscle shape and muscle might. Isolated secondary exercises are important and are most beneficial at intermediate and advanced stages of training. They come just in time... later.

Your last rep of each set should be 10 or 12 and feel just right; near-perfect form and concentrated muscular action as you recognize 'muscle burn'-the sting within the muscle being worked increasing with each successive rep, a good pain, which when endured allows greater muscle overload and subsequent increased muscle adaptation. Look for the 'pump,' the full muscular feeling that is evident in immediate muscle increase during exercise as blood and water fill the muscle cells under demand of systemic support.

For more exercise tips, click here

Dave's book Brother Iron Sister Steel expands on this basic information

On this page you'll find more exercise routine suggestions

This link will take you to the main Getting Started page