5 Exercises That Will Give You More Anabolic Gains
Those of you that have been training for the past couple of months may have started to gain some experience.
Perhaps you are starting to gain a grasp for which weight stimulates more muscle development or what type of rep scheme works best for your body.
Understanding how your muscles work and how they can be manipulated in order to grow faster is an important step in your long-term goals.
Only by having a clear plan in place on how to grow stronger will you begin to notice which exercises and which methods will give you the most anabolic gains.
Regardless of your body type, the most effective way to stimulate anabolic gains in training will be to use a higher intensity. This high intensity can be manipulated in many ways, but it is important to remember that anabolism is s metabolic state. If we cannot stimulate this metabolic state we will not be able to grow stronger.
How to Stimulate Anabolism
We know from our previous blogs that anabolism is a metabolic state. On a very basic level if we want to become more anabolic all we need to do is continue to teach the body to turn smaller molecules into larger molecules.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a higher intensity.
Using a higher intensity could mean a higher weight, more reps, longer training time and many more. For the purposes of muscle development and size here are the best ways you can stimulate anabolism with your workouts:
This is the bread and butter of any strength training and it is very important to remember that without high loads on the muscle you will not be able to effectively stimulate hypertrophy either.
Remember, high weight training can be dangerous and you should only attempt this if you feel comfortable with your form and function during exercise.
I’d recommend training within the 80-90% max-weight range.
This will help you to keep the reps relatively low, have high-quality training and push your limits further for anabolic gains.
I have never been the biggest fans of this style of training, but in some cases, it could be an effective way to boost strength and size. HIIT workouts are a great way to not only build size but they also drastically push your metabolism in the right direction for anabolic gains (when your diet is in check).
Make sure that you develop a very clear outline for your intervals and do not deviate from the plan on random workouts. The only way you can be successful in HIIT workouts is if you keep them structured and can progress on the training in the near future.
5 Exercises That Will Give You More Anabolic Gains
Now that we know that training with either a high load or a high intensity will help to promote anabolic gains, here are the most effective exercises for size and strength.
NOTE: The main goal here is to use exercises that hit as many muscles as possible. Stimulation is the name of the game here.
1. Front Squat
Hands down the best assessment for pushing strength in the lower body. Not many people can do a front squat properly, but when you see someone who is capable you know that they are strong. The front squat is a great exercise for hitting the quads, glutes – and more importantly will force you to have near perfect form.
For strength and size, keep your rep scheme in the range of 5-7 and use a weight that can be easily completed on a back squat.
2. Romanian Deadlift
Personally, I do not know of a better exercise for development in the hamstrings and glutes. When completed properly the RDL is a great exercise for targeting these systems and does a perfect job of stimulating these muscles.
Similar to the front squat, you will need a great deal of mobility to complete this exercise and you should pay very close attention to your back. If there is any pain or restriction you should avoid this exercise or reduce the weight.
3. Overhead Press
This is hands down my favourite exercise – and for good reason. There is just something completely primal about pushing a bunch of weight overhead. This exercise cannot be beaten when it comes to shoulder development and overall stimulation of muscle in the upper body.
In the overhead press, quality is always the answer.
The shoulder is a complicated system and can be injured rather easily. If you feel strong enough the best way to complete this exercise is with a 4-6 rep scheme and a weight around 70-95% of your max.
4. Lumberjack Squat
This is a very uncommon exercise and one that should be completed more often in the average gym. The form is very similar to that of the front squat, except the load is not directly overhead, instead, it is on a lever that moves with you. This means that as you descend, the weight will increase due to the distance increases.
This makes the lumberjack squat one of the better exercises for eccentric training or training at heavier loads – but do not sacrifice form. Like the front squat, you will need a great deal of strength in the spine and core to stabilize this exercise properly.
Last but not least, the pull-up really is the grand master of back training. I like the deadlift, but since it is a very simple exercise it provides very little ways to manipulate and spur growth – aside from increasing weight.
The pull-up, on the other hand, can be changed and manipulated in many ways.
You can change the grip to hit different muscles, increase weight, decrease weight, increase the tempo and many more. The versatility of this exercise, combined with the recruitment of muscles cannot be matched in any other exercise.
I’d go as far as saying if you are not training in the pull-up you are not a real strength athlete.
Bottom Line: Anabolic Exercise for Strength
When it comes to building more muscle and ensuring you are always growing stronger you will always find success in these five exercises. They hit big muscle groups, can be altered for variability and best of all, will require a deep connection in core strength.
Many bench-driven exercises like bench press, although they may hit large muscles, do not require as much core strength. Instead of having this issue you can find success with simple exercises like the ones above – train your core for long-term strength and benefit from anabolic gains.
Take your training seriously, record all your results eat a clean diet. Nothing will help you grow stronger more than a clean and wholesome diet.
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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