If you are looking for efficiency within your workouts, look for compound exercises and steer clear of those that isolate one muscle in their movements.

Compound exercises incorporate more major muscles and can create the biggest development in overall body composition. For example, for upper-body movements, look at rows and their multiple variations; any kind of presses; dips and chin-ups.  For your lower-body, try squats and their many variations, deadlifts and leg presses. All of these exercises put multiple muscle groups to work.

If you’re using your entire body in your everyday life, why not train using movements that involve more of your body working together at the same time? Squats and deadlifts contribute to arm strength, while biceps curls do not assist in building your legs at all. So why focus so much on one muscle group at a time?

Sure, curls can assist in making your biceps bigger, but you’ll get there faster if you perform them in conjunction with compound movements while also building a stronger body overall.

Compound workout – upper body
Barbell Bench Press
Dumbbell Presses
Pendlay style Barbell Rows
Hollow Body Hold – 2 sets of 30-second holds

Perform three sets of 8-12 reps, resting 1-2 minutes between sets. (Try different stances, grip distances, speed and tempo to keep things dynamic and fresh)

Compound workout – lower body
Barbell Back Squat
Barbell Deadlift
Dumbbell Lunges
Mountain Climbers – 2 sets of 24 reps

Perform four sets of 6-10 reps each, resting 2-3 minutes between sets.

If you want to target the whole body in one workout, perform one set of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise to failure. Once you max out at 12 reps of each exercise while maintaining proper form throughout, increase the weight to offer more of a challenge for your next workout. Just like the Upper Body section, change it up. Try different repetition ranges, different stances, grip distances, speed and tempo to keep things dynamic and fresh. One workout, perform 12-15 reps; the next, 6-8 and the third, 3-5 repetitions. Rotate and add 5lbs each time.