Weight Training Guide for Every Body Part

weights and a towel

Descriptions of Exercises For Free Weights and Machines

Above you will find a listing of
some of the most popular, and more importantly, most effective exercises for
each muscle. Each exercise listed will have a description of the proper form
that should be used when performing that exercise.

Other important exercise tips and

Machines vs Free Weights

Exercises can typically be done 2
different ways… by using machines or by using free weights. Machines are…
well… machines. Free weights usually refer to dumbbells and barbells. While
both can be effective, free weights are better for the purpose of increasing
muscle and strength. Here’s why…

Machines are designed in such a
way that they do part of the work for you. They keep the weight stable. The
machine puts everything in a constant stable position that allows you to only
have to move the weight from point A to point B. Free weights on the other hand
are just that… free weights. They are weights that aren’t being held in place
by anything except, well, you. Free weight exercises require you to not only
move the weight from point A to point B, but to also keep the weight stable
throughout the entire movement. Doing so requires the use of additional
stabilizer muscles which would not be used had you done the exercise on a

Again, both are effective and can
be used in your workout routine. Is one better than the other for gaining
muscle? Yes… free weights.

Isolation And Compound

There are generally 2 types of
exercises, isolation and compound. An isolation exercise is an exercise that
isolates one muscle to perform the movement. Some examples are bicep curls, leg
extensions, lateral raises, and tricep pressdowns.

A compound exercise on the other
hand recruits the use of additional muscles to perform the movement. Some
examples include squats, the bench press, deadlifts, pull ups, dips, and rows.

While both types of exercises are
effective and should be used in your workout routine, compound exercises are
more effective when it comes to building muscle and increasing strength.

Proper Form

Always use proper form. I know,
it seems stupid that I’d have to say that, but I do. I think everyone on the
planet is fully aware that proper form is not only important for the purpose of
increasing muscle and getting the most out of each exercise, but it’s also
obviously important for safety. We all know this, right? However, despite
knowing this I still see tons of people in my gym using terrible form for the
sole purpose of lifting more weight.

By “more weight” I mean more
weight than they can handle with proper form. They think the key to increasing
muscle and strength is lifting heavy weight. They are 100% right as long as they
are lifting that weight and doing that exercise with the proper form. They
aren’t. Instead they are NOT going through the full range of motion and are
therefore NOT getting the most (or sometimes anything) out of the exercise.

Not to mention, they are also
putting themselves in a position to get injured. This is bad. Ignore your ego.
Ignore what weight everyone else is lifting. Ignore everyone and everything.
Worry only about yourself and only use weight that will allow you to perform an
exercise with proper form.