Bodybuilding 3 MIN READ 15046 VIEWS October 28, 2015

Bench, Deadlift and Squat- The Big Three

Walk into any gym and all the gym rats ask you a few questions. “How much do you bench bro?”, “What’s your max deadlift and do you even squat?”. There are thousands of programs that are designed around these three exercises and today we break down why they are the three exercises you will ever need!

Anybody can go into the gym and brag about how much they bicep curl or how many weights they put on the tricep machine. But does it even matter? In the grand scheme of things only compound movements test true strength. Compound movements that use multiple body parts and tax your central nervous system to the limit are the true indicators of physical and mental strength. Because of this, your physique will be developed most rigorously. The big three are all you need for a god-like physique!

1. Bench Press


Many people are unaware that the bench press is actually a core exercise as well. Notice next time that when you lower down the weight, slowly, don’t bounce the weight, your core will get activated. By simply bench pressing the lifter will be working on his chest, forearms, shoulder and tricep muscles. 4 muscles worked for one exercise. Why wouldn’t you do this again?

I am referring to the flat barbell bench press. However I do understand that there are multiple variations of this brilliant exercise. The incline bench press will work the upper chest instead of the middle chest, in the flat bench press; whilst the decline bench press will work the lower chest. Incorporate all three in your routine and you’ve surely made some chest gains. To keep your training interesting, experiment with different styles, like the dumbell bench press for greater isolation of each pec muscle.

2. Deadlift


The king of all power movements! The deadlift is a true sense of power because not only does it allow you to move some heavy ass weights but in the process also amps you up mentally. Who doesn’t like a little ego boost in the gym?

I personally took 6 months to master the deadlift because while it maybe the king of all compound movements, working more muscles of the body than any other exercise, it is also potentially going to injure you if done incorrectly. As you grip the bar and pull, your forearms are being taxed and your hamstrings, glutes and calves come into play as soon as you lift the weight off the floor. As you get the weight to above waist level, your lats, traps, rear delts and even triceps are activated! Still not convinced?

3. Squat


Squats not only test you physically but absolutely rip you apart mentally. It’s a lot like life really. When things push you down, just get back up!

The quads, hamstrings and glutes are obviously primary muscles here that will drive you up, while your calves are stablizing you along with you core. The bar resting on the traps will activate them which means like the deadlift the squat is a measure of pure strength. Contrary to popular belief your lower back should NOT be activated and if you feel pain, then you should check your form. 

Mental Strength

These exercises are so mentally taxing that they are not only benefitial for your central nervous system, as it teaches the fight-or-flight response but also teaches discipline and endurance by activating all your muscles to drive the weight upwards. All of these being principles that you can incorporate outside the gym as well. If you still don’t want to do these three exercises good luck getting any gains. You’re better of with doing pilates because no exercise comes close to increasing your natural testosterone and as we all know, testosterone is what makes muscles!

Read these next