For Bodybuilding for Mass gain workouts, it would be wrong to advance in any way without addressing the key components of any great mass development program i.e. compound exercises.  Back-Squat

What are compound exercises?

Quite simply, a compound exercise is any exercise that involves two or more joint movements.


Bench Press

This favored exercise involves primarily the pectoral (chest) muscles, however, also incorporates the shoulder and triceps muscles to varying degrees.  Therefore, the Bench Press is considered a Compound Exercise.  Bench-press

Compounds work so well for that very reason – they work several muscle groups within the one movement.

Before bodybuilding became so popular, and hence so complicated, many great and amazing physiques were developed solely by means of simple compound exercises.

An example of a great mass gain workout:

An example, using only compound exercises, would be:

Sets     RepsSteeve-Reeves-old-school-muscle-mass

Bench Press      4 x 10 – 12

Back Squats      4 x 10 – 12

Military Press     4 x 10 – 12

Deadlifts             4 x 10 – 12

That’s it.

Looks too simple doesn’t it?

Try doing just this workout for 4 weeks.  Rest 60 – 90 seconds between sets, and no more than 3 minutes between exercises.  If on your fourth set of any exercise you perform more than 12 reps, then you will increase the weight a little the next time you lift.

Again, I know with all the hype out there, this workout appears much too simple.  Though, take into consideration the effectiveness of each exercise.

A breakdown of the Four Lifts:

  • Bench Press – efficiently works chest, shoulders, triceps
  • Back Squats – efficiently works quads, hams, gluteus, core, and many auxiliary muscles
  • Military Press – Shoulders, traps, brachialis, upper pecs
  • Deadlifts – Back, quads and virtually every muscle to varying degrees.

This is a great workout, for the beginner to intermediate bodybuilder, for building overall strength and size.  The advanced bodybuilder will also greatly benefit from incorporating this full body mass gain workout for a 4 week period, to reset their overall muscle composition, and will undoubtedly experience a size surge as a result.

Simplify to Gain Size.


For further Mass and Strength training workouts, click the links below:

How to Improve on Bench Press; Five Lifts for Incredible Strength
Best Mass Building Shoulder Workouts – Big Shoulders Guaranteed!


Blessings Be







Rich Far

Founder of Bodybuilding for Mass


Comments (10)

  1. Ty Jord

    Hey Rich,

    Loving your site, I’ve long been interested in implementing compound exercises as it makes more sense for those of us with a busy lifestyle to get more out of our workout in less time, thanks for the detailed examples, will try them out and probably be giving you some feedback.


    1. Rich Far

      Hello Ty,

      Thank you for visiting my site and I really appreciate your positive feedback.
      It is great that you found the information beneficial.

      I look forward to finding out how you go with the compound lifts – once you have incorporated these for a few weeks you will be amazed at your increasing strength and muscle growth.
      After a few months, well…

      Be sure to post your results :-)

      Best Wishes Ty.

      Train Hard, Train Well, Train Safe –

      – Rich

  2. Seth

    Hi Rich.
    I have came across and see what a great site you have. By using your own experience put in to it with a great explanation you have a very interesting and help full for those people like me who is always looking for the right method to do some exercises for a healthy life and even for those people who are in sport.
    Very Great work


    1. Rich Far

      Hi Seth,

      Thank you for the positive comments – I appreciate it :-)
      It is great to know you pursue a Healthy Lifestyle.

      Wishing you well’

      – Rich

  3. Todd

    Hi Rich,

    Great explanation of compound exercises. After training in gyms for years I pretty much only do Crossfit which is loaded with compounding exercises. Personally I love combining Olympic lifts with functional activities. It seems to work the body so much more efficiently. Like combining Hang Clings with box jumps followed by kipping pull-ups.

    Great article Rich and look forward to more.


    1. admin

      Hi Todd,

      Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to post a comment.

      I think Crossfit is great and certainly keeps the body primed and metabolism fired :-)
      Complexes are awesome as well – where you choose say five compound movements and perform them as a continual circuit i.e. moving directly from one exercise to another with no rest and without putting the weight down.

      I encourage you back Todd and look forward to your further comments.

      Best wishes and Train Hard – Train Safe,

      – Rich

  4. Charlene

    This is a brilliant post and I particularly like those illustrations which support your content. I like to do strength training myself, just wondering are you intending to add any advice for women who like to do weight exercises too?

    1. Rich Far (Post author)

      Hi Charlene,

      Thank you for the positive feedback.

      I am really glad you asked concerning advice for women.
      It has been niggling at me that I should not be presenting such a ‘biased’ looking site.
      I guessed, since the name of the site and content thus far is aimed toward gaining muscle mass, my female audience may be quite limited.

      However, since you have brought this up, I will also create content more specifically addressing females wishing to do weight-training to tone-up and gain muscle definition. As I am a great believer in the benefits of resistance training for the female physique.

      So, please bookmark this site and follow along.
      If you have any more questions along the way, just ask :-)

      Blessings Be,

      Rich Far

      1. Angie

        Hi Rich,

        I too would be interested in your perspective on weight training for women. Currently I just do a bit of strength training on my own, and am planning to join a gym soon to go a bit further in that.

        In the meantime, I’m sure you could gain quite a female following by posting lots of pictures of men with muscles :) I’m just kidding, but seriously – nice looking site, looks like you really know your stuff and will be able to help out a lot of people looking to build muscle mass.

        All the best!


        1. admin

          Hi Angie,

          Thank you so much for visiting my site and taking the time to post your thoughts.

          My perspective on weight training for women is – A Big Yes…I absolutely encourage females to do resistance (weight lifting) workouts.

          Please read this previous post – How to Improve on Bench Press; Five Lifts for Incredible Strength – in particular what I say under the heading ‘Can Females Do This Program?’

          Even though it may appear to be, my site is not gender specific and all the information relates equally to guys and girls.

          Thanks again Angie and I appreciate the positive feedback :-)

          I wish you well with you strength and fitness training – if you wish for help in any area I am happy to help.

          Blessings Be,

          – Rich


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