If you happen to have an interest in weight training, bodybuilding, resistance training, strength training, or any other resistance-based exercises for that matter, you almost certainly won’t need anybody to tell you just how much sheer hard work, dedication, determination, and self discipline is required in order to help build muscle and improve your physique. Building muscle does not take weeks, it takes months, even years before you really begin seeing true progress, but once you do begin making progress, you then have the pleasure of watching your physique grow, transform, and hopefully improve right before your eyes. To build muscle mass we not only need to consume the right foods and the right amount of calories, but we also need to ensure we’re doing the right exercises and movements in the gym. Here’s a look at 5 of the best mass building exercises.

Flat bench barbell press

When it comes to adding thickness and mass to the chest, the flat bench barbell press is absolutely ideal as it is such an effective compound exercise. It targets the middle, middle/upper pectoral muscles, and on top of that it really helps to overload the triceps and even incorporates a little deltoid and core work into the mix as well. Never bounce the bar from your chest, and focus on really squeezing the pecs on the contraction.

Pull ups

Pull Ups

For adding width to the back, many bodybuilders agree that pull ups are by far the most effective mass building exercise for the back, with many choosing this exercise over free weight and machine-based exercises. Pull ups work the upper, middle, and lower back and can be adjusted to target different areas of the back by simply switching your grip. The biceps and rear deltoids also get a little bit of a work out as well.

EZ bar curls

For adding mass and thickness to the arms, EZ bar curls are ideal. These exercises primarily work the biceps, but due to the unique design of the bar, the forearms also get a heck of a workout, which helps add to the illusion of bigger arms as many people neglect their forearms when it comes to their training.

Standing military barbell press

For really piling the mass onto the front and rear deltoids, standing military presses come very highly recommended indeed. As you use a bar, both shoulders get an equal workout at the same time, and by standing you are also incorporating your stabilizer core muscles into mix, which in turn will help to strengthen your core in the process. Aim for a weights that allow you between 8 and 12 reps.

Skull crushers

For really hitting all three heads of the triceps muscle, skull crushers are arguably the most effective exercise when it comes to adding mass to the triceps. Many people think that biceps create big arms when in reality it is the triceps that build big arms, due to the sheer size of the muscle. Perform this exercise using an EZ bar and either on a flat bench, an incline bench, or even on a mat on the floor. You’ll be amazed by the pump your triceps receive, and how much they ache the next day.

Bench pressExercisesEz bar curlsMass buildingMilitary barbel pressPull upsSkull crushersTraining