Acquiring more and more possessions rarely makes you truly happy. At the end of the day, you can’t drink from more than one glass. The mainstream world, however, is based on consumption and has silently installed a micro chip in our subconscious minds. That chip is constantly convincing us that we need to purchase stuff to progress.
When the basics are covered, everything else becomes an extra, and just like extra calories, it can make us fat – in the physical and spiritual sense. Humans were not designed to be fat. Ultimate performance cannot be expected in that state. The solution? Just cut what you don’t need and throw it away.
The same rules apply in the muscle world. Doing more exercises does not mean that you’re going to get bigger and stronger faster. In fact, very often the exact opposite happens. There comes a time when you need to evaluate your belongings and strip them down to the bare essentials.
First, get rid of the stupid isolation exercises. Chest flies, Scott curls, front raises, rear delt raises, wrist curls, rotator cuff drills, side delt raises, cable crossover and all other baloney exercises have to go. Once you stop doing isolation exercises because they told you so in a mainstream bodybuilding article, you will feel a sense of liberation.
However, even some compound exercises have no place in your routine. You should perform only the movements that you truly need. Doing exercises just to be accepted by the community is unintelligent and will not make you happier.
Once you have developed a solid base which takes about 1 year of solid training, you will have the necessary knowledge to make the right choice. At that point, you are no longer a baby. You’re a big boy, and as such, you have to think for yourself. If your inner core says that something isn’t working, don’t try to battle nature. It’s as useful as fighting gravity after a naked jump off a cliff.
What are the best exercises for a minimalist bodybuilder?
Compound exercises that you can do without pain.
Below is a list of movements which should serve you well.
Legs: squat, leg press, deadlifts, sprints, rope jumping
Triceps: dips, close grip push-ups, close grip bench press
Chest: dips, push-ups on Olympic rings, bench press
Biceps: pull-ups, chin-ups, barbell or dumbbell curls
Abs: isometric holds
Back: deadlifts and pull-ups
As far as programming is concerned, there is no need to complicate things. Cycles are one of the best ways to train as a natural.
Example: You start with a 200lbs squat. Then, you increase your squat to 250lbs by adding weight each session and recovering appropriately. When you can no longer progress, the next step is to reduce the weight to about 220lbs and build up to something a little higher than 250lbs. This is called cycling. One step backward, two steps forward.