If you're trying to get stronger with a lifting routine that includes movements like Biceps Curls and Triceps Extensions, listen up. Although many young athletes start or finish their workouts with such isolation (or single-joint) exercises, you can actually build more muscle in less time with multi-joint exercises.
Think about how much muscle you recruit with movements like Pull-Ups, Deadlifts and Bent-Over Rows. Since you need multiple muscle groups to perform each exercise, you will work harder and see results faster than you will by performing only isolation movements. Upper-body multi-joint exercises (like the ones mentioned above) not only strengthen back muscles, they also build the biceps and forearms. Lower body multi-joint exercises, such as Leg Presses, Squats, Step-Ups and Lunges, strengthen the hips and hamstrings while also working the quadriceps.
If you're trying to gain the most muscle in the shortest time, perform the following three full body workouts. Observe these guidelines before trying the workouts:
Do the full-body, multi-joint workouts below on non-consecutive days:
For more workout and nutrition tips, check out STACK's Guide to Building Muscle, and add the muscle mass you're looking for.