When it comes to lifting weights people have different routines and different exercises they like to perform. While muscle mass certainly looks good on a man, I like the muscles to be at least functional and of use, otherwise it’s a waste of a lot of good mass.

Of course being muscular can help you life more weights, however, I believe fitness should be the goal when it comes to looking good. Here is a routine I really like and recommend for people who are seeking strength and functionality.

THE 5 x 5

If you haven’t heard of the 5×5 you might be new, but it’s a pretty good routine to hit all of your body major muscle groups. Of course it won’t make you huge or take you to the elite level, but if you are starting out, it’s a good routine to build overall body mass and strength.

The Benchpress. 

What’s a good routine without the bench press? A good indicator of your strength is if you can life 1.5x your bodyweight. So for example, if you are 150 pounds, you would be considered pretty strong if you can bench 225 lbs for your maximum weight. However, we are not going for PRs. So take your time and have a good feel for when you think you are ready to perform a set.

You are not trying to max out reps or anything, but do lift 70% of your maximum weight 5 reps. Take as much time you need for the recovery. Remember we are going for overall strength, so it’s better to rest more. Once you feel ready that you recovered, do another set of 5 reps until you hit 5 sets total.

The Squat.

I must admit I hate doing squats and that’s probably why my legs are not as toned and developed as I would like them to be, but without the squat you are missing the major leg muscle groups. No amount of leg press, hamstring curls, and quad exercises can beat the squat.

You want your back to be as straight as possible when performing the sets, otherwise you are setting yourself up for injury. Imagine your spine being attached to a wooden stick on your back and that you are not able to bend it. That’s how your back should be and you should try to as far as you can go down with proper form. “Ass to the grass” baby.

The Deadlift.

The deadlift is one of those exercises that can greatly benefit you or destroy your back; you have to be careful with the exercise. If you don’t have the proper form and good warmup, you can hurt your body in the long run and wear your spine over the long run.

I recommend sumo deadlifts as they don’t require your back to bend as much compared to the traditional deadlifts. Simply place your feet wide apart and grip the barbell and pull.

Those 3 compound movements should be enough, but if you want to look into some of the other minor exercises, check out: https://www.t-nation.com/training/reg-parks-5×5-program