“Which exercise is better?” is one of the most common questions I am asked as a coach/trainer. People want to know if a dumbbell bench press is better than barbell bench press? Is the back squat better than the front squat? Want to know the answer to all of those questions? You ready?
Now, let’s talk about what is actually depends on.
I don’t believe in taking a “one size fits all” approach to fitness. In my experience, people tend to be most successful when they take a routine’s foundation and make it their own. Want to get the most of of your workout? Then pick the exercise that you love to do the most. Obviously, it's extremely important to move properly but your effort level is everything. If the front squat “feels” better than the back squat to a person then that is the better choice. Also, I promise there are no secret exercises/movements that professional athletes or bodybuilders are doing that everyone else is not. One of the main differences is their drive to work harder than most others. Remember, weights and exercise are tools that we use to build strength. As long as each exercise is being done with enjoyment and with your best effort in that moment, then that is a success, regardless of how you got there.
My workout preference with clients training 2-3 days per week is circuit training. I find circuit training to be one of the most effective, bang for your buck, approaches. It is metabolically demanding, burning more calories than standard resistance training, while still building muscle. Here’s an example of one of my circuit training programs: 2-3 sets of a lower body, push, then pull exercise followed by 2-3 sets of smaller, secondary muscle groups. That may be something such as a shoulder, arm, and core set, one directly after the other also known as a compound set. The beauty of this template is you can make it your own! Love doing glute bridges on the smith machine instead of the floor? Great! Include it. Need to do your bench on a incline with a barbell? Awesome! Include it. Now go on, win the day and always keep moving forward.