Blog / The Only 5 Exercises You Need

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So having been in the gym for 8 years now I’m finding that the more experienced I get, the less substance my routines contain. For that and many other reasons I’ve tried to help you with the only 5 exercises you need to get aesthetic and athletic.

If you haven’t yet viewed the video check it out below. Side note: It’s the first of many podcast style videos I’ll be putting out on my YouTube channel discussing various things fitness related. If you’d like me to cover anything a comment would be appreciated 🙂

So as promised in the video here is a simple outline of how you can set up the 9 exercises into a weekly routine.

Here’s a list of the exercises mentioned:

  1. Deadlifts (posterior chain)
  2. Front Squats (quad dominant)
  3. Push Press (vertical push)
  4. Chin-ups (vertical pull)
  5. Dips (push)
  6. Pendlay Row (horizontal pull)
  7. Kettlebell Clean (explosive movement)
  8. Barbell Rollout (anterior chain)
  9. Suitcase Carry (loaded carry + rotation)
Day 1 (monday or any preferred day)
  • Deadlifts 3 x 5
  • Dips 3 x 5
  • Barbell Rollouts 3 x F
Day 2 (Wednesday or any preferred day – ideally with a day off before)
  • Front Squat 3 x 5
  • Chin-ups 3 x 5
  • Suitcase Carry 3 x 30 seconds (on each arm)
Day 3 (friday or any preferred day – ideally with a day off before)
  • Push Press 3 x 5
  • Pendlay Row 3 x 5
  • Kettlebell Clean 3 x 20 seconds (on each arm)

You will be using the same weight (around 80% of your one rep max) for all sets of 5 so you’ll be needing anywhere from 3 – 10 minutes rest depending on your fitness. 5 minutes rest is usually a nice figure to allow yourself to fully recuperate. There are then many ways that you can ensure progressive overload occurs. The first and simplest way for any beginner will be to simply increase the load on a weekly basis by 2.5kg (roughly 5 pounds).

There are also rep and set schemes you can incorporate to ensure that work capacity and overall work done is increased for the more intermediate to advanced lifters. This can be as follows:

Week 1: 3 x 5

Week 2: 4 x 5

Week 3: 5 x 5

Week 4: 3 x 6

Week 5: 4 x 6

Week 6: 5 x 6

Repeat (preferably after a deload of some kind).

I just want to make it clear once again that I’m not against assistance work or isolation movements. I just think you’ll be setting yourself up for the best training career by focusing the vast majority of your time and effort on the above mentioned exercises. You’re bound to get weak calves, adductors, side delts amongst other things at some point but I’d argue that would be years into a minimalist routine like this one. Until then it’s pretty rounded and will kick your ass so make some gains!

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