best exercises for building muscle

I’ve been in the iron game since the age of 14.

My inspiration to the physique that I wanted to build came through reading comic books and watching wrestling.

Meanwhile, it was watching Kiana’s Flex Appeal in the 1990’s where I began to consistently pump iron.

Over my now 22 years in the game and in my 9 years as a professional trainer, I have done many exercises.

Some of those exercises have risen to the top of the mountain due to their effectiveness with building speed, muscle, strength, and athleticism.

The fake hustle exercises that I no longer use dropped to the bottom of the ocean never to be seen again.

Today I want to share with you the top exercises for building muscle and increasing athletic performance.

While there are many other moves that I have used over the years, these are at the top of the food chain for me.

My Top Speed and Jumping Exercises

Speed/Speed Endurance:

1) Maximum Velocity Fly Sprints

2) Acceleration Starts (from blocks or 3/4 point stances)

3) Sprint, Float, Sprint


1) Run-Up Vertical Jumps

2) Standing Vertical Jumps

3) Run Up Barrier Jumps

4) Broad Jumps

5) Seated Vertical or Broad Jumps

My Top Lower Body Exercises:


1) Hill Sprinting

2) Barbell Hip Thrust

3) Bulgarian Split Squat (Dumbbell Or Barbell)

4) Barbell Hip/Back Extension

5) Romanian Deadlift


1) Barbell Hack Squat

2) Heels Elevated Safety Bar Squat

3) Heels Elevated Squat

4) Walking Lunges (Barbell or Dumbbell)

5) Sissy or Roman Chair Squats


1) Sprinting

2) Romanian Deadlift

3) Glute Ham Raise

4) Barbell Hip/Back Extensions

5) Kettlebell Swings


1) Standing Calf Raises

2) Seated Calf Raises

3) Sprinting

4) Jumping

My Top Upper Body Exercises


1) Seated Dumbbell Press

2) Lateral Raises

3) Gironda Dumbbell Swings

4) Prone Rear Delt Raises

5) Overhead Press


1) Gironda Neck Press

2) Dips

3) Dumbbell Bench Press

4) Incline Barbell Press

5) Push-Ups


1) Pull-Ups (includes Chin-Ups, Neutral Grip Pull-Ups and Ring Pull-Ups)

2) Barbell Rows

3) Dumbbell Pullovers

4) T-Bar Rows

5) Dumbbell Rows


1) Sprinting

2) Pull-Ups

3) Safety Bar or Front Squats

4) Barbell Rollouts


1) EZ Bar Curl

2) Incline Dumbbell Curl

3) Perfect Curl


1) Dips

2) EZ Bar Skullcrushers

3) Decline Dumbbell Tight Press

4) Decline Close Grip Bench Press


1) EZ Bar Wrist Curls

2) Reverse Wrist Curls

3) Heavy Dumbbell Holds

If I Only Had 3 Exercises To Choose To Do:

1) Sprinting

2) Chin-Ups

3) Dips

My Top Exercises For Raw Strength:

1) Deadlift (conventional and trap bar)

2) Barbell Squat

3) Weighted Dips

4) Weighted Chin-Ups

My Top Exercises For Power:

1) Sprinting

2) Jumping

3) Medicine Ball Throws

My Top Exercise For Agility:

1) 5-10-5 Drill (Shuttle Run)

My Top Exercises For Conditioning:

1) Sprinting

2) Prowler or Sled Pushing

3) Dumbbell or Bodyweight Complexes

My Favorite Workout Programs:

1) RP-21

2) ATH Supreme (unreleased to the public)

3) Gironda 8×8

4) A Program I Haven’t Tried

My Top Exercises That I No Longer Use:

1) High Volume Sprinting

2) High Volume Jumping

3) Lat Pulldown

4) Leg Curl

My Favorite Carbs:

1) Rice

2) Oats

3) Bananas

My Favorite Proteins:

1) Turkey

2) Fish

3) Chicken

4) Beef

My Favorite Fats:

1) Egg Yolks

2) Coconut Oil

My Favorite Daily Supplements:

1) Vitamin D

2) Curcumin

3) Boron

My Favorite Pre-Workout Supplements:

1) Caffeine (specifically coffee)

2) Creatine

3) Alpha-GPC


The top exercises for building muscle and performance are responsible for my improvements over time.

After you finish the article, leave your favorite exercises in the comments section.

You will have some that are different than mine, but the ultimate key to making any exercise work for you is consistent progression.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer

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