Weight Training Exercises – Which Ones Work Best

Oftentimes people inquire about which weight training exercises work the best and what exercises should they include in their workout. A lot of what goes into deciding what type of exercises you should use and what works for you depends on what your goals are.

Today I will be talking about weight training exercises and which ones work best for you depending on what your goals are. There are many great exercises, but I will give you an idea of which ones work best for your needs.

If you are into developing strength, there is a set of exercises that you will want to base you’re training around, typically the squat, deadlift, bench press, and other power movements such as the clean and jerk and the snatch.

When your goal is building muscle, it will be a good idea to incorporate many of these power moves but also include many other supplemental exercises that can be of great benefit to building muscle as well as a proportionate frame.

Deciding what is right for you

The first important thing to do when deciding what is right for you is setting goals, setting goals is an important thing to do if you plan on getting anywhere with your direction in weight training. If it is your dream to build big muscles, then you will need to set goals in accordance with what your direction is.

You will need to set goals in small increments and not set goals as though you are only looking at the big picture. For example, if you want to add an inch to your arms, this may take a considerable amount of time, so you will naturally need to break your goals down into smaller increments such as by the week, or by the month.

Adding an inch to your arms could very well take as much as a year of hard training if not more, so it is good to set goals for the year, to make this a little more achievable, you will need to have daily and weekly goals as well as monthly.

You will need to determine what it will take to add that inch to your arms, you will need to make that dedication to your weight training program and work that body part twice a week, it will take a serious diet plan to achieve the results and you will need to have a vision in mind of achieving that goal.

To put these other components into play, you will need to set up daily and weekly goals to follow through with your plan. Remember that results never happen overnight, so you will need to be persistent and patient with your results. Create goals and set a plan of action

Setting a plan of action

In determining what direction you are going with you’re training, if you are planning on building muscle, you will need to incorporate exercises that will build the muscle.

Say for example if you are working your chest and you want to build muscle, you will naturally want to incorporate exercises like the bench press, incline benches, and dumbbell benches to build that muscle size, but if you are interested in adding definition and symmetry to your build, you will want to add other exercises such as the pec deck and cable crossovers.

For someone only interested in building strength, they would naturally not be too concerned with exercises like pec-decks and cable crossovers, they would be concerned with strength-building exercises like the bench press where they can push more weight.

Exercises for firming and toning

Exercises for firming and toning

If your weight training requires firming and toning your muscles, you will want to do more exercises that require lightweight and higher repetitions, any type of exercise is good for engaging in this type of weight training, but typically the best exercises that are used for this sort of training revolve around weight machines and cables.

When doing this sort of training, it is good to keep your rest to a minimum between sets, so there is an advantage to using weight machines and cables because you can change the weight quickly and move swiftly between exercises.

When using free weights during your workouts, there will be the need to change weights frequently and this can take extra time between sets if your goal is to keep moving quickly between sets.

Free weights vs weight machines

Free weights vs weight machines

As you can see there are advantages to using both free weights and weight machines in your workouts, but it mostly depends upon what your goals are for you’re training. Free weights are best for building muscle size and strength, but it is a good idea to include both if you are into building muscle that is proportionate such as a routine that a bodybuilder would do.

For someone who is into shedding some extra pounds or firming and toning their muscles, the majority of their workout should revolve around weight machines and cables but it can also be a good idea to include some free weights you’re training.

I have always been a firm believer in getting the best of both worlds when it comes to my training, so I have always employed free weights and weight machines which I believe will grant you the best results.


Depending on what you’re training goal is, it could be a good idea for you to follow an approach that suits your training needs, so it might be a good idea to check out some of my other blogs that will touch on other types of training.

All weight training exercises have their benefits, but it boils down to what you want out of you’re training program, do you want to build big muscles? do you want to build strength? or do you want to shed a few pounds? the important thing is that you set your mind to what you want to achieve and go for it.

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