The only 4 exercises you'll ever need to do


The Only 4 Exercises You’ll Ever Need to Do

When you think about weight loss, exercise is probably the first thing that pops up in your head. It’s true, exercise is a great way to lose weight, build strength, self-confidence and self-esteem. The latter two are the most important ones.

However, the human mind (what a scumbag) over-complicates everything, including exercise. But I’m going to fix this. Today, I’ll share the only four exercises you’ll ever need to do to develop a great looking body. Let’s begin.

What not to train when starting out…

A lot of people start training the most ridiculous body parts when starting out, especially guys. Because they’ve been brainwashed by fitness magazines, fitness ‘YouTube gurus’ and, to some extent, celebrities.

They think if they do five thousand crunches per day they will have amazing abs. Or if they do a million bicep curls per day they’ll have huge arms. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and it’s not effective, especially when you want to lose weight. These exercises are called isolation exercises.

An isolation exercise is one where the movement is restricted to one joint only. For example, the leg extension is an isolation exercise for the quadriceps. [1]

Isolation exercises are not effective at losing weight, or developing strength, because they focus on one muscle at a time. It will take forever to burn a decent amount of energy, unless, of course, you want to live at the gym.

What you should focus on are…

Compound exercises work several muscle groups at once, and include movement around two or more joints. For example, in the leg press, movement occurs around the hip, knee and ankle joints. [1]


Compound exercises are generally similar to the ways that people naturally push, pull and lift objects, whereas isolation exercises often feel a little unnatural. [1]

In other words, you can train your back, biceps and core during the same amount of time it takes to train just the bicep alone. And that’s the best way to develop strength and lose weight. Plus it only requires for you to train 3-4 times per week at most.

The concept in a nutshell goes like this – train the major three muscles groups, which are legs, back and chest. So let’s take a look at what compound exercises serve that goal. However…

Don’t be a badass, seriously

Before we go through each exercise, I want to warn you about one thing. Please don’t look at how much other guys/gals in the gym can lift, because you will not be able to come close to that, especially if you’re new. You have no idea how long they’ve been training for, have no idea whether they are on PED (performance-enhancing drugs). Sadly, most guys at the gym, who look good, are.

So stop trying to be a badass. Stop trying to impress other people. Try to impress yourself, don’t train for someone else, train for you and only you. Otherwise, you’ll look stupid and will most likely injure yourself.

Exercises for the gym

Pick a comfortable weight, which you can handle for 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps with proper form and do the following:

Bench Press

Bench press is probably the most favorite exercise for guys, however, gals should not be afraid of doing bench presses. Ladies, you won’t become manly, because you don’t produce as much testosterone as men do. [2]

The exercise works the pectoralis major as well as supporting chest, arm, and shoulder muscles. [3]


Deadlift is an exercise where you basically lift something heavy and then put it down. Rinse and repeat.

The deadlift activates a large number of individual muscles. [4]


Squatting is an exercise where you take that heavy stuff you lifted while performing a deadlift, but instead you try to sit down with it. Very simple, indeed.

Squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. [5]


Particularity the bent-over rows are a good exercise to train a variety of back muscles. Bent-over row is an exercise where you try to pull that heavy stuff, you picked up during your deadlift, towards your belly button, while bent over. It sounds and looks weird, but it works incredibly well.

A bent-over row is a weight training exercise that targets a variety of back muscles. Which ones are targeted varies on form. [6]

Exercises for home

Performing the same exercises at home are a little bit tricky, because you’ll need to invest a bit of money into a kettlebell, a couple dumbbells and a pull up bar. However, you can be creative and try to use something like a 20 liter bottle.

Personally, I’d recommend investing in proper equipment, because you’re actually investing in your health and well-being. So the at home alternatives for the 4 basic exercises are:

Push Ups

Push ups are your bench presses, just backwards and they use your own body weight. If push ups are way too easy for you, there are a ton of variations, which will make your training miserable again.

Kettlebell Deadlift

Same thing as a normal deadlift just uses a kettlebell. You can also try doing deadflift with dumbbells, although, I found that to be too awkward for my taste.


Squat all day, squat all night, the next day your butt won’t be alright.

Pull Ups

Pull ups are insanely difficult to do, I still suck at them. The best thing you can do to build up strength for doing pull ups is either do assisted pull ups (use resistance band to help you out), or reverse pulls ups (you jump up and slowly lower yourself).

Believe it or not, that’s it. Training, losing weight and dieting are dead simple. They are boring as hell, but it’s what needs to be done. However, what’s not boring is seeing progress on a weekly basis. So stop over thinking and start doing.

Written by Mark Forge

Mark Forge is the founder of FatForge - an information website dedicated to busting nutrition myths, scams and lies while helping people turn their weight around. If you want to lose weight I suggest starting here.

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