All of the best exercises for each major muscle group is what you'll find on this page.
I've organized these weight lifting exercises to go with the WLC System manual and the workouts.
I've made this page so there's no question about the exercises I prefer you use for the WLC System.
The WLC weight lifting programs are based on the WLC System principles that focus on building strength in the muscle building rep ranges using compound weight lifting exercises.
If you want to build muscle and lose fat, the WLC System is the way to go.
When you're using the WLC System, you'll focus on one exercise for each major muscle group in most of our programs: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Chest, Back Width, Back Depth, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, and Forearms.
I don't believe in working the Abs and Traps separately because they get worked enough with the other exercises.
For people that have to include an ab exercise and a trap exercise, I've included the best exercises for those muscle groups too — some people have weakness that they need to work on and we tell you how to do that within the WLC System Manual.
Please don't add in these exercises until you are sure that you need them, though.
You don't need extra ab exercises unless you've been at a low body fat percentage before and your abs weren't great looking. Then, you can add in an ab exercise. Until then, don't worry about them.
As for traps, unless you want huge traps I would not do an extra exercise. If traps are a weakness of yours, then choose the best trap exercise shown below. I personally don't think huge traps are something most people want.
If you do want large trap muscles, power shrugs are the way to go. The exercises on this page are the absolute best exercises for each major muscle group.
Remember, if you ever need help choosing the best exercises for your weight lifting program, I'm here to help.
Barbell Squats for Quads
For building the quads and the body as a whole, you can't get much better than squats. Barbell Squats are my favorite style of squat and usually the one you can lift the most amount of weight with.
Old Style Barbell Hack Squats are another quad exercise in which a lot of weight can be used. Always go below parallel with Squats.
Squats are a very tough exercise and can get in your head. You have to convince yourself to do more reps even when you want to quit.
When the weights start getting heavy, you've got to keep going. Be consistent with your workouts. Use good form and increase the weight throughout your WLC weight lifting program.
Stiff Legged Deadlifts for Hamstrings
Stiff Legged Deadlifts are the best hamstring exercise by far. I don't know of anything that remotely compares with this exercise. You really need to focus on form here and work on pushing thru your heels on every rep. Use your hamstrings to lift the weight.
I want you to go light with this exercise until you have your form perfect. Get a good stretch on each rep, and use the hamstrings to lift the weight. When you get it right, you'll know.
Leg Press Calf Raises for Calves
I love this exercise, but I don't have a leg press in my home gym to do this one regularly. Instead, I use hip belt calf raises and hip belt donkey calf raises.
If you have a leg press available, this should be your calf exercise of choice.
This exercise is so good because of the stretch you can get in your calves and the huge amount of weight you can use. The WLC Method of Calf Raises is not shown in the video above.
I want you to explode on each rep to a peak contraction for 3 seconds, hold the peak contraction while striving for a better contraction for 3 seconds, lower slowly, and then hold the stretch for 3 seconds. That's one rep.
You will REALLY build your calves with the WLC Method.
Incline Barbell Bench for Chest
This is my favorite exercise for the chest. I actually like the incline to be slightly lower than the one in the video below. But, the form is perfect in the video below.
I also love using dumbbells for the incline bench press. Either exercise is fine with me. Use the barbell or dumbbells. Usually, you can get more weight up with the barbell.
Chin Ups for Back Width
I want you extending your arms all the way at the bottom of each rep. The guy in the video below does extend his arms on about half of the reps. You'll get the best stretch in your back on every rep by extending the arms, and it will help you to focus on using your back to lift yourself.
If you have trouble doing pull ups at this time, I would like for you to use the jump up method to get yourself to the top and lower yourself slowly on each rep to the bottom. Hold on until you are at the very bottom with your arms extended. Before long, you'll be doing pull ups for reps.
Barbell Rows for Back Depth
I love the style of barbell rows in the video below. Women always seem to have better form than men on most exercises. The woman below is using perfect form and technique.
The style of barbell rows used in the video above is called a Pendlay Row. Barbell rows are one of the best exercises you can perform for your overall back. Use these in a cycle of WLC and see the results they give.
Overhead Press for Shoulders
Please watch the video below no matter what you think you know about the overhead press. This is a great video on how to perform the overhead press.
I love the overhead press and using this technique will help you lift more weight in the future.
If you want to build your entire shoulder region, the overhead press is the best exercise for doing so! Watch the video above and practice getting it right. Then increase the weight throughout your WLC weight training program.
Alternate Dumbbell Curls for Biceps
I have always believed that the alternate dumbbell curl is the best exercise for the biceps. You can use heavy weights for this exercise.
The guy in the video below is using perfect form. As the weights get heavier, I like to use a little body english to help get the dumbbell up. I then lower the weight under control.
Alternate Dumbbell Curls have never failed me in the muscle building department. Use them in your WLC weightlifting program and increase the amount lifted according to the WLC strategy.
Parallel Dips for Triceps
Parallel Dips are the best exercise for triceps.
Close grip and reverse bench presses are great exercises too, but I prefer the dip.
If you have trouble doing dips for very many reps, use the same method as stated for pull ups above. Jump to get yourself upwards and lower slowly to the bottom position.
Dips not only work your triceps but pretty much work your entire upper body. Try to stay as upright as possible throughout the movement to move more of the load to your triceps.
A forward lean moves the load more to your chest. Dips are the ultimate exercise for building muscle and strength in your triceps and your entire upper body.
Pinwheel Curls for Forearms
Watch the video below. This is what I mean when I say use some body english when the weight gets heavy.
The most important part of every rep is the negative, so be under control like the guy in the video but use the extra body movement to get the weight up when needed.
The guy in the video is insanely strong. You can use a lot of weight on pinwheel curls and that's why I prefer them as the best exercise for forearms.
I've used up to 90 pounds — trying to get to 120's or so.
Try them and you'll love them. Get back to me after a WLC muscle building cycle with pinwheel curls and tell me they aren't great!
Swiss Ball Crunches for Abs
Watch the video below and learn the best exercise for your abdominals. See the stretch you can get with the swiss ball? If you've never done them before, you'll absolutely love them.
Remember, I don't recommend doing an extra exercise for your abs on the WLC System. If you want to see your abs, all you need to do is lose some fat.
Everyone has abs under the layer of fat. If your abs are very weak, add abdominal exercises before or after your cardio workouts.
Compound weight lifting exercises really improve your core strength too.
Power Shrugs for Traps
If you are lacking in trap development and you're an experienced weight lifter, I suggest you add a trap exercise in your WLC Program.
I don't suggest any tap exercise for any beginners. Deadlifts work the traps very well, and you should see how much they develop with deadlifts before adding another exercise.
The guy in the video below is doing power shrugs perfectly with a lot of weight.
The deadlifts I recommend on the WLC Program will build your traps along with some of the other exercises. If you don't perform stiff legged deadlifts, I always suggest you choose Barbell Deadlifts from the floor as your back depth exercise.
Deadlifts will build those traps. Power Shrugs are the absolute best exercise to focus on the traps alone. Don't go to the Power Shrugs unless you are for sure Deadlifts aren't doing enough for your traps.