There are two types of weight training exercises that people use in the gym. Compound exercises are the big ones, the hardest ones, the ones that build the most muscle. A compound exercise is one that uses more than one joint to complete the movement. Good examples of these are bench press and squat. Isolation exercises are good for muscle building too, but much less effective than compound movements. Good examples of these are bicep curl and leg extension.
You should always start your weight training routine with compound movements. These exercises require the most energy and are responsible for the bulk of your muscle mass gains. It only makes sense to give them priority. Here’s an example of a well laid out chest workout as an example:
- Dumbbell bench press (compound)
- Incline bench press (compound)
- Check dip (compound)
- Cable flyes (isolation)