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The #1 Weight Lifting Routine To Achieve Superman Strength

Get stronger and improve your quality of life with these trainer-recommended exercises.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Building bigger, stronger muscles is among the most common fitness goals. And the best way to boost your strength is through weight lifting (or resistance training). But, while weight lifting is a fantastic way to increase strength and improve body composition, it can also enhance your quality of life, research shows. Strong, well-functioning muscles make it easier to carry out daily tasks. Lifting weights also helps prevent muscle loss (sarcopenia) that occurs naturally with aging. So we consulted with an expert who shares the ultimate weight lifting routine to build strength and muscle.

Fortunately, building superman strength doesn't mean you need to spend hours in the gym or squat 300 pounds to see results. Instead, sculpting a stronger body can begin with something as simple as a beginner 10-minute low-intensity workout in the comfort of your own home. Like any other fitness goal, the key to success is continuously adapting your workouts as your fitness improves. Plus, boosting your strength offers many other benefits related to bone health and mental well-being, says the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

It's recommended that healthy adults perform a minimum of two days of strength training per week, making sure to work on each major muscle group. But what weight lifting routine is best for maximizing your strength? To help get you started, we chatted with Kate Meier, CPT, a certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, who shares four killer weight lifting exercises to include in your routine for superman strength.

"This workout includes a selection of exercises that hit virtually every major muscle group, with a good mix of compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups at the same time," says Meier.

Read on for Meier's #1 weight lifting workout to build strength, then check out the 5 Best Exercises To Maintain Lower-Body Strength as You Age.

Barbell Squats

barbell front squat exercises for bigger legs

This traditional compound movement is necessary for anyone looking to increase their overall strength. Besides strengthening your quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings, squats can also help you burn more calories, improve bone health, and avoid injuries, according to the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).

To execute the barbell squat, Meier says, "Rack a barbell on your upper back or front of your shoulders, and position your legs at about hip-width apart or slightly wider with your toes pointed slightly outward. Lower yourself slowly, bending your knees and shifting your hips back. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, stand back up. Maintain a strong core, and don't let your shoulders sag forward during the movement."

Use a weight that makes eight to 10 reps challenging, and aim for three to four sets.

Dumbbell Biceps Curl to Press

man doing standing bicep curls

While curls can help you sculpt sleeve-busting biceps, they're an isolation exercise focusing on only one muscle group, which doesn't benefit overall strength. Instead, combining curls with a compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups (like the overhead press) is an effective way to boost strength.

"Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand," instructs Meier. "Start with your arms extended downward and palms facing forward, then bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Next, rotate the dumbbells outward until your palms face forward, keeping them at shoulder level. Next, press the dumbbells straight upward, stopping when your elbows are almost straight. Return to the starting position by reversing the motion, then repeat."

Perform eight to 10 reps for three to four sets using a moderate weight.

Walking Lunges

fit man doing dumbbell lunges, leg-strengthening exercises at the gym

Walking lunges are a fantastic exercise for strengthening your lower body, making them a stellar addition to this weight lifting workout to build strength. According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics, lunges can strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and core while improving balance and stability.

For walking lunges, Meier says, "Stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward, plant your front foot, and lower into a lunge until your front and rear legs reach about 90-degree angles. As you stand up, step your back leg forward, and plant it as you did with the first lunge. Lower yourself until your legs form right angles, then repeat, alternating with each rep."

Use lighter weights and aim for three to four sets of 12 reps per leg.

Barbell Bench Press

man doing barbell bench press exercise

If I were to guess, "How much do you bench?" likely ranks among the most frequently asked fitness-related questions ever. It's no wonder, considering the bench press is a strength training staple that deserves a place in any workout routine. This traditional compound movement activates several muscles, including your pecs (chest), triceps (back of upper arms), and delts (shoulders), for increased upper body strength.

"Lie on the bench face up, with your feet planted on the floor on each side. You should be far enough from the bar that you don't hit the rack when you press up, but make sure you're not so far that it's dangerous to unrack and rerack," advises Meier. "Pick the bar off the rack, and hover it over your chest. Then, slowly lower the bar while keeping your arms close to your body. Once the bar lightly touches your chest, press back up to the starting position and repeat."

Go for three to four sets of eight to 10 reps at a moderate weight.

Adam Meyer
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam
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