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6 Hard Truths About Exercising by James Clear, including the ten best exercises

Everybody gotta exercise, man.

6 Hard Truths About Exercising Business Insider

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6 Hard Truths About Exercising Business Insider


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3. Not all exercises are equal.

Great results come from great focus, not great variety.

Too many people waste time in the gym because they bounce around without any real goal, doing a little bit of this machine and a little bit of that machine. Thankfully, there is a simple rule that will always guide you toward the best exercises: The more an exercise makes you move, the bigger the benefits it will deliver.

This is why the clean and jerk and the snatch are the kingpins of weightlifting. They are the exercises that force your body to move the most (and the quickest). As a result, the people who do these exercises see incredible results.

Here’s a short list of the best exercises. In my opinion, at least one of the first five exercises should be included in every workout.

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift
  3. Bench Press
  4. Clean and Jerk
  5. Snatch
  6. Sprints
  7. Overhead Press
  8. Good Mornings
  9. Pullups
  10. Pushups

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The reason more people don't do the Olympic lifts (clean and jerk, and snatch) is precisely that they make you move the most... and therefore if you screw up even a little, you get the most injured. They are the most advanced weight-lifting movements, and I think you shouldn't even THINK about doing them until you have mastered the other basic lifts. Also, no one should recommend them without giving a pointer to a good tutorial like this:

One of the things I have consistently noticed over the years is that in the weight room the most serious athletes use paper and pencil, not fancy computer stuff. This is in contrast to other sports like cycling, where everything is computerized. I don't know if it's because there aren't as many subjective variables in weight training or if there's something about hauling free weights that is intrinsically tech-averse -- I mean, the tools of the sport have barely changed in 100 years, whereas cycling is constantly on the cutting edge of sport technology -- but I know that when I see a guy with a Fitbit in the gym, he is going to be a buster and headed straight to the cardio machines.

Yeah, most people don't need those advanced moves. Thanks for the tutorial.

I feel like treadmill plus bench press, squats, overhead press, and push-ups are enough for most people to start with. 

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