The Truth About The Big 3
Post at 14:34 - 10/04/2018

Three exercises you need to be doing regularly if you're serious about fitness

Richard Tidmarsh, owner of Reach Fitness, is one of the most respected personal trainers in London. Here, he explains the importance of the big three moves that every man should be doing...

 

 

So, we need to talk about the big three, and I'm not talking about Man United, Chelsea & Man City (sorry Arsenal & Tottenham fans!) The fact is, that if the big three exercises that I am about to list don’t spring to mind, then there is a good chance that you are wasting your precious time in the gym. 

I won’t keep you guessing any longer, I am talking about the deadlift, front squat and overhead press. In my opinion, these three movements, when combined, should form the key elements of any strength & conditioning roster, whether that be getting fit for a triathlon or to look buff on the beach.

Why are you doing these movements?

- Do you know they are important but are avoiding them because you know they are tough? 

- Would you like to do them but don’t know how to execute them correctly? 

- Or have you just been doing spin classes with your fingers crossed hoping to get in great shape? 

If you have been avoiding them due to a lazy approach in the gym then you just need to realise that although these movements are demanding, adding them into your regular routine will help you build strength, improve your posture, add lean mass and become more athletic. 

If you are worried about form, that's good news. Yes, these movements are tricky to execute correctly and you do need a good level of mobility in key joints and good posture control to execute them to a high level. Every time I step in to a Globo gym, I see all of these sacred movements being poorly executed. Don’t be 'that guy'. Find a good coach who can help you get the basics right because the list of benefits is too long to ignore. 

And if you are 'that guy' whose last twenty workouts have been spinning and you wonder why your arms haven’t grown, swap half of these workouts for time in the weights room.

 

 

The Deadlift

Simply, my number one exercise. If I was only allowed to do one lift for the rest of my gym career it would be the deadlift. In one movement, you are using every major muscle group in the body, developing great strength through your posterior chain while teaching you good movement patterns. And hell, who doesn’t like lifting heavy stuff off the floor in a cloud of chalk dust!  

 

 

The Front Squat

In my opinion the front squat will give you more bang for your buck than its close friend, the back squat. Yes, you will lift a lighter weight during front squats but it will force you to have greater flexibility, greater movement control and work your core more effectively than a back squat. 

 

 

The Overhead Press 

The final piece of the puzzle. Deadlift gives you pull, front squat moves you in a vertical plane and the overhead press gets you going upwards – the picture is complete. The overhead press needs to be your key upper body movement, which, rather than your typical bodybuilder style bench press, will build your chest, shoulders, core and back. 

Let’s Talk Numbers

Once you have grasped the shape and control needed for the big three, it is time to put some realistic goals in place. Use the following ratios to calculate what you should be lifting in comparison to your bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 100kg, and you are deadlifting 200kg, you are a beast. But remember your form. Always. 

An expert deadlift is 2:1, excellent: 1.5:1 and good 1:1. 

Front squat, your end goal should be 1.5:1. 

And start giving yourself high fives on overhead press when you get to 1:1. 

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