25 Best Barbell Exercises To Build Mass, Strength and Power

Are you looking to improve your muscle mass, strength, and endurance levels? Barbell training might be the answer you are looking for.

Barbell exercises are a great way to build strength, increase muscle mass, and burn fat. The barbell is a versatile piece of equipment that can be loaded with more weight than cable and dumbbells. This makes it an effective tool for building full body mass, strength, and power.

However, with so many exercises available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start if you’re new to barbell exercises. You’re in luck because here’s a guide to get you started, with a list of the 25 best barbell workouts for mass, strength, and power.

In this post, we will explore the following.

Table of Contents

What is Barbell Exercises

The term “barbell exercises” refers to strength-building exercises that employ a barbell, which is a long, metal bar with weight plates attached at both ends.

Barbell exercises are usually compound movements that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. Some of the barbell exercises also target specific muscle groups (isolation exercises) such as barbell curl, barbell tricep extension.

These workouts can be done in a variety of places, like a gym or a home workout. They can be part of a comprehensive fitness regimen that aims to build up muscle mass, power, and endurance.

The big five exercises for barbell workout plans are back squat, bench press, barbell row, deadlift, and overhead press. Barbells can be used by men and women of any age to train their upper, lower, and full body.

How To Do A Workout With Barbell

Using the barbell, you’ll be able to hit all areas of the upper and lower body muscles from different angles and through a full range of motion.

You can also change body positioning, weight load, and grip width, which can alter your grip and stance, thus targeting your muscles effectively.

To structure an effective workout with a barbell to increase mass and strength, the number of reps and sets will vary based on your fitness level, weekly workout frequency, and strength training goals.

For strength gains, do 4 to 6 sets of 1 to 6 reps for each exercise, using a weight that is at least 85% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM). The fewer reps you perform, the closer to 100% of your 1RM you should strive for.

If your goal is hypertrophy (muscle growth), perform three sets of each exercise, using loads that are 70 to 85% of your 1RM for 8 to 12 reps.

When training for endurance, it is usually recommended to use higher reps (15 to 20) and moderate loads, with a weight that is at least 50 to 70% of your 1RM.

Know more about the calories' requirement. TDEE Calculator

25 Best Barbell Exercises For Full body Workout

Incorporating the barbell machine into your workout will increase your strength and muscle mass. Here are the 25 best barbell exercises to strengthen your full body.

  1. Barbell Squat
  2. Front Squat
  3. Barbell Hip Bridge
  4. Barbell Lunges
  5. Barbell Standing Calf Raise
  6. Bent Over Barbell Rows
  7. Deadlift
  8. Barbell Good Morning
  9. Landmine Row 
  10. Bench Press
  11. Incline Bench Press
  12. Decline Press
  13. Close-Grip Bench Press
  14. Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension
  15. Lying Barbell Triceps Extension
  16. Barbell Curl
  17. Close Grip Preacher Curl
  18. Barbell Reverse Curl
  19. Barbell Overhead Press
  20. Barbell Upright Row
  21. Barbell Shrug
  22. Barbell Rollout
  23. Landmine Twists
  24. Clean and Jerk
  25. Barbell Push Press

1. Barbell Squat

The barbell squat is the king of all exercises, the only challenger being the barbell deadlift. Nothing comes close to squats exercises to build muscle mass and tone the legs muscles.

Squat exercise is loved by men because it is great at strengthening the legs and core, shocking the body into releasing testosterone, and promoting the development of body-wide muscle and strength.

Barbell Squat

How To Do

  1. Step on the rack so that the barbell rests across the back of your shoulders.
  2. Raise the barbell and get away from the rack if you are doing with free weights.
  3. Bend your knees and lower yourself with your back straight and head up until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Now raise yourself up using only the thigh power, keeping your back straight in a position with legs nearly locked out.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Keep your back straight, torso upright, head up, and feet flat.
  • Start light and add weight gradually, allowing your legs and lower back to adapt.
  • Concentrate on the form.
  • If lifting heavy, have a spotter ready, or use a squat rack or power rack.

2. Barbbell Front Squat

The barbell front squat is another great exercise for your leg workout, and it works the same target and synergistic muscles. However, it recruits more stabilizer muscles, including various back muscles, your shoulders, and your chest.

The barbell front squat is more advanced than the barbell squat. It helps to build entire thighs and focuses especially on the outer thigh region.

Front Squat

How To Do

  1. Step on a Smith machine and get the bar on your shoulders in front of you.
  2. Grasping it with your crossed arms and lift it off the rack.
  3. Maintain the natural arch in your lower back and keep your head directed forward.
  4. Perform a squat, bending your knees and driving your hips back to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  5. From this position push yourself back to the starting point.


  • Start light and add weight gradually, allowing your legs and lower back time to adapt.
  • If lifting heavy, have a spotter ready, or use a squat rack or power rack.

3. Barbell Hip Bridge

When you spend the majority of your day sitting, your glute muscles can get weaker, while the hip flexors in the front of your thighs can shorten, making them feel tight.

But when you practice glute bridges regularly you are targeting your glutes, hamstring and your lower back muscles, those muscles that are meant to hold your body upright will get stronger.

Barbell Hip Bridge

How To Do

  1. Lie supine (on your back) under a loaded barbell and position the bar so that it is over your hips.
  2. Grip the barbell to keep it in place, and flex both knees to plant both feet flat on the floor.
  3. Exhale as you raise the barbell off the floor by fully extending your hips.
  4. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glutes and hold for a count of two.
  5. Inhale as you slowly lower the barbell back to the floor.
  6. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions


  • Do not push with your arms.
  • Don’t overextend your back during the exercises, this may cause lower back pain.

4. Barbell Lunges

When doing leg workout with barbell, them must do barbell lunge, as it is a brilliant exercise that helps you to strengthen your legs.

Barbell Lunges are a power move to build Quadriceps and butt muscles.

Use barbell lunges leg exercises to develop balance, coordination, and the unilateral (one-sided) functional strength of your legs, which is important for athletic performance and overall fitness.

Try another variation: 

Barbell Lunges

How To Do

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell across your upper back, just below the base of your neck.
  2. Step forward with one leg and lower your body until your back knee almost touches the ground.
  3. Make sure your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle, and your back knee is hovering just above the ground.
  4. Push through your front foot to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat on the other side.


  • Bend as far and low as possible without losing form.
  • Keep your torso upright and your head facing forward.
  • If you suffer from balance problems, it is best either avoid it, or just use your own body weight while holding on to a steady object.

5. Barbell Standing Calf Raise

The barbell standing calf raise is a machine-based exercise targeting the muscles of the calves, particularly the gastrocnemius or upper calf muscle.

It is usually performed for moderate to high reps, such as 12–20 reps per set or more, as part of the lower body portion of a workout.

Barbell Standing Calf Raise

How To Do

  1. Stand upright with a barbell supported on your upper back.
  2.  Hold the barbell with both hands facing forward.
  3. Push off the balls of your feet to raise your heels as high as possible.
  4. Make sure to flex your calf at the top of the contraction. Hold the contracted position for a second.
  5. Breathe in as you return to the starting position by lowering your heels.  
  6. Repeat the desired the repetitions.


  • Your knees should remain extended.
  • Don’t let your heels touch the floor throughout the set.
  • Use the maximum range of motion by allowing your heels to drop as far as possible and then raising them as high as possible.
Related Post: Barbell Leg Exercises For Strength And Power

6. Barbell Bent Over Barbell Rows

If you are looking to strengthen the upper back and add massive muscle to the upper back region, then bent over barbell rows is the best barbell back exercise.

Spacing your hands shoulder-width apart or closer targets the central inner section of the lats, whereas a wider grip targets the outer back muscles.

  • A narrow grip keeps the elbows close to the body, which makes it harder to extend the shoulders and pull them away from the body. This forces the lat muscles to work harder, which makes them stronger.
  • The wide grip encouraged by the flared elbows helps reduce lat involvement, allowing you to target the rhomboids, traps and rear delt.
Bent Over Barbell Rows

How To Do

  1. Stand with a narrow stance and grab a bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Bend your torso forward at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor with the knees slightly, and let the bar hang in front of you.
  3. Now use the back and raise the bar until it touches the abdominal region and not the chest region, as it reduces back muscle contraction.
  4. Slowly lower the bar under control to the starting position.


  • Exhale on pushing movement, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
  • Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.

7. Deadlift

The deadlift is the King of all exercises. This power exercise designed to build an overall physique that uses more muscles than any other exercise.

The deadlift is the best exercise for posterior chain muscle strengthening. It works your whole body including the Lower back, upper back, arms, legs, and buttocks.  


How To Do

  1. Place a barbell loaded with weights in front of you. Grab the barbell using an underhand grip with one hand and overhand grip with the other hand. Remember to keep your back as straight as possible and contract your back and hamstrings.
  2. Now raise the bar from the ground using your hamstrings and glutes. You should keep your legs slightly bent, back straight and head looking up.
  3. Raise it to the point where your body is erect. Do not hyperextend your body as the weight shifts to the lumbar spine. Hold the bar for a moment at the top of the lift and remember to lockouts.
  4. Now lower the bar slowly at a steady slow pace by bending at the hips first and then at the knees and let the weight touch the ground for a moment before you begin the next rep


  • Lower back muscles take along to recuperate and hence once a week heavy deadlifts will do the job.
  • Go full range of motion and keep form correct. Avoid jerky movements and keep them controlled.
Related Post: 10 Best Barbell Back Exercises For Strength And Mass

8. Barbell Good Morning

It is known as a good morning because of the movement in the erector spinae which resembles the rise out of bed to stretch.

The erectors are just like any other muscle, growing best when shortened and lengthened. Good morning exercise do just that.

The erector spinae muscles of the lower back work isometrically to keep the spine in an extended position, while the hamstrings and gluteus maximus work isotonically to perform hip extension.

Barbell Good Morning

How To Do

  1. Stand holding a barbell on the back of your shoulders, grasping the Stick at each side. Can also perform the exercise as in the bodyweight version.
  2. Keeping your knees slightly flexed and your back and neck neutral, inhale as you flex your hips to lower your torso until it is close to, or fully, horizontal.
  3. Exhale as you raise your torso back up to the starting position by extending your hips.


  • Keep your back and neck neutral throughout the exercise.
  • It is recommended that the lifter avoid rounding (flexing), or rotation (twisting) at any point during the movement.
  • Keep the movement slow, the form strict, and the weight light.

9. Landmine Row 

The Landmine row is one of the best barbell exercises for developing back thickness. Check the correct execution technique and blast your lat muscles.

It is a tough exercise, but building a strong back is a must to develop a quality physique, stay injury-free, and back pain-free for life.


How To Do

  1. Stand over the bar with a wide stance, with the barbell loaded.
  2. Get into a bent over position with your spine straight and your chest up.
  3. Keep your back arched while you bend at the hips.
  4. Lift the bar until it touches your chest, keeping your back straight.
  5. Now slowly lower the bar until it nearly contacts the floor.
  6. Repeat the desired number of reps


  • It is best to avoid hunchback bending as it can lead to injury.
  • Make sure you go through the entire range of motion.
Read More: Landmine Exercises For Building Muscle And Strength

10. Barbell Bench Press

The bench Press, one of the best chest muscle-building exercises. This exercise should be the center of all your barbell chest workouts.

The Flat Barbell Chest Press is the fundamental exercise for the upper body and should be a part of any best chest exercises regime. That’s why, for overall chest development, the barbell chest press always remains on the top of the list.

Bench Press

How To Do

  1. Lie flat on the bench keeping your feet on the floor for better balance.
  2. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it at arm’s length above you.
  3. Now lower the bar under controlled motion until it touches above the chest (around the nipple area).
  4. Now raise it until your arms are nearly locked out.


  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Do not bounce the weights off the chest.
  • Avoid too much arching of the back.
  • For heavyweights, use a spotter.

11. Incline Barbell Bench Press

The Incline barbell chest Press is a great exercise to add to your barbell chest exercise, arsenal.

It is a version of the traditional bench press in which the bench is positioned at about a 30-45 degree angle.

Incline Bench Press exercise focuses on the upper chest more and therefore helps build massive upper pecs.

Incline Bench Press

How To Do 

  1. Lie on an incline bench, and set at about 30-45 degrees.
  2. Lift the weight off the rack and hold it above you at arm’s length.
  3. Lower the bar until it just touches above the nipple area.
  4. Raise your arms until they are nearly locked out.


  • Perform press in a controlled manner.
  • Set a bench at about 30-45 degrees inclined. Do not go more upright as the stress shifts more to the shoulders rather than the chest area.

12. Barbell Decline Press

The decline barbell bench press is an excellent exercise for strengthening your lower chest muscles.

In a decline chest press, the bench is set to 15 to 30 degrees on a decline. This angle places your upper body on a downward slope, which activates the lower pectoral muscles as you push weights away from your body.

Decline Press

How To Do Decline Press

  1. Lie on a decline bench and take a shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar.
  2. Lower the weight slowly down to touch your lower chest.
  3. Push the bar straight up until your elbows lock out.
  4. Repeat the desired number of reps.


  • Perform them before triceps in any workout.
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements
  • For heavyweights, use a spotter.

13. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

The close grip bench press is a variation of the bench press and an exercise used to build muscle and strength in the chest and triceps.

This position places emphasis on building strength and size of the triceps muscles, as well as the chest.

This exercise will help you strengthen your chest, shoulders, and triceps, as well as develop a strong upper body.

Close-Grip Bench Press

How To Do

  1. Lie flat on a bench-press bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. With your hands shoulder-width apart, grasp the barbell with an overhand grip.
  3. Unrack the bar and slowly lower it to your lower chest, keeping your elbows as close to your sides as possible.
  4. At the bottom of the movement, your elbows should be a little lower than your shoulders.
  5. Press the bar back up to the starting position.


  • Using anything closer than a shoulder-width grip increases triceps involvement, but can increase stress on the wrists.
  • If you’re new to weight lifting and this exercise, use a spotter.
  • Inhale slowly as you lower the bar to your chest, and exhale during the push upward.
  • Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement.

14. Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension

The overhead triceps extension is another great triceps exercise that can be done with a barbell.

It is a relatively simple yet effective exercise for the development of the triceps. 

It works all three heads of the muscle, it especially targets the long head of the triceps.

Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension

How To Do Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension

  1. Sit on a low-back bench and extend a barbell overhead, holding it with a shoulder-width grip.
  2. Keep your upper arms right beside your head.
  3. Slowly lower the bar behind your head until your elbows form 90-degree angles, then lift it back to full arm extension.
  4. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.


  • Keep your body and upper arms still. Only your forearms should move.
  • Using the EZ bar instead of a standard barbell can be easier on your wrists.

15. Lying Barbell Triceps Extension

The lying barbell tricep extension is another great exercise for building strength in your arms. It is one of the best tricep-building exercises.

It is an overhead extension performed while lying on a flat bench and either using a flat barbell, EZ bar, dumbbell.

Lying Triceps Extension

How To Do

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet on the floor.
  2. Hold a barbell at full arm extension over your chest.
  3. Keeping your upper arms stationary, slowly lower your lower arms to bring the bar down to your forehead, then push it back up.
  4. Do not lock your elbows out, and repeat for desired reps.


  • Keep the movement in your shoulders to a minimum. Most of the movement should be in your elbows.
  • This exercise should be done slowly and carefully under good control.
Know More: 7 Best Barbell Triceps Exercises For Mass And Strength

16. Barbell Curl

If you’re looking for straightforward barbell bicep exercises to add to your routine, barbell curls are a great staple exercise to get you started.

The barbell curl is a highly recognizable biceps exercise that builds biceps muscle massIt’s a great exercise for seeing results in strength and definition.

A barbell curl is a pull-type, isolation exercise that works primarily on your biceps and also trains the muscles in your forearms.

Here are some common barbell bicep curl variations:

  1. Wide grip barbell curl
  2. Close grip barbell curl
  3. Incline bench barbell curl
  4. EZ-bar curl
Barbell Curl

How To Do

  1. Hold a barbell at arm’s length, using a shoulder-width underhand grip.
  2. Curl the bar up to shoulder level by bending your elbows.
  3. Lower the bar back down to the arms’ extended position.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your biceps.
  • The motion should occur at the elbow to isolate the biceps, not on the shoulders.

17. Barbbell Preacher Curl

The Preacher curl is the another great exercise for your barbell workout. It is the best exercise to build a long head of biceps. You can get fullness in this crucial area by giving your arms a complete look.

If you have a long tendon, then the preacher curl is the best exercise to build a longer biceps lower head and get a full biceps pump.

Preacher curl

How To Do

  1. Get seated on the Preacher Bench with your chest against the support and hold the barbell with a close grip (can be hip width or closer).
  2. Curl the bar as in standard barbell curl and get maximum contraction at the top.
  3. Lowering the bar slowly gives constant stress throughout the movement.
  4. Repeats the desired number of sets.


  • Do not lift off the back. Use your biceps only.
  • Keep the motion slow and controlled throughout the set.
  • Squeeze the biceps as hard as possible as you get the weight to the top.

18. Barbell Reverse Curl

Finally, If you are looking for one more effective barbell arm exercise, you could try the barbell reverse curl.

The barbell reverse curl is a non-negotiable component of arm workouts.

A standard barbell curl will still work the same muscles, but a reverse curl (pronated grip) variation hits certain muscles (brachialis & brachioradialis) a little better.

Barbell Reverse Curl

How To Do

  1. Grab the bar with a shoulder width grip with your hands on top of the bar (pronated grip)
  2. Curl the bar up to shoulder level by bending your elbows.
  3. Lower the bar back down to the arms’ extended position.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Your body should remain fixed. Only your biceps should be used to move the weight.
  • The motion should occur at the elbow.
  • Ensure that your elbows are kept close to your sides with your knees slightly bent, and your hands gripped tightly to the bar.
Know More: Barbell Bicep Exercises & Workout For Mass & Strength

19. Barbell Overhead Press

If you’re looking for straightforward barbell shoulder exercises to add to your routine, overhead press are a great staple exercise to get you started.

The military press is used primarily to build the deltoid muscle. It also indirectly targets the other muscles of the shoulder, your triceps, and your core.

Since the military press is completed standing up, it involves a lot of core strength to help stabilize the spine while pressing weight overhead.

Barbell Overhead-Press

How To Do

  1. Assume a shoulder width stance and place your hands at (or just outside of) shoulder width with a pronated grip on the bar.
  2. Bring the bar over and in front of your head, under your chin, and just above your upper chest.
  3. Now Press the bar straight up overhead until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
  4. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the desired number of reps.


  • Perform a warm-up with 50% weight for 1-2 sets.
  • Keep momentum out of the movement, and don’t add any additional leg drive by flexing and extending the knees.
  • Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs as you press. You shouldn’t be leaning back excessively as you press.
Related Post: Barbell Shoulder Exercises To Build Mass And Strength

20. Barbell Upright Row

The barbell upright row is an excellent exercise that you can do at home to, build huge Trapezius muscles.

Upright rows can be done with both narrow grips and wider ones.

  • The narrow grip focuses on the trapezius, and the wider focuses on the entire shoulder girdle
  • Moreover, the wider grip allows some cheating movement, thereby allowing you to lift more weight.
Barbell Upright Row

How To Do

  1. Hold a bar with an overhand grip and let it hang in front of you.
  2. Lift the bar and get it as close as possible to the chin, using your arms and elevating your shoulders to squeeze your trapezius muscles.
  3. Now, lower the bar under controlled motion until it comes back to its starting position.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.


  • Focus on keeping your elbows higher than your forearms.
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Keep your back straight.

21. Barbell Shrug

The barbell shrug is one of the best shoulder exercises to build bigger and stronger trap muscles.

The shrug is one of the simplest and easy trap exercises to perform.

You can do the shrug either using a dumbbell, barbell, and smith machine, but the barbell variation is the classic variation to build massive traps.

Barbell Shrug

How To Do

  1. Stand with feet placed shoulder-width apart, knee slightly bent, and core stable.
  2. Grip the barbell with your hands facing downwards, in a pronated grip.
  3. Raise your shoulders without bending the elbows as far as possible, getting them closer to your ears.
  4. Hold the contraction and squeeze for a brief second.
  5. In a controlled and stable manner, lower the weight back down to the starting position.


  • Go as high as possible, but limit momentum and excessive jerking or bouncing of the weight.
  • Go full range. Move only the shoulders and keep the rest of the body steady.

22. Barbell Rollout

Research indicates that the barbell rollout is a highly efficient workout for targeting various areas of the core and abs, specifically the rectus abdominis and obliques.

Abs slide is best performed with a barbell that has rotating collars and is considered more difficult than other ab roller variations.

While it may be difficult for some male lifters at first, they will be rewarded with a strong core once they can perform a single rep.

Barbell rollout

How To Do

  1. Kneel on the floor in front of a loaded barbell and grab the barbell with an overhand, shoulder-width group.
  2. Your arms should be straight and your torso fairly upright in the start position.
  3. Allow the bar to roll forward as far as possible with just your knees and toes touching the floor while you maintain your grip on the bar.
  4. The goal is to be as flat as possible in the finish position, with your torso and upper legs parallel with the floor and hovering just a couple of inches above it.
  5. Then reverse the motion to pull the bar back toward your knees until your body is upright again.
  6. Repeat for as many reps as possible.


  • Move within a comfortable range of motion.
  • Do not allow your hips to sag at any point during the movement.

23. Landmine Twists

Landmine twist is another best exercise for your oblique workout. When you add a landmine twist to an exercise, your obliques will work hard.

The landmine twist is a rotational abdominal movement performed using an angled barbell anchored at floor level in a landmine device. It can also be performed by sticking a barbell in the corner of a room.

It targets the deep muscles of the core, including both the obliques and the transversus abdominis.

Landmine Twists

How To Do 

  1. Position a bar into a landmine or securely anchor it in a corner. Load the bar to an appropriate weight.
  2. Raise the bar off the floor, taking it to shoulder height with both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Adopt a wide stance.
  3. Rotate the trunk and hips as you swing the weight all the way down to one side.
  4. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise.
  5. Reverse the motion to swing the weight all the way to the opposite side.


  • Keep a slight bend in your knees as you rotate, this should help take a bit of tension off your lumbar spine during the movement.
  • Try to keep your arms straight.

Full-Body Barbell Exercises To Build Strength and Power

The barbell allows you to lift heavy weights and perform compound exercises that recruit multiple large muscle groups at once.

Using these full-body barbell exercises in your strength training routine is an effective way to build overall power and muscular fitness.

24. Clean and Jerk

The hang clean and jerk is a complex exercise that involves multiple movements performed in quick succession.

It requires to be coordinated flexion and extension of various joints and muscles throughout the entire body, combining both pulling and pushing motions into a single exercise.

 The hang clean and jerk exercise is an effective and efficient way to achieve a full-body workout in a short period of time.

It is one of the lifts that athletes do at events like the Olympics and other weightlifting competitions.

Load (% of 1RM)

How To Do

  1. Start by standing in front of the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower down to grip the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart, and with an overhand grip.
  3. Lift the barbell by extending the hips and knees, pulling it to the shoulders.
  4. Once at shoulder level, lower down into a partial squat, then jerk the barbell overhead by fully extending the hips and knees, and pushing the barbell with the arms.


  • Practice proper form and technique with lighter weights before progressing to heavier loads.
  • Focus on explosiveness and speed during the lift, especially during the jerk portion of the movement.
  • Maintain a tight core and straight back throughout the lift.
  • Consider working with a coach or experienced trainer to refine your technique and avoid injury.

25. Barbell Push Press

The barbell push press is a compound exercise that targets the shoulders, triceps, and chest muscles.

It involves using a barbell to push the weight overhead, starting from a shoulder-level rack position.

push press

How To Do

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell in a shoulder-level rack position.
  • Slightly dip your knees and explosively push the barbell overhead, extending your arms fully.
  • Lower the barbell back down to the starting position with control.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Keep your core tight and engaged.
  • Use a weight that is challenging but allows you to perform the exercise with proper form.
  • Inhale on the way down and exhale as you push the barbell overhead.
  • Always warm up before it.

Barbell Training Tip To Avoid Mistakes

When performing barbell exercises, proper form and technique are crucial to prevent injury and get the most out of your workout. Implementing these barbell training tips will help you avoid common mistakes that can limit your progress.

1. Poor form

It’s important to use proper form to avoid injury and to work the muscles well. Engage your core, maintain good posture, and use a full range of motion

2. Lifting too much weight

It’s important to start with a weight that lets you do the exercise properly. As you get stronger, increase the weight gradually to avoid injury and poor form.

3. Not using a spotter

Certain exercises like the bench press can be risky without a spotter. Always use a spotter when lifting heavy weights to ensure your safety.

4. Neglecting warm-up and cool-down

Warming up your muscles before performing barbell exercises and cooling down with static stretching after the workout can prevent injury and muscle soreness.

5. Overtraining

It is important to allow your muscles time to rest and recover in order to avoid injury and promote progress. Each muscle group should be worked 1-2 times per week and at least 2 rest days per week.

Benefits of Barbell Exercises

Barbell exercises are a great way to build strength, muscle, and power. They are also effective for improving bone health, reducing the risk of injuries, and improving overall health and fitness.

From building full-body power to improving athletic performance, barbells should be a staple in your workout program.

1. Builds Strength

Barbell exercises are one of the most effective strength-building exercises you can perform.

They work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allowing you to lift heavier weights and develop greater overall strength.

2. Time Efficiency

The four basic barbell exercises – squat, bench press, overhead press, and deadlift – are multi-joint exercises that offer a full-body workout, making them an excellent time-saver.

These lifts are also the foundation of popular weightlifting programs, such as starting strength.

3. Improved Athletic Performance

Barbell training helps in developing efficient neuromuscular connections, leading to significant strength gains.

You also improve your balance and coordination through barbell exercises, which can enhance your overall athletic performance.

By building strength and power, you’ll be able to run faster, jump higher, and perform better in any physical activity.

4. Affordability and Convenience

Many people are attracted to the convenience and ease of exercising at home, and it may be the only viable option. Furthermore, many people do not have access to a gym.

However, all you need for a barbell workout is a barbell and weights, making it easy to set up a home gym.

5. Versatility

Barbell exercises are not just limited to building muscle. Lightweight barbells can be used for endurance and cardio workouts, making them a central part of many branded fitness classes.

6. Increases Muscle Mass

Barbell exercises can help you build muscle mass and make muscles stronger. By placing stress on your muscles, they stimulate muscle growth and repair, leading to increased muscle size over time.

7. Improves bone density

A study has shown that weight-bearing exercises like barbell exercises can improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.

8. Boosts metabolism

Barbell exercises are a great way to increase your calorie burn and boost your metabolism. When you engage in barbell exercises, resulting in an increase in muscle mass and overall strength.

This increase in muscle mass leads to a higher metabolic rate, which means your body will burn more calories even when you are at rest.

Barbell Exercise Programs For Mass, Strength, And Power

Barbell exercise programs can be designed to target different goals, such as building muscle mass, increasing strength, or improving power. Some of the most common barbell exercises for building full body mass, strength, and power include:

1. Strength Barbell Training Program

The purpose of strength training is to increase the amount of force that a muscle can produce.

If your goal is to build maximum strength, it’s recommended to work with a load that’s around 85 percent of your one-rep maximum (1-RM).

Aim to perform a total of 10 to 25 reps, which can be achieved through various set and rep schemes such as three sets of five reps, five sets of five reps, four sets of six reps, or five sets of two reps.

Load (% of 1RM)80-90
Reps per set1-5
Sets per exercise4-7
Rest between sets (mins)2-6
Duration (seconds per set)5-10
Speed per rep (% of max)60-100
Training sessions per week3-6

2. Power Barbell Training Program

Power training focuses on improving explosive power and speed. It involves doing exercises with a lot of force and speed, usually with heavy weights or resistance.

Power training is a technique commonly employed by athletes engaged in sports requiring rapid, explosive movements, such as sprinting, jumping, and throwing.

This type of training can also help you build strength, muscle tone, and body composition.

Power training typically involves exercises such as Olympic lifts, plyometrics, and explosive movements.

Load (% of 1RM)45-55
Reps per set1-5
Sets per exercise3-5
Rest between sets (mins)2-6
Duration (seconds per set)4-8
Speed per rep (% of max)90-100
Training sessions per week3-6

3. Hypertrophy Barbell Training Program

Hypertrophy training is a form of resistance training that focuses on increasing muscle size through the use of moderate to high volume and intensity.

The purpose of hypertrophy training is to stimulate muscle growth and increase muscular size and definition.

Hypertrophy training involves progressive overload, metabolic stress, and muscle damage. This means gradually increasing resistance, creating metabolic byproducts during high-rep exercises, and causing micro-tears in muscle fibers to stimulate growth.

Load (% of 1RM)60-80
Reps per set6-12
Sets per exercise4-8
Rest between sets (mins)2-5
Duration (seconds per set)20-60
Speed per rep (% of max)60-90
Training sessions per week5-7

4. Endurance Barbell Training Program

The purpose of endurance training is to enhance both cardiovascular and muscular endurance. It involves exercising at a steady, moderate intensity for an extended period of time, such as running, cycling, or swimming.

Intensive endurance training can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and promote weight loss. This type of training usually involves exercising for 30 minutes or more at a moderate intensity.

Endurance training can be combined with strength training and flexibility exercises to make a good fitness program.

Load (% of 1RM)40-60
Reps per set15-60
Sets per exercise2-4
Rest between sets (mins)1-2
Duration (seconds per set)80-150
Speed per rep (% of max)60-80
Training sessions per week8-14

Summary For Barbell Training Chart

Strength, Power, Hypertrophy and Endurance table of Mell Siff’s Supertraining

Load (% of 1RM)80-9045-5560-8040-60
Reps per set1-51-56-1215-60
Sets per exercise4-73-54-82-4
Rest between sets (mins)2-62-62-51-2
Duration (seconds per set)5-104-820-6080-150
Speed per rep (% of max)60-10090-10060-9060-80
Training sessions per week3-63-65-78-14

Barbell Workout Plans To Train Full Body

Full-body barbell routines target all the major muscle groups in each workout, providing a well-rounded fitness approach. Full-body barbell workouts can build impressive strength and size when programmed with the right exercises, sets, reps and load.

Here are some effective sample upper body, lower body and full-body barbell routines.

I). Upper Body Barbell Only Workout Plan

A barbell only upper body workout plan is a great way to build muscle and strength in your upper body. This type of workout plan typically involves compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups at once.

Some of the most common exercises included in upper body barbell only workout plans include:

ExerciseSets x RepsRest
Barbell Bench Press3×8-102-3 minutes
Barbell Bent Over Row3×8-102-3 minutes
Barbell Military Press3×8-102-3 minutes
Barbell Bicep Curl3×10-121-2 minutes
Barbell Skull Crusher3×10-121-2 minutes
Barbell Shrugs3×10-121-2 minutes

II). Lower Body Barbell Workout Plan

Developing powerful, sculpted legs requires to be focused lower body barbell training. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges performed with a barbell effectively work the major muscles of the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

This sample workout provides a complete lower body barbell routine.

ExerciseSets x RepsRest
Barbell Squat3×8-102-3 minutes
Barbell Deadlift3×8-102-3 minutes
Barbell Lunge3×10-12 each leg1-2 minutes
Barbell Hip Thrust3×10-121-2 minutes
Barbell Calf Raise3×15-201-2 minutes

III). 4-day Full Body Barbell Workout Routine

For complete muscular development, a 4-day split allows you to train your whole body frequently using barbell exercises.

Over 4 sessions, this full-body barbell workout program hits all the major muscle groups. This provides sufficient rest and recovery for continual progression and grow.


ExerciseSets x RepsRest (seconds)
Barbell Back Squat3 x 890
Barbell Deadlift3 x 1090
Barbell Bent-Over Row3 x 1090
Barbell Bicep Curl3 x 1260


ExerciseSets x RepsRest (seconds)
Barbell Bench Press3 x 890
Barbell Overhead Press3 x 1090
Barbell Upright Row3 x 1090
Barbell Skull Crusher3 x 1260

Wednesday – Rest Day


ExerciseSets x RepsRest (seconds)
Barbell Deadlift3 x 6120
Barbell Front Squat3 x 890
Barbell Row3 x 1090
Barbell Curl3 x 1260


ExerciseSets x RepsRest (seconds)
Barbell Incline Bench Press3 x 890
Barbell Push Press3 x 1090
Barbell Row3 x 1090
Barbell Tricep Extension3 x 1260

Saturday and Sunday – Rest Day

Note: This is just an example and can be adjusted based on individual goals, fitness level, and preferences.


Are barbell exercises only for advanced lifters?

No, barbell exercises can be modified for beginners. It’s important to start with lighter weights and focus on proper form and technique.

How often should I perform barbell exercises?

As a beginner, it is a good idea to start with 2-3 days per week.

Is it okay to use a Smith machine instead of a barbell?

While the Smith machine can be useful, it doesn’t provide the same freedom of movement as a barbell. It is recommended that you use a barbell for most exercises.

Can barbell exercises be performed at home?

Yes, you can do barbell exercises at home with the right equipment. It’s important to have good space and safety measures in place.

What are the top 5 barbell exercises?

The top 5 barbell exercises are:

  1. Squat,
  2. Deadlift,
  3. Bench press
  4. Overhead press
  5. Barbell row

These exercises work multiple muscle groups and are considered compound movements.

What are the top 3 barbell exercises?

The top 3 barbell exercises are:

  1. Squat,
  2. Bench press
  3. Deadlift


Barbell exercises are crucial as they consist of both compound and isolation movements. It is capable of effectively targeting multiple muscle groups and enhancing muscle tone.

The effectiveness of some top barbell exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, for building muscle and strength.

There are different fitness goals that can be achieved with barbell exercises, from powerlifting and bodybuilding to endurance training and general fitness.

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