Although there are a lot of compound movements (i.e. bench press, back squats), not every compound movement carries over into the athletic field or the real world. A lot of strength enthusiasts will tell you to do powerlifting to develop real world strength, but the relevance of powerlifting pales in comparison to strongman training or even farm work.
Not everybody works on a farm or has access to strongman equipment, so here are 5 gym exercises that have great carryover into the real world and the athletic field. I’ve chosen these exercises because of their simplicity:
1) The Standing Military Press – Forget the bench press! The standing military press has far more relevance to the playing field and the real world, because you have to press the weight up using your body (not a bench) as support. If you’re shoulders are wrecked and you can’t do the MP, then do some rotator cuff exercises and do the incline press instead, sissy boy!
2) The Front Squat – When you push and press weight (i.e. an opponent) in the athletic field or in a street fight, then the front squat develops far more real world strength than the back squat.
3) The Deadlift – Develop your posterior chain (lower back and hamstrings), and you develop whole body power and strength. Enough said! Here’s reader Bob Vastine doing a 420 deadlift:
4) The Kettlebell Swing – Although the kettlebell snatch provides better gains in hypertrophy and explosive power, the kettlebell swing provides about 90% of those gains with minimal coordination needed. As far as cost-benefit ratio, the swing is a better choice, because the learning curve is short and you won’t be bruising your forearms.
5) Pull-ups – Want to grapple? The pull-up is KING when it comes to developing grappling strength. It will help in your military presses as well. Clapping is optional:
The great thing about these exercises is that not only will you develop overall strength relevant to moving around in the real world, these exercises will develop a physique that is both admired by the ladies and feared or respected by men for its look of power.