A common belief in today's beginner bodybuilder is the delusion that only working the upper body will be enough to satisfy the summer's beach body that the individual desires. You often hear people saying " I only want to have big arms and a big chest, my legs are fine, I don't need to waste time on squatting"
Well this is where people are wrongly mistaken and need to resort to bro science to uncover the real facts when it comes to packing on muscle.
Lets start by looking at a study discussing testosterone responses to exercise:
Fiziol Cheloveka. 2010 Jul-Aug;36(4):102-6. Fry AC, Lohnes CA.
Applied Physiology Laboratory Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Washington University, St. Louis, USA.
Acute testosterone and cortisol responses to high power resistance exercise.
"This study examined the acute hormonal responses to a single high power resistance exercise training session.
The lifting protocol was 10 x 5 speed squats at 70% of system mass (1 RM +/- BW) with 2 min inter-set rest intervals. The acute increase for Tes is in agreement with previous reports that high power activities can elicit a Tes response. High power resistance exercise protocols such as the one used in the present study produce acute increases of Tes. These results indicate that high power resistance exercise can contribute to an anabolic hormonal response with this type of training, and may partially explain the muscle hypertrophy observed in athletes who routinely employ high power resistance exercise."
So it seems the misconception of not working out the lower body will affect the overall response of building muscle and as you can see from the study it shows that high power resistance squats promoted higher levels of testosterone in the body. For anyone to seek the full reward of resistance training, high levels of testosterone must be reached in order for the muscles in the body to grow. As we are on the topic of testosterone response and resistance exercise I will show you another study that will confirm what I have mentioned before.
J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2013 Feb;53(1):34-41.
Crewther BT, Heke TL, Keogh JW. Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College, London, UK. [email protected]
The effects of a resistance-training program on strength, body composition and baseline hormones in male athletes training concurrently for rugby union 7's.
"AIM:To examine the effects of a resistance-training program on strength, body composition and baseline hormones in male athletes training concurrently for rugby union 7's."
"RESULTS:Significant improvements in bench press (11%), back squat (13%), deadlift (13%), military press (10%) and chin-up (6%) 1RM strength were observed after training (P < 0.05). These changes were accompanied by a significant reduction (-1%) in body fat and an increase (1.3%) in fat-free mass. The implementation of a resistance-training program in male athletes already training for rugby union 7's led to all-round improvements in maximal dynamic strength even while they continued to perform other forms of rugby-specific training. These findings support the use of resistance exercise as a supplement to sport-specific training for improving the performance capacity of 7's rugby players."
So again as you can see in this study that resistance training not only over time will get you stronger, it will get you leaner and will add muscle mass which in turn will improve overall performance. The importance of resistance training and having full body exercises will only help you in the long run. It might seem at first that you don't want to squat or work on the lower body but this would only be holding yourself back from the potential growth and muscle gain you would receive from the elevated levels of testosterone from performing full body workouts.
An example of a muscle building resistance program in the gym would look a little something like this.
Bench Press - 3 sets of 6-8 reps. 2-3 minutes rest between sets.
Rows - 3 sets of 6-8 reps. 2-3 minutes rest between sets.
Incline Dumbbell Press - 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 1-2 minutes rest between sets.
Lat Pull-Downs - 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 1-2 minutes rest between sets.
Lateral Raises - 2 sets of 10-12 reps. 1 minute rest between sets.
Triceps Press-Downs - 2 sets of 10-12 reps. 1 minute rest between sets.
Dumbbell Curls - 2 sets of 10-12 reps. 1 minute rest between sets.
Romanian Deadlifts - 3 sets of 6-8 reps. 2-3 minutes rest between sets.
Leg Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps. 1-2 minutes rest between sets.
Seated Leg Curls - 3 sets of 8-10 reps. 1-2 minutes rest between sets.
Standing Calf Raises - 4 sets of 6-8 reps. 1-2 minutes rest between sets.
Abs - 3 x sets of 8-15 reps. 1 minute rest between sets.
This would be a good base to start in the gym while lifting, look ahead to further articles that will go exclusively into the details of resistance exercise programs in the weeks ahead.