That’s anecdotal, of course. But I’ve been working out in commercial or corporate gyms since 1980, so I’ve got a lot of anecdotes. What I’ve rarely seen a novice lifter do is focus on primary movement patterns — squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, pullups and chinups. These exercises use the most muscle and develop the most total-body strength. More important, primary movement patterns improve your body from the inside out, strengthening bones and thickening connective tissues as muscle mass increases. Those structural fortifications are the key to substantial, impressive, and sustainable muscle growth.