The Compound Effect in Exercise and Fitness

By LeAura Alderson

No Time? No Worries!

No time! That’s the number one excuse for not exercising.

Have you ever closed the fridge with your foot while balancing containers of food in your arms and maybe an apple or carrot your mouth? How about your juggling your breakfast and coffee in one hand while opening the car door with the other, briefcase or purse tucked under your arm?

Today’s modern life often means chaotic and stressful schedules, demands at every turn and piles to do at home. Often, it seems that the last thing we can squeeze in is the luxury of the gym.

But wait. Fitness is not a luxury. Fitness means your survival, your health, and your quality of life.

“In essence, you make your choices, and then your choices make you.” Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect

You Must Make Time for Fitness

Compounding… is what your money does in a good investment… what your experience does in your career… and what fitness does for you with even just small deposits into the daily fitness bank.

Compound exercises mean leveraging your time by getting in two or more physical benefits at the same time. For example, you can do biceps curls, OR, you can do bicep curls while engaging in lunges. Now, you’ve gone from exercising just one muscle group to four plus more of your core. You have now leveraged that same 3-5 minutes by adding in another key exercise.

Compound exercises solve the time problem.

Not only do compound exercises allow you to work more muscles and muscle groups at the same time, it also accelerates your heart rate more quickly. Try it. Bicep curls. Now, do bicep curls with dumbbells while doing walking lunges.

That’s compound exercise, and that’s leveraging your fitness!

So to save you time, try these from

5 Compound Exercises

Dumbbell Squats with Biceps Curl

Image from

Dumbbells add intensity to workouts. Doing squats with them will build muscles in hips, glutes and thighs. Now add a bicep curl.

Pushup Rows

Compound exercise: Pushup Row

There are many options in push. Here it’s a Pushup Row, working core, upper body, shoulders, arms and triceps.

Lunge with Front Raise


For glutes, hips and thighs, shoulders and torso.

Tricep Dips w/Leg Raise

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 7.18.59 PM
Click image for video.

Tricep dips can be done using a bench or a sturdy chair. Raising your legs, compounds from just triceps to include your core (abs) and quads.

Side Lunge with Rows

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Skinny Minute with Libby Birk of Click image for video

You can increase the challenge by using heavier dumbbells and going lower in your lunges. Just make sure you’re warmed up first.

Compound exercises are exceptional for toning the body while integrating and coordinating moves, which leads to greater functional strength. Functional strength helps us get through each day with greater strength, agility and ease.

In the book, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy, founder of and Success Magazine writes about the power of compounding, leveraged over time. Compound exercises leverages your time and your effort for compounded benefits.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect

Put your fitness first and the rest of your life will be better.




Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Transform Your Body Forever Using the Secrets of the Leanest People in the World, by Tom Venuto, Excellent book that tells it straight and sets you on the right path
The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy (not specifically about exercise… about life in general)

EXERCISES, with Libby Birk
Hiithaus on YouTube