The Best Muscle Building Exercise For Each Body Part + Magnesium Correlation to Exercise Performance | Joe Defranco Podcast #82 Summary

Magnesium Correlation to Exercise Performance

“One important way to improve exercise performance is by increasing oxidative capacity: ‘the ability of your mitochondria to produce ATP’ / the ability of your muscle cells to consume oxygen. Oxidatative capacity not only depends on the availability of oxygen, which is what most people focus on, but also critically relies on your mitochondria, which are the tiny units inside of the muscle cells that are consuming oxygen to produce ATP – the energetic currency of the cell. At the level of the mitochondria there are two ways which you can increase your oxidative capacity. One, is by increasing the total number of mitochondria, two, by increasing the efficiency of your already existing mitochondria.

But in order to make mitochondria this requires your existing mitochondria to copy their genome, and this is done by enzymes that require magnesium as a cofactor. The magnesium ion sits inside of the enzyme and activates, it so it can do it’s job. What this means, is that if your magnesium levels are low than your going to have a difficult time making new mitochondria during exercise, therefore compromising your performance.

The second way to maximize your mitochondria is by making your existing mitochondria more efficient at producing ATP. It is well known that during exercise oxidative stress damages your mitochondria and dampens their ability to produce ATP. BUT, your mitochondria have the ability to repair this damage using the same magnesium dependent enzymes previously mentioned.

Bottom line is that you want to make sure your magnesium levels are in the adequate range in order to maximize your mitochondria, by A) the ability to produce new mitochondria and B) making your existing mitochondria more efficient at repairing damage.” [Source]

Joe D’s favorite hypertrophy exercises for…

Variety is the number one training variable when hypertrophy is your main goal.


Incline (slight 10-15 degree), Eccentric (5-6 sec) DBL Bench Press

Incline Dumbbell Fly’s (slight bend in elbows) SS w/ Weighted Dips


Chest Supported Iso Hold BB Rows (preferably with a tsunami bar) (5×5 w/5sec iso hold)

Just prop a flat bench on a box, or just use a incline bench.


Wall Handstand Pushups

Traps & Forearms

Farmers Walks


Seated Deadstop BB Curls w/45 degree Handeled Barbell


Narrow Grip Board Bench Press


Ab Wheel Rollout

Legs (overall development)

Full Barbell Free Squats


Glute Ham Raises (emphasis on eccentric loading)


Bulgarian Speed Skater Squats


Seated Calf Raises: 2-3min sets (for the soleus which is more slow twitch)

Single Leg Standing Calf Raise (FULL RANGE): Cue: Shift weight onto big toe. (for gastroc which has more fast twitch)

Spoken By Joe Defranco, Transcribed by Alex Sandalis