It’s not about weight or size.
Natural physique enhancement is all about creating the right proportions. It’s about developing particular areas of the body while trimming down others.
Think of the artist working on his sculpture. He chisels away at an indistinguishable block of mass to ultimately reveal a masterpiece. That masterpiece is you.
Broad shoulders, a wide back and tight waist represent the apex of human evolution. Nothing signifies health, virility and strength more than these physical attributes.
Look at the bodies of Hollywood icons like Brad Pitt, Chris Hemsworth and Jason Statham. They’re not bulked-up muscle monsters. No, they’re lean, mean and streamlined. The right proportions and level of muscularity make them look like Greek Gods, not overblown cartoon figures.
Men want to be like them, women want to be with them.
Now, before you get all teary-eyed thinking about the last time you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, I got good news for you: You can build your own masterpiece.
How? Grow these 3 muscle groups and get lean.
Nothing exemplifies a powerful physique more than broad, round shoulders.
Well-developed “delts” are a prerequisite to creating the elusive “V-taper”. And this is true for both genders.
But why do most lifters fail to build an impressive set of shoulders? They focus on isolation work and silly machine exercises over honest, progressive resistance training.
If you want bigger shoulders you need to get strong. Damn strong.
Handstand push-ups, pike push-ups, overhead presses (dumbbell or barbell), lateral raises and face pulls are the best exercises to grow your shoulders.
Avoid machine exercises that limit your range of motion and put undue stress on your joints. They’re notorious for causing injuries and promoting muscular imbalances.
Also, when designing your workout program, keep in mind that the shoulders are worked hard during most pressing (i.e. chest training) and pulling movements (back training), and thus don’t require a ton of additional training volume.
Actually, hitting the shoulders too frequently will undermine their growth potential and increase the risk of injury (shoulder injuries are the most common in weight-lifting and bodybuilding for a reason).
Train ’em hard but allow for sufficient recovery between sessions if you want them to grow bigger and stronger.
A big back creates the illusion of having a smaller waist and bigger shoulders, promoting a powerful and streamlined look.
We’re not after looks only, though.
The muscles in your back make up a large portion of your body’s overall musculature (the latissimus dorsi aka “lats” are the second largest muscle in your body). Physical strength, to a large degree, originates from the muscles in your back and your ability to recruit them.
A strong back equals a strong body.
In order to build up your back, you need to become proficient at both horizontal (i.e. rows) and vertical pulling movements (i.e. chins).
My favorite back exercise is high-rep horizontal rows (“horror rows“). Doing sets of 15-20 reps helped me add slabs of dense muscle to my back unlike anything else.
Your back can handle a lot of volume and intensity so don’t be afraid to go hard on pull-ups and rows 2-3x/ week. For a more comprehensive look at back training check this out.
Shark Belly Triceps
Every guy want’s big arms.
And those who claim otherwise must’ve missed the opening scene in Predator.
Apart from being a prerequisite to starring in an 80’s action movie, big arms unmistakably communicate strength and power. Perhaps more so than any other body part.
But getting them to grow isn’t as easy as curling a dumbbell a couple times a week. If it were that easy, everybody would have a set of muscular arms stretching their sleeves.
If you look at the average gym bro, you’ll quickly notice that 85% of his routine involves some form of bicep work. The result? Spaghetti arms.
If you want bigger “pipes” you have to build up your triceps.
The “tri’s” account for 2/3 of your sleeve size and should be prioritized in your arm training. Thick triceps won’t only help you fill out your T’s, they’ll also increase your pressing power for exercises like the push-up, bench and overhead press and all dip variations.
The weapons of choice for building shark belly tri’s are diamond push-ups, dips, triceps extensions and narrow handstand push-ups (level: MONSTER).
When doing isolation exercises, focus on the negative (eccentric) portion of the movement and stretching the muscle at the bottom. This will amplify muscular damage and growth signaling.
Hit the tri’s hard with heavy weight and/or advanced bodyweight exercises, and make sure to incorporate some high rep volume work to maximize their growth (as detailed below).
Greek God Workout:
- Pull-ups: 3 sets of MAX reps (increase reps or add weight every workout)
- Handstand push-ups: 3 x MAX (increase reps every workout)
- Horizontal Rows: 2x 12-20
- Pike Push-ups: 2 x 12-20
- Diamond push-ups/ bench dips superset: 2x 12-20
Perform this routine 2x/week for a body worthy of Mount Olympus. Building muscle is only one piece of the puzzle, however. Getting lean is what sets the elite apart from everyone else.
It’s time you stop being “everyone else”.
Grab your copy of the LEAN MACHINE if you want to see how far you can take your body.
Thank you for reading