The Road To a Head-Turning, Aesthetic Physique

GOAL #2: The wide, massive chest

We can all agree that large and strong chest is one of the main attributes of a muscular and chiseled physique. However, contrary to popular belief, bench pressing multiple times a week won’t give you pecs of steel. Instead, focus on training your chest muscles once per week with a versatile combination of exercises that target different parts of the chest area.

Start with the decline dumbbell press, which is one of the most effective pec-building exercises because of the short range of motion that prevents the delts and triceps from taking over. Pick heavier weights and go for five sets of 10-12 reps. Move on to flyes, making sure to use bands or chains in order to ensure a better contraction and decrease the stress placed on the shoulders. Aim at four sets of 15-20 reps. Finish off with the ultimate tool for increasing chest mass: DIPS. Perform a total of 50 dips divided in as few sets as possible, maintaining proper form and technique at all times.

Once you get comfortable with this routine, you can up the challenge and stimulate even more growth by also doing 40 reps (in as few sets as possible) of suspension trainer flyes, which take advantage of full body tension and activate your pecs from an angle that’s hardly ever used during a standard chest routine. Use a body angle of 45 degrees and make sure to maintain a strong plank position throughout each rep.

GOAL #3: The superhero arms

Building humongous bulky arms is great, as long as the next step is carving detail and definition to achieve a truly impressive look. For the triceps, which make up the bulk of the upper arms, this means carving out a detailed triceps horseshoe by effectively targeting all three heads – the long, lateral and medial – of the muscle in a balanced way. Symmetry is an important aspect of aesthetics, so you have to make sure that no muscle is left behind.

To concentrate on the long head, perform the EZ-curl bar French press, which is done on a bench with an EZ-curl bar and a pronated grip. Begin by holding the bar directly overhead with fully extended arms, then lower it down by bending your elbows and go as far as you can, but make sure to keep your neck, back and upper arms straight.

Triceps dips on a dip bar are the best choice for hitting the medial head of the triceps. Keep your body straight up and perpendicular to the ground, arms nearly locked above the bars and your feet underneath you. Slowly lower yourself downward until your forearm and upper arm make a 90-degree angle, then push your torso back up using your triceps.

Working the lateral head is perhaps the most important part of achieving horseshoe-shaped triceps, and the good news is that pretty much any movement that pushes weight down can help you target this muscle. According to most pro-level coaches, straight-bar cable pushdowns are one of the most effective moves when it comes to engaging the triceps’ lateral head, so make sure to add these to your routine as well. You will start with the bar at chest level and elbows tucked and your upper arms pointing to the ground. Keeping your elbows close to the body, push the bar down while maintaining the upper arms stationary.

The next key aspect of well-developed arms are cannonball-shaped biceps. To build these, you need to perform three vital moves twice per week. The first one is the towel pull-up which is done by draping a thick towel over a pull-up bar and performing pull-ups by holding either end with a neutral grip. Make sure to get a total of 50 pull-ups in as few sets as possible. The next exercise is the hammer curl – this powerful move makes biceps grow like no other out there by working the brachialis muscle which lies deep underneath the biceps brachii. Use a weight that allows you to get 10 reps per set with proper form and perform five sets to near-failure. Finally, wrap it up with barbell chain curls. Chains are a great way to add resistance to your barbell curls and allow your biceps to reach full contraction. Perform five sets of 8-10 reps with solid form.

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