If you do decide to move towards a more proportional body, you need to know what you are doing. It’s not just about lifting heavy weights, mastering the exercise machines, or eating the right food – all of that and much more. If you want to have an aesthetically pleasing shape, you need to work on your conditioning, symmetry, balance, proportions and of course the size of different body parts.
Just look at people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane or Sergio Oliva – they were considered the ultimate aesthetic and over the years their legacy has been preserved.
Their secret, however, was clear – they looked powerful and had great strength, and you could photograph them from any angle, and it would have the same properties. Their construction was not easy, or not easy at all. They had a narrow waist and a large V-taper, but they had a lot of meat in their quads, enough to make their knees look like a normal human’s.
It’s been a long time since the 70’s but these guys taught us lessons like no other and we are inspired by them every day.
Nowadays people are putting too much pressure on themselves to build huge muscles on their bones. These muscles are strong enough to surpass most normal people with strength and strength never seen before in human history. Even so, we focus far too much on performance and far too little on aesthetics – the look of a statue from ancient Greece has never been so underestimated, and it’s time to change that.
The first thing you need to know about an aesthetically pleasing body is that it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. You have to eat the right things at the right time to get them and you have to train hard too.
As you exercise, you create tiny micro-tears in your muscle tissue, tears that need to be repaired with protein that you consume as part of your diet. For best results, you need at least 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh daily. If you do this correctly, you can expect amazing results. However, if you have ignored everything to get the Apollo body, then you need to train on looks as well, instead of training on function. The people who do this are the ones you see on stage holding the trophies while looking like they can tear them apart with ease. Here’s how to achieve this goal.
Use the correct weights when exercising
If you continue to use the same weight, your body will get tired of it, which means it will stagnate and see no reason to improve. To prevent this from happening, you need to lose some weight and increase the number of reps you do with it. First, you should do two to three warm-up sets to make sure you don’t get injured. Then do 6-8 reps at 70-80 percent of your power.
This means that if you can lift 200 pounds six to eight times, you’re only doing 70-80% of that weight for the same number of repetitions (6-8). Lose weight as you go through the sets and increase the number of repetitions. What happens here is that your muscles are going to be really strained during the first few heavier sets, but once you hit the lighter sets, you’ll build a lot of muscle with those numerous, lighter reps. So you need to do the following sentences:
- Two to three warm-up sets of 6-8 repetitions each.
- A normal set of 70-80 percent of your effort for 6-8 reps.
- Two sets of 8-10 reps with a reduced weight.
- A set of 10-12 reps with reduced weight.
Although you will end up lifting less weight, it definitely won’t be easy. The last two reps of the last set should be just as difficult as the full power. The pump should also be huge. By doing this, you also pump more blood into the exercised muscle, stretch the fascia (a strong membrane around the muscles), and make the muscle grow.
Train for symmetry and proportions at the same time
If you want your body to be of harmonious proportions, your legs should be a size that matches the rest of your body – they shouldn’t look like sticks compared to your pecs and shoulders. Also, your muscle groups should be as symmetrical as possible, which means that your biceps and triceps should have the correct aspect ratio, as should your left and right quadriceps, with the addition that they should be the same size and condition.
If you don’t have proportional and symmetrical muscles, your body is always one step behind your goal. A good way to accomplish this is to incorporate one-sided exercises into your training plan. This means that you lift with one of your arms or legs at a time – you train your weaker limb until it reaches the proportions of the other. If so, you can both keep exercising at the same time. Here are some lifts you might want to incorporate, but remember: the number of repetitions increases with each set, and the amount of weight you actually lift decreases.
- Smith Machine close-grip bench press for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 reps.
- EZ-Bar Skull Crusher for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 reps.
- Standing, single arm, low pulley triceps extensions for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Tricep dumbbell setbacks for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 reps each.
- EZ-bar curls for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Alternate hammer curls for four sets of 6, 8, 10 and 12 repetitions each.
- Alternating inclined dumbbell curls for four sets of 6, 8, 10 and 12 repetitions each.
- Spider curls for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
Make sure you are well conditioned to emphasize your definition
A good looking aesthetic body doesn’t carry a lot of fat. Your body fat percentage should be low so that your muscle definition can be seen. Don’t be discouraged – even if this is difficult to achieve, it doesn’t happen to be impossible.
One thing that can help you burn more calories (besides eating well) and aid conditioning is exercising with short rest periods. When exercising your legs or other important muscle groups, make sure your rest periods are no longer than 50 seconds. However, if you are training smaller muscle groups like biceps and triceps, they shouldn’t last longer than half a minute to 40 seconds.
Your rest is just as important as your lifting, and it has a huge impact on your cardiovascular fitness. When your heart beats faster, you burn more body fat – it’s that simple. If you haven’t exercised in a while, or if you haven’t followed your routine like you should have, cardio is still an important part of your fitness, and so are you should complete at least four cardio sessions for 20 to 40 minutes weekly. This will help you keep your body fat low and your heart health high.
Develop your V-cone
Balance, conditioning, and symmetry are fine, but your V-taper attracts people’s eyes. All great bodybuilders have broad shoulders and thin waists. This is the basis for any aesthetically developed body. Slim people will have a harder time tightening their waists, but if you have a broad back and well-developed shoulders, your back contrasts with your waist and makes your waist appear thinner.
Ultimately, these workouts are designed to help you get there – not to melt your waist, but to widen your shoulders and back. Remember to drop the weight on each set but increase your repetitions. Here is a list of exercises to help you develop a great V-taper.
- Standing military presses for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Side raises for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- The faceplate is raised for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Sitting arched posterior deltoid increases for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- The Smith machine shrugs for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 reps each.
- Dumbbell shrugs for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Pull-ups for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Large grip side pulldowns for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 reps each.
- Seat cable rows for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Bent over barbell rows for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
Get your abs in check
If you want your body to look anywhere near aesthetically pleasing, you need defined abs. They show your perfect coordination of size, symmetry, conditioning and shape. You need to work your abs three times a week, but don’t despair – the routine is quick and easy and needs to be done just before the end of your workout.
- Reduce oblique crunches for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 reps each.
- Knee or hip raises on parallel bars for four sets of 6, 8, 10 and 12 repetitions each.
- Standing wooden chops for four sets of 6, 8, 10, and 12 repetitions each.
- Ab crunches on the machine for four sets of 6, 8, 10 and 12 repetitions each.
Here we go. Just four exercises to help you reach legendary levels of abdominal development. Use them wisely and in coordination with the other exercises and points made here. With enough commitment, you will get an aesthetically pleasing body in no time. Remember – exercise is important, but your diet will also be VERY important.