“A bodybuilder who has the enthusiasm, perseverance, desire, and patience to build a championship physique should have no trouble reaching the physical development he desire. All he has to do, is follow a scientific weight training program which is suited for his body type, along with a well-balanced and sensible diet.
It seems that there is no limit to the muscular growth one can acquire through years of hard training. It is not uncommon in this day and age to see bodybuilders who have obtained measurements of 19 or 20 inch-arms, 52- inch chest, 27 inch thigh, 18 inch calf and a 31 inch waist. If one has obtained these measurements, it would seem that his physique should be of championship caliber. But it takes more than perfect measurements to have a championship physique.
There are certain qualities which all go together in the molding of a championship physique and prize winning physique. These qualities are namely: muscularity, symmetry, definition, and last but not least proper “muscle shape.”
This is the quality which designates an average bodybuilder from an outstanding physique champ. When one has this “muscle shape” he can be picked out from other bodybuilders at a glance.
I have seen a great many bodybuilders who simply disregard this important quality. It must seem ridiculous that a bodybuilder whose goal is improving his physique should overlook this important step.
One reason for this is simply because some bodybuilders are not aware of what a physique with proper shape looks like, and how to go about improving the shape of their own physique. I hope I can make some bodybuilders of this great quality.
In my opinion a physique with great shape is one which is very pleasing to look at and has no short, or knotty muscle group which make one look grotesque. Each muscle should be fully developed and must not over compensate any other muscle group.
Steve Reeves and John Grimek are good examples of physique champs with amazing shape. I believe mentioning their names alone will get across the meaning of what a shapely physique looks like.
Common Faults: Saggy pectorals, high calves, short biceps, high lats, high triceps. These are some inferior features the bodybuilder is like to have. Even though one cannot actually change his muscle shape he can improve it immensely. I’m sure that with a bit of hard work, good result can be yours,
When the “delts” are fully developed they have a coconut-looking appearance. A great many fellows have a tendency to overdevelop the frontal delts, this is due to mainly because of practicing a lot of pressing movements and a lack of lateral work.
To remedy this condition I would suggest a routine of dumbbell work. May I suggest the following: After all your pressing, do side dumbbell laterals, for the side deltoids followed by one dumbbell lateral for the posterior deltoid or rear delt. Around the world dumbbell laterals are great for overall shape, I would do these to finish off the delt workout. I leave the “sets” and “reps” up to you. With a little experimentation you will know what works best for your body type.
The “pecs” as they have been nicknamed are a muscle group which a great many bodybuilders tend to overdevelop. I think that most bodybuilders rely on the bench press too much. The bench press is ideal for some, but others get better results from an incline or decline position.
I would suggest a combination of both, incline and flat. Dumbbell laterals are great for pectoral shape and for giving the “pecs” that most sought after square effect. The laterals should be done strictly and with a stretching movement.
heavy weight here is not important. In conclusion, I would like to add that the “pecs” should be well defined and not the least saggy. More upper “pec” work than lower work should give you a pleasing development.
When the bicep is properly developed, it should extend the whole length of the arm, to elbow. It should not have a short or knotty appearance. In a flexed position, the biceps should have a full appearance with a slight peak. Both qualities should be present if one wants to have a well developed arm.
If your arm is lacking a peak, I would recommend some concentration on curl movements. If your biceps lack fullness, do seated incline or dumbbell curls or regular barbell curls. In this case the starting position is the key factor to a full development.
A properly developed tricep should have a horseshoe effect, with a sufficient amount of thickness and muscularity adjacent to the elbows. If your triceps lacks shape and muscularity. A full stretch is very important. If you lack thickness around the elbow area, triceps press down on the lat machine, with some close grip seated presses should help a great deal. Heavy weights in this particular case would give best results.
When fully developed the “lats” as they are called should extend all the way down to the waist level. To have a full development in the upper area, heavy barbell rows and a lat machine pull down should be practiced in your workouts.
My lower lats have always needed a lot of work for the results I desired. I have found close grip chins and close grip pulling rows to be most helpful. deadlifts should also be included.
The calf, being a dense muscle needs quite a bit of work for stimulation. If one has a high calf development, I would suggest that you give the calves a complete stretch while exercising them.
Do each repetition very slowly with a concentrated effort. Do calf movements employing all three foot positions – outer, inner, straight. If your calf is really lacking I would suggest working them six days a week, doing 10 to 15 reps with no less than 5 to 10 sets. I work my calf from 4 to 6 days a week doing as many as 20 to 30 sets of 10 reps. I have tried just about every calf exercise, but have received best results using the calf machine. With a little experimentation you are sure to find what works best for you.
When the thighs are fully developed, they should have a sweeping appearance. When seen from the back, the “thigh bicep” should be full and as equally developed as the front.
If the “thigh biceps” are lacking the buttocks will look larger than they actually are. I have always done half squats and recommend them for front thigh development. Front squats will give your thighs a sweeping appearance from hip to knee.
For thigh shape, a great exercise is “binges.” This exercise is great for stretching and for thigh shape. The thigh bicep is overlooked by a great many many bodybuilders mainly because they believe that the squat stimulates them sufficiently.
I have always had trouble with the thigh bicep and am the first to realize that it can be a superior muscle to develop. For best results I have found that thigh curl and deadlifts are about the best for this area.
In conclusion, just about every bodybuilder at one time or another had the problem of muscle shape. With a little bit of work and perseverance, I’m sure the results you want can be obtained to a certain extent. Everyone has room for some improvement. An overall training program which has a variety of different exercises will shape your muscles to heights which I am sure will be satisfactory.”
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