There was a time not too long ago, when it was okay to train to improve the look of your physique.
It was fine to not only focus on strength and functional fitness, but it was cool to actually care about the appearance of your body as well.
A nice looking body? What a Novel concept!
In this Article I want to talk about how to create a Models Body.
The Biggest guy at the gym
The guys who command a lot of respect are, more times than not, the ones who have a build like a professional wrestler. Even many of the fitness experts on these massive sites have nothing close to an aesthetic physique…but many of them are strong. Again…not bad if that is your goal…but a terrible approach if you want to look sharp.
If you don’t have at least a little ab definition, then I won’t take fitness advice from you…end-of-story. Gaining muscle and gaining fat at the same time is easy as hell. Strength will come along with the increased leverage that the fat provides, but that is NOT impressive…at all.
Appearance and style is only for pansies in “Muscle Building Land”
You would have to be a wussy to care about style and appearance, right?
“Real men” don’t care about these things…at least this is what is spoken of in muscle building circles.
The Irony in all of this!
Outside of this strange muscle building community, things are a lot of times the opposite. Men would rather look like Daniel Craig or Ryan Reynolds than walk around with tree trunk arms and legs.
Are Gyms really filled with guys that have large upper bodies and thin legs?
A common thing you will read about in bodybuilding forums is that gyms are supposedly filled with guys who have big upper bodies and skinny legs.
I rarely see this phenomenon. The legs tend to reach a proportionate size to the upper body by simply carrying that weight around.
I do see a lot of guys lacking definition in their thighs and calves, but that is simply due to high body fat levels more than anything else.
“squats are the king of all exercises”!
I don’t care who says “squats are the king of all exercises”! If your legs are the size you want, then avoid this exercise.
Doing squats will make your legs, butt, and hips bigger…and are extremely effective at doing so.
They are the king when it comes to putting mass on your lower body, so avoid them IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ADD SIZE TO THESE AREAS. Makes sense, right?
What I see in my gym? Big guys with almost zero definition.
While I don’t see too many guys who are way out of whack in the leg department…I see a ton of guys who seem to have just as much fat as muscle.
Body fat helps guys lift a little more and increases the weight when stepping on a scale, but creates a terrible look.
It may fill up a shirt, but certainly doesn’t look impressive on the beach. Another bad thing about excess body fat is that it makes the face appear rounded and chubby.
To get an angular “GQ” type of look to the face, you must get the body fat levels down to a reasonable level.
Are you sold on the idea of building really big legs?
The reason I’m harping so hard on lower body size is because that is what is being pushed so hard in fitness magazines and bodybuilding sites.
Squats are a great way to add size and strength for a body that is lagging in these areas but if you have well proportioned legs squats are not necessary.
But if your idea for a great body is one the resembles a models body or athlete just do a quick google search.
For the most part, their legs are slim and dense…and nowhere close to the size of a guy featured in the pages of a typical fitness magazine.
We talked about Squats…What about bench press?
I think that most guys will do fine using bench presses on an ongoing basis when working out.
The big challenge with the typical flat bench press is that it does develop the mid and lower pecs at a faster rate than the upper pecs for a lot of people.
This creates a droopy rounded looking pec, instead of a square masculine chest with a line down the middle that goes all the way up to the collar bone.
To create square masculine pecs, incline presses need to be emphasized.
Occasionally you will have to back off on flat bench presses, but you can re-introduce them after your chest gets more even development from inclines.
2 Main Types of Muscle Growth
Many people would have you believe that looking defined is all about how much muscle you have and how low your body fat levels are.
Body fat levels do play a big role in how defined you look, but this is just part of the equation.
There are two types of muscle growth that also dictate how sharp your body will wind up looking once the body fat levels are low: Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy & Myofibrillar Hypertrophy
Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy: is is an increase in the muscle cell fluid (sarcoplasm) within the muscle cell. This is a fast way to increase the size of a muscle, but since sarcoplasm
Myofibrillar Hypertrophy: his is actual muscle fiber growth. Since muscle fibers can contract, growth in this area leads to dramatic improvements in strength. This leads to very limited gains in muscle size. Think of a water-balloon…to make it bigger it would be much faster and easier to fill it with water than to make the rubber thicker…but thicker rubber would probably make the balloon stronger. Not the perfect example, but hopefully you get the idea.
So which type of growth are you after?
This is actually a complex question, because it depends upon the condition of the muscle being worked.
Also…you can lift in a way that targets different degrees of each type of growth. It all comes down to rep ranges to target the different types of muscle growth.
1-3 reps: This targets strength and Myofibrillar Hypertrophy. This would be used by someone who is happy with the size of their muscle, but wants to add definition and density to that muscle.
4-5 reps: Now you are getting a bit of strength as well as a bit of size. This is still a bit geared towards increasing muscle density, with just a bit of size increase as well. A lot of “5 X 5” programs are popular because it builds functional muscle for athletes that want a bit of muscle and a lot of strength to go along with that muscle.
6-10 reps: This is a good sweet spot in between the two types of muscle growth. The closer it gets toward the low end of the spectrum, the more it focuses on density and strength…the closer it gets to 10 reps the more it focuses on muscle mass.
12-15 reps: Nothing but muscle growth in this range. Very little gains in the way of strength. I think it is helpful to throw in a set or two of this rep range in the context of a pyramid set.
circumstances where each rep range is useful
Have you ever seen a skinny guy with literally no pec muscles hop on a bench and put up 275 pounds no problem?
If this person wanted to build their pecs, they would need to decrease the weight and do multiple sets in the 10-15 range until they added the mass they desired.
At that point they could go back down to medium to lower reps.
What about guys with big arms, but little definition.
For these guys, I would recommend that they works triceps and biceps in the 3-5 rep range to “harden up” their arms and add definition.
There is also a good chance that they would need to go on a fat loss program.
If they did both at the same time, they could transform their arms in short order.
Balance is KEY for a Models Body?
You need train in a way that focuses on a broad spectrum of the rep ranges , depending on your current physique.
Different rep ranges for different body parts?
It is rare that a person has equal development across his entire body. He is an example. A guy has big biceps with good definition. Ultra hard shoulders and calves that are slightly undersized. He also have a large chest that still has a slightly softer look than he would like. Here is what his game plan would look like…
- Biceps: Keep doing what I am doing (5 reps).
- Shoulders and calves: Decrease weight and increase reps (10-15).
- Chest: Increase weight and decrease reps (3-5).
See how you can customize your workout to add muscle mass or muscle density to the parts that need it by tweaking rep ranges?
Now he won’t lift in each of those muscle ranges forever. He will adjust the weights up or down and adjust the reps up or down depending upon how his body responds.
But rep ranges are just part of the whole muscle building story…
“Cumulative Fatigue”-Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy
When you lift for muscle mass, each set needs to “build upon” the previous set. If you are doing 5 sets in a lift for instance, they are all working toward fatiguing the muscle. Each set and rep will get harder as you progress through the sets…this is what is called cumulative fatigue.
Too much rest in between sets is the enemy of cumulative fatigue.
If you rest too long in between sets, your muscle will “recharge” all the way. This is great if you are just training for strength, but is a bad idea if you are trying to fatigue the muscle. To fatigue the muscle you need to hit the next set before the muscle has recovered all the way from the previous set. This typically requires a short rest period of 45-60 seconds in between sets (this rest time will vary a bit depending upon the lift).
For pure strength training, the reps need to be slow to allow the nervous system to build tension. When training for muscle mass and fatigue, you want to lift the weights with a faster tempo. The movement should be somewhat fast without throwing the weights…almost rhythmic in nature
- Short rest in between sets.
- No pause in between reps.
- A fast “rhythmic” tempo.
Remember, these tips are purely for fast muscle growth…
Like the rest of this workout these variables can be tweaked a bit. If you are after just a little bit of muscle and a lot of strength, then you can pause a little longer between sets, add more weight, and you can pause in between each rep, do less reps, etc. Avoid fatigue for pure strength, aim for fatigue for muscle mass…and tweak this in either direction depending upon your goals.
There is a dark side of high volume training
Doing too much high reputations can lead to cardio, that right if all you’re doing is chasing the pump you can end up burning off weight just like cardio.
The leads to the next type of muscle growth.
Strength Training- Myofibrillar Hypertrophy
Lets talk about AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Every set, do as many reps as physically possible. Preferably with passable technique, and without failing or getting stuck with a loaded barbell over your chest.
AMRAPs—are tough, and the very definition of hard training. A set of squats or dead-lifts may have you seeing stars and begging for mercy. Before you learn to love this, you may fear it. That’s fine. Roll with it. AMRAPs builds character. And when you see the results, you’ll learn to love it that much faster.
You’ll need to grunt and strain under heavy weights for this to work. Period. But discipline and commitment will shift your body composition quickly. If you’re not routinely stressing and challenging your muscles, your body will not change.
This type of training would be kept to the reps 4-8 ( the sweet spot for strength and muscle growth)
You will not need to do a lot of this style of training because it is tough, time-efficient and extremely effective.
You won’t be spending more than forty-five minutes in the gym thrice a week at the most.
So how does one train to hit the right reps and sets to build that perfect dense muscular body with enough growth for lean bodyfat?
A Mode’s Body Workout
For Strength and muscle density we will be using RPT(reverse pyramid training)
RPT will be used primary to build strength, focusing on Myofibrillar Hypertrophy growth.
Although RPT main focus is strength it will hit the rep ranged for Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy growth as well.
This is where the time-efficient of RPT comes into play.
With RPT you get to hit each type of muscle group per exercise calling for RPT.
For Pure muscle growth we will be using SS (straight sets)
Straight sets are exactly that , straight through to the next following set.
The only twist we will be putting on it is short rest breaks for cumulative fatigue.
I will also include Pyramid Training as well.
Pyramids can be a bit of a ‘sweet spot’ in terms of muscle hypertrophy, as they recruit both type 1 and 2 muscle fibres (given the variety of rep ranges).
Here is and example of What to Expect from This Program
- Stage 1 Muscle Density
- Stage 2 Muscle Fullness
- Stage 3 Reveal the definition
- Stage 4 Photo Shoot Ready
Models body Workout notes
The Models Body program is flexible enough to allow you to add additional weeks into each stage as you see fit. If you need more time in Stage 3 for example, then extend the program out a couple of weeks longer. Flexibility is ‘key’ in making sure you hit ALL STAGES!
As long as you understand the principles, you can get creative. Please don’t think that you have to use the same exercises or even the exact same splits. If you are new to training, perhaps you will want to follow along closely with the exercises…but if you have certain preferences or know that your body responds to specific exercises, by all means…use those exercises!
The goal isn’t for you to copy this routine exactly (unless you want to)
My main focus is to give you the understanding of how things fit together and tweak them to accommodate your special circumstances. Some of you may need to drastically tweak the routine, others may just change an exercise or two to achieve that models body look.
At the end of the 12 week cycle, assess your progress, go back to Stage 1 and ‘modify’ the exercises if you need to.
Remember diet is KEY for this program to work , if you never want to have problems again with your fitness diet. Download my Macro Mastery Book HERE.
The Macro Mastery Book will Tell you have to Set your Calories for each Stage of the Models Body Workout Program in Exact Detail.