Many men want a great body because it gives them more confidence, better health, more energy throughout the day, better sleep, more stability, fewer injuries and pain from daily tasks, better posture, less stress, and many other benefits. The problem is that few people know how to get there. To make matters worse, many of those who think they know have an even deeper misunderstanding of what they need to do to build an impressive body.
Building an incredible body is similar to building anything else. It requires specific materials, a well-engineered framework for structural integrity, a sturdy foundation to build upon, a series of tasks completed in a particular order, and a lot of labor. Even though many different parts are required, everything comes together to form a cohesive structure.
When it comes to your body, the goal isn’t just to create any old mediocre structure. You’re reading this article because you want to create an amazing body, both inside and out.
This requires more than just eating your fruits and vegetables and going on a long walk. It takes a precise approach to create a genuinely aesthetic physique.
You can’t build a great structure without a blueprint and detailed instructions to guide you. Before you start, you must know where you are going and what you’re trying to achieve. Without a clear end goal, you’re going to waste a lot of time and energy working hard to make progress in the wrong direction.
So, to begin, let’s outline a specific physique to work toward. This will provide a framework for the rest of the article and allow you to cut out anything that doesn’t optimize your physique changes.
It’s Your Dream Body
As someone who has worked with hundreds of men and women, I know that each person has a different dream body and end goal.
Your dream body is just that—it is yours and yours alone. After all, beauty is subjective. You may not want a professional bodybuilder’s physique that is extremely muscular and huge, but a lean body with just enough muscle for your shirts and pants to finally fit you properly. So, when it comes to aesthetics, you will always have the final say on how you want to look based on your goals and preferences.
That is, as long as you have realistic expectations for what your body can achieve naturally. Don’t waste your time struggling to be Arnold Schwarzenegger or any of the steroid-enhanced bodybuilders you come across online when your natural genetic potential simply can’t get you there.
When you work toward having your dream body, you will be much happier with the results if you think about your own genetic potential and not the genetic lottery winners you see online. However, this is all moot if it wreaks havoc on the rest of your body and your life in general.
Creating a fantastic physique on the outside is only one part of the equation. A genuinely incredible body functions just as well as it looks.
Building extensive amounts of muscle is worthless if you are constantly wiped out, injured, and unable to enjoy it. Reaching single-digit body fat levels is cool until you throw your health out the window or are always starving.
Instead, you should also look to optimize your health and how your body functions while improving your well-being, happiness, and confidence. Luckily, as you’ll see, all of these improvements go hand in hand.
The Only Two Things That Matter for Creating an Amazing Body
No matter what your dream body looks like, everything will come down to two key factors: fat loss and muscle building.
Through manipulating the amount of body fat that you have, along with the amount of muscle you build and the locations where you build this muscle, you’ll be able to adjust the overall look and health of your body—and throughout this article, I will show you exactly how to do that.
Fat loss will be the primary determinant of how lean you are and will greatly improve many of your health markers. And building muscles is what allows you to accentuate specific areas of your body, look more chiseled and tight, appear more athletic, and adjust the shape and flow of your body.
However, in order to sculpt your body, you need an artist’s chisel—i.e., the best methods of building muscle and losing fat.
Along with a high-quality diet, you need to do strength training. Strength training is the best method for consistently building muscle, vastly increasing your strength, rapidly leaning out, and improving your health and well-being, all at the same time.
We will discuss strength training in more detail later. Still, it’s essential to understand that your nutrition program will be the primary determinant of your overall body size and weight, and your strength-training program will be the primary determinant of your overall body shape and the size of certain muscles (bone structure aside).
The Benefits of Being Lean and Muscular
Using strength training and a high-quality diet, my goal is to help you create the ultimate male body based on a combination of research and science, bodybuilding standards, professional athletes’ functionality and aesthetics, and male preferences. With these things in mind, I have geared this article toward creating a specific physique—one that is lean, muscular, aesthetic, and incredibly strong.
It’s the physique most men request and is often the most admired (and envied) body type. It’s the body that looks like you know what you are doing when it comes to this whole fitness and nutrition thing. Yet it’s not just what your body looks like in swim trunks; it’s the natural confidence and assurance that accompanies this body type.
It’s the feeling and lifestyle of doing less work, enjoying your meals, having more time and energy to do the things you love to do, and still getting better results than the people training their butts off and sticking to a very strict diet.
Whether you hated or admired him, we all wished we knew his secrets for success. Throughout Physique Secrets, we will cover exactly what to do to improve every aspect of your body, both externally and internally. But, for right now, I want you to understand that building muscle and losing excess body fat can be highly beneficial for your health first, and for creating an amazing-looking body second.
Though this might be hard to stomach (pun intended), research has shown that being lean and having a decent amount of muscle is optimal for your health. Being lean, as in not having a high level of body fat, protects you from developing diabetes, reduces the amount of chronic inflammation in your body, and improves your hormonal profile. It also improves psychological well-being and reduces the risk of developing depression by up to 83 percent in some studies.
It’s no wonder that being lean is regarded as the number one method for increasing your longevity and staving off the effects of aging.
Adding muscle mass to the equation compounds the health benefits. For example, increasing your muscle mass can lower your chronic inflammation levels, improve your sensitivity to insulin, reduce your risk of developing diabetes, improve your hormonal profile, and even increase your chances of surviving cancer. Muscle mass also helps increase longevity and lessen the adverse effects of aging.
So, being lean and muscular can benefit your health now and in the future. To create an amazing physique, the first thing we will be looking to do is adjust your body fat percentage until your body can optimize your health markers, improve your hormone production, and process nutrients as well as possible.
The goal body fat percentage, based on many studies, is around 7%–12% body fat for optimal health. For reference, men in bodybuilding competitions have body fat percentages of 5%–6%, and men will typically start to develop extra belly fat at a body fat percentage of around 12%–15%. So, getting to an optimal body fat percentage for your health will also help you create a lean physique that is tighter and denser, reveals your muscles, and helps you optimize your muscle building for faster and easier transformation.
The Most Aesthetic Proportions and Muscles
Knowing that building muscles and losing excess body fat can improve your body internally, you can concentrate on sculpting your body externally by reaching a specific aesthetic through targeted muscle growth.
Recent studies and surveys have shown that your proportions and symmetry matter most in defining an attractive physique. As long as your body meets certain ratios, your shoulder, waist, and chest sizes don’t really matter.
As you can see from these recommendations, your shoulders will be wider than your chest, which will taper down to a skinny waist. Your arms will not be too small or too large but will complement your waist and upper-body thickness. And since the legs are often less important than the upper body for most males, your legs will simply need to match your upper body by being strong and muscular, though not overly huge or skinny.
This creates a proportionate body from top to bottom and a balanced physique from left to right, front to back, and muscle to muscle.
To achieve these proportions, you need to grow all of your major trainable muscles while dropping to a body fat percentage below 10%. This makes you look solid and aesthetic, yet still agile and athletic. Your muscles will flow from one to the next with slight separation and possibly some striations. They will be dense and tight, not fluffy or disproportionate. Specifically, the muscle groups will have these characteristics:
- A wide upper back: To achieve this, you want to target your latissimus dorsi (lats) and trapezius (traps). The lats should provide width and should form “wings” on your back that keep you from looking blocky. The lats will flow into a thick middle back formed by developing all three heads of the traps. The traps will tie in your neck, shoulders, lats, and lower back.
- Broad shoulders: This involves working all three heads of your deltoids—with extra attention to your lateral deltoids. The lateral deltoids will create “caps” on your shoulders, increasing your upper-body width and making your waist appear smaller.
- Balanced, thick arms: Target your biceps and triceps (the muscles in the front and back of your upper arm, respectively) to build strong, muscular upper arms that help fill out a T-shirt. Your triceps should be larger than your biceps, and your whole arm should be proportionate to every other muscle to avoid looking like Popeye.
- A square chest: You want your chest muscles to be square and broad while avoiding a “droopy” teardrop appearance. This involves developing your pectoral muscles, commonly known as the pecs. Keep the size of your chest muscles balanced with the size of your back and shoulders. If your chest muscles are overdeveloped, they will pull your shoulders forward.
- Strong, muscular legs: Achieving this requires targeting your gluteal muscles (glutes), hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves to achieve moderately sized legs that are proportionate to your upper body. Your legs should be strong and functional, yet big enough to extend your upper body’s V taper into an X shape.
- Well-defined abs: Developing what we commonly refer to as a “six-pack” will involve targeting the exterior core muscles: the rectus abdominis and external oblique muscles.
- A lean, tight waist: Once you work on developing your upper body—your shoulders, upper back, and chest—a skinnier, tighter waist will come naturally, as long as you avoid overtraining your abs, which creates a blocky torso.
As you can see, everything is based on creating an aesthetic physique from head to toe and, most importantly, from the inside outward. You’re leaning out to improve your health markers, show off your muscles, and improve your muscle-building potential.
You’re building muscle to improve your health markers and create a muscular and strong V taper with eye-catching proportions and symmetry. You’re strength training and eating the right things to accelerate your results while still being able to enjoy your life, become strong and balanced, improve your well-being, and not have to sacrifice your soul to the diet and gym devils. Fortunately, you don’t have to train for years and years to achieve all this. The major difference that more training experience brings to the table is greater overall muscle development and size.
This means that you can get an aesthetically pleasing body in as short a time as possible if you have a training program in which each training variable is optimized, an enjoyable nutrition program that helps you efficiently lose unwanted body fat while simultaneously building muscle, and the correct strength-training exercises to develop specific muscles.