How To Build Muscles And Own That V-Shaped Upper Body

How To Build Muscles And Own That V-Shaped Upper Body

Every guy who steps into the gym dreams of achieving that great classical V-shaped upper body that commands respect and attention. Many have trained for months, if not years and yet that V-shaped upper body just isn’t forth coming. Ever wondered why?

Before I show you various ways to achieve that glorious ‘V’, you must also be aware that the ‘V’ shape is also an illusion. If you have a wide thick back with a powerful chest, coupled with boulder-like deltoids, your ‘V’ will show up commandingly because those attributes will make your waist look small and thus accentuating the ‘V’ illusion.

To have a stupendous upper body, you MUST train your lower body. V-shapes will just be an ugly upper body shape if your legs are like bamboo poles. The excellent full body shape is called the X-frame. Just like those super heroes you see in comic books. If you don’t train legs, you are missing out on training the largest muscle mass. When training legs, many other upper body muscles especially the back and abs will be involved. This gives you the most muscle mass trained in one go. And because you are training so many muscles at one go, you secrete tons of growth hormones when you sleep, further enhancing overall muscle development for that perfect X-frame.

Another muscle group many people fail to pay attention to is the back. The back must be trained for thickness as well as width. Many back exercises also develop the rear deltoids and the trapezius which are very important to getting that ‘V’. When your back is thick, you will look powerful and with the width, it will make your waist look narrower, thus making the ‘V’ more pronounced. Do bar-bell row, deadlifts for a thick and powerful back. Chin-ups and push-ups (weighted and doing them in a slow controlled motion) will provide you the width or more commonly called ‘wings’.

Another very obvious V-shape illusion creator are your triceps. But most people pay more attention to the biceps than triceps. Why triceps then? Because your triceps, as the name ‘tri’ suggests, has three ‘heads’ and each ‘head’ must be dealt with when you exercise them. They are also 1/3 bigger than your biceps. By training the triceps hard, your upper arms will grow bigger faster, giving more berth to your upper body and again creating a narrow waistline illusion.

The best illusion-shapers are your deltoids. Your delts have 3 ‘heads’. However, most of the time, I see people only working out the front delts. When you develop your delts well, they will be round and boulder-like, and they make your shoulder wide and strong. Now, close your eyes and have a mental image of yourself with a wide thick back, big strong triceps… now, do you see that ‘V’? Add lateral raise, bent-over lat-raisers and upright rows to your routine.

How to have a beautiful ‘V’ if your abs are flabby? Forget the side crunches and side bends. It will only make your waistline thicker. Go on a lose fat program by combining weight lifting, cardio exercises and eating correctly. Your abs will show in no time.

Ahh… to finally stamp your authority in the gym and at the beach, a wide and powerful gladiator’s chest will put you ahead of the pack! Train your chest heavy with dumbbells, barbells and cables machines. Use incline benches rather than flat or declining ones. You want to build the upper chest and not targeting the lower chest in case it gets you the droop or saggy chest which we call ‘bitch tits’. Although the pec is one huge muscle, it can be targeted at different places to recruit different fibres to shape it.

Moving From Beginner To Intermediate Level Bodybuilding

Moving From Beginner To Intermediate Level Bodybuilding

By now you’ve made significant progress in your bodybuilding career. For the past three to six months you’ve learnt how to perform the core lifting exercises in a technically correct manner. You’ve also conditioned the body and developed sufficient core strength to prepare yourself for a whole new level of intensity. Hopefully you’ve also built some rock solid muscle! But that’s only the beginning.

In recent weeks your workouts have probably lost some of their effect so, even though you’re lifting bigger weights, your muscles now need even greater stimulation to generate maximal growth. Don’t expect miracles though – from this point onwards, every little bit of improvement will take even greater and more intensive work than before.

Because you’ll be working your muscles more intensively, they’ll also need more recovery time to adapt and grow and that’s why you’ll be reducing your workouts to three a week. Each primary muscle group trained will now need one full week to recover. After being used to whole body sessions and more workouts per week it may seem as if you’re not doing enough but the point is, you’ll be working your muscles very, very intensively and making better use of your time.

As you gain more experience you’ll be able to tweak or re-design your basic muscle building program to suit your own individual needs, but the program described here should provide a useful starting point. What I’m proposing is basically a 3-split of the body on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

MONDAY (Chest, Triceps, Shoulders)

1. Chest Exercises

Incline dumbbell press – this is a compound exercise that targets the chest but also works the triceps and shoulders to a lesser extent.

Pec-deck flye – this is an isolation exercise that works the pectorals.

2. Triceps

Dips – this compound exercise targets the triceps but also works the chest and shoulders.

3. Shoulders

Front military press – this compound exercise targets shoulders but also works the triceps.

Dumbbell lateral raises – this isolation exercise works the shoulders only.

Bentover dumbbell laterals – this isolation exercise works the rear delts.

WEDNESDAY (Back, Biceps, Forearms)

1. Back

Front lat pulls – compound exercise that targets lats but also works the biceps and mid-back.

Deadlifts – compound exercise that targets the back and quads but also works hamstrings, calves and glutes.

Dumbbell rows – compound exercise that targets mid-back but also works biceps and lats.

Dumbbell shrugs – isolation exercise that works traps.

2. Biceps

Dumbbell biceps curl – isolation exercise that works the biceps.

Dumbbell hammer curls – isolation exercise that works the biceps.

3. Forearms

Barbell wrist curl – isolation exercise that works the forearms.

FRIDAY (Lower Body)

1. Legs

Squats or leg press – compound exercise that targets the quads but also works the hamstrings, calves and glutes.

Leg extension – isolation exercise that works the quads.

Leg curls – isolation exercise that works the hamstrings.

Standing calf raise – isolation exercise that works the gastrocnemius calf muscle.

Seated calf raise – isolation exercise that works the soleus calf muscle.

You could start this program by aiming for two sets of 8-10 reps per exercise but as your strength and size increase you should really introduce techniques that boost the intensity even further. This can be achieved in a number of ways including the use of pre-exhaustion, super sets, partial reps, isometric contractions and forced reps. These techniques are covered in detail elsewhere in this series of articles.