Take a stroll through any popular gym and you will typically see men working very hard packing on as much muscle as possible. Most of the time their muscle gains will show on parts of the body that will create a very unbalanced look. Just gaining muscle in any way possible is not the way to go, but so few have even acknowledged the problem.
(This is a great picture of muscle density. That is what you are aiming for.)
Developing These Muscle Groups Will Wreck Your Body Image
I can’t stress this enough. Try at all cost to avoid overdeveloping these muscle groups below. *I know I will receive an earful from a lot of bodybuilders on this, but I am going to stick to my guns.
Legs: I have not been a fan of men adding excessive mass to their legs. Yes, you want very toned legs….. but that is where tough cardio comes into play. Cardio has a lot of benefits other than just toning the legs but I will get into that another time. I have not done a single leg lift, squat, deadlift, etc since I finished my college baseball career. There is simply no need for it. I haven’t done a leg lift since 2007, but my legs are ripped from only doing cardio.
This is a little embarrassing….but I will show you a picture of myself back in the day to show you what not to achieve in the lower body.
Once again this is not what you want! I have actually developed my upper body a lot more since this picture was taken but you can see how a larger lower body can visually mask your overall physique. Now, I understand that a lot of bodybuilders have MUCH bigger thighs than me, but that is the look that I am really trying to steer men away from…. hopefully you get my point!
Obliques: There is no need to gain muscle here. These muscles are located on the side of your waist. If you spend a lot of time trying to gain mass in this area you will acquire a very wide midsection like those of a professional wrestler. A common exercise that people use to work this area is the dumbbell side bend. Avoid this at all cost!
Booty: I also don’t recommend working your butt with any kind of weights. You don’t want a huge butt. I acquired a larger butt because of all the direct leg work when I was in college ball but I am glad that is over. Of course I am going against the grain on this one, but a tough cardio program will give you an overall better looking rear end. You don’t want to add muscle in this area…Trust me on this one
Lower Pecs: I would recommend focusing your time and effort on chest workouts where you are positioned in more of an incline fashion. The reasoning for that is because the lower pecs almost always develop more mass than your upper chest. Extensive work on your lower chest can give a look that is comparative to women’s breasts. Obviously that is not what you want. So….working the upper chest is very important because it will create a more even muscle mass from the collar bone down to the lower portion of your pecs. It creates an angular look! I rarely do flat bench anymore because they work the lower chest more than what you would think. I wrote another article that will give you a great outline for that hard angular chest. *Side note… there is no need to EVER do decline presses even though you will see guys doing it all the time.
Traps: These are the muscles that attach at the base of your neck and extend down to your shoulders. When these muscles are overdeveloped, it will make your neck look like it is nonexistent. It also takes away from the look of wide shoulders. Shrugs are the exercise that develop these muscles so I would simply drop this from any kind of workout routine.
Note: Bottom line? If you want to add muscle and you are after the lean “Hollywood Look”, check out Visual Impact. It will teach you exactly what needs to be done to accomplish that.