This post was written almost 7 years ago. I have edited it to reflect my current thoughts. I am unlikely to start working out again in the near future. But it is fun to fantasize about!
Once, a long time ago, I trained as a bodybuilder. In my very best shape ever, I had a reasonably muscular physique.
I’m 5′-9″ tall. In my best shape ever,
- I was 176 pounds,
- with a 33″ waist.
- a 44″ chest
- with 16″ arms
- and 25″ quads
- at about 8% bodyfat.
At my biggest and fittest,
- I was 205 pounds,
- with a 34″ waist,
- a 47″ chest
- with 17-1/2″ arms
- and 26″ quads
- at about 12% bodyfat.
Most guys would be satisfied with either of those builds. I never was. I wanted to achieve the “three L’s: large, lean and limber”. I was never large enough or lean enough. And we won’t talk about the limber.
I like a physique with exaggerated proportions. i think for most people into bodybuilding, that’s true. bodybuilding is all about exaggerating the body’s muscle size. but what i mean, is extreme exaggeration.
The body i was shooting for, the body i really wanted would have been more like this:
- 225 pounds
- 32″ waist,
- 50″ chest
- 19″ arms
- 27″ thighs
- at around 10% bodyfat.
Never got there.
When I dream about the body I want, this is it:
Same height, 5′-9″ is good.
- weight? I don’t know. whatever it takes to achieve this:
- 26″ waist,
- 50″ chest
- 28″ thighs
- 20″ arms
- at around 6% bodyfat.
Now, years later, with my body limited by injuries and having not worked out in years, we won’t talk about my current condition. I find myself thinking about getting back into the gym and working out again. Other than losing the weight I’ve gained and generally getting closer to “fit”, I fantasize about training to exaggerate one or more muscle group.
A couple years ago I went back to the gym with the same idea and i tried to focus my training on my arms. I wanted big ass biceps. I wanted biceps that would be “too big” for my body. That didn’t last too long. turns out I have tendon issues in my left fore arm and the arm training only made it worse. That was so discouraging, I stopped going to the gym.
If I were to return to the gym, in addition to dropping some pounds, I would train some muscle group to exaggeration. Which one?
Let’s consider the alternatives:
- arms: given the ongoing tendon issues, no can do.
- chest: not possible. I’d love massive muscle pecs protruding from my chest like a shelf. I do have old injuries to both shoulders, however, that would limit my chest work.
- shoulders: unlikely. The shoulder injuries just won’t allow it.
- abs: possible. I’d love a cobbled, washboard stomach, but is that exaggerated? And lets face it, they aren’t great “show” muscles.
- back: possible. a dramatic “V-taper” would rock. But again, not a great “show” muscles.
- quads: possible. I just think tom platz or paul demayo. I’d love great tree trunk thighs. but I have bone spurs in both knees. That could limit my training.
- calves: possible. I used to fantasize about having calves so big that they’d press against one another when I put my feet together. Not a great “show” muscle, but imagine the gasps and stares when I wore shorts.
There is also the possibility of training to create the illusion of exaggeration. Bodybuilding is all about minimizing your short comings and maximizing your positives. For instance, if I worked my chest and my abs, presumably my shrinking waist and growing pecs would make my pecs look even bigger. Similarly with quads and abs.
At the moment I would work both my chest and my abs for that reason. But if my old shoulder injuries start acting up, I would focus all my attention on my calves.
I really don’t know.