If you’re a man who cares about your appearance, then you know that not only does your wardrobe matter, but also your physique. Picking the right clothes helps us project our image out into the world on how we want to be perceived. And pairing those clothes with a fit body will elevate you even more.
Most of us care about how we look because we want to feel more confident in our skin and in our clothes, and be more attractive to find a mate.
And having a great body signals we work hard, care about ourselves, and have the discipline to achieve our goals.
In order to look shredded and sharp in and out of your clothes, you need to do strength training.
For us men, we want to achieve the coveted “X-Physique” shape. This means broad shoulders and chest, slim waist, and well-developed legs. When you build muscle in those key areas, you’ll look next level in your clothes.
Let’s break down how to develop the upper body and lower body.
To build a broad chest, you need to incorporate pushing movements that target the upper pec area. My favorite movements for the upper part of the chest are the incline dumbbell bench press, incline barbell bench press, and feet elevated pushups.
With your shoulders, you want to use lateral raises to maximize their growth in the medial and posterior parts. You can train them together in a single session, here’s an example routine:
1. Incline Dumbbell or Barbell Bench Press 3×8
2. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press – 3×8-10
3. Pushups – 3 sets to failure
4. Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 3×15
5. Bent Over Lateral Raise – 3×15
Although we want to build those areas, we can’t neglect our upper back. Most of us spend our day in a forward head and slouched position.
If all you do is work your chest, then it’s going to lead to an imbalance and potential injury. I recommend having a 2:1 pull to push ratio, meaning for every bench press you do, you want to have two rowing movements.
Here’s a sample day for your back:
1. Cable Row – 3×10
2. Lat Pulldowns – 3×10-12
3. Dumbbell Row – 3×8 each arm
4. Dumbbell Pullovers – 3×10
5. Face Pulls – 3×15
Developing a great lower body helps balance out the proportions of the upper, and also fills out your pants, improve your athletic performance, and decrease back pain. Many men tend to neglect their legs, or their lower body routine consists of leg extensions, leg curls, and quick calf raises.
The best exercises to build lower body are squats, deadlifts, split squats, and lunges. With calves, you want to train them often with a slower tempo and higher rep, emphasizing the stretch.
Here’s a sample lower body workout:
1. Barbell Back Squat – 3×8
2. Dumbbell Reverse Lunges – 3×10 each leg
3. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift – 3×10
4. Standing Calf Raise – 4×15
When it comes to having a smaller waist, diet is the main driver. Although ab exercises are great for strengthening your core, you need to get your body fat down in order to get to slim down. You can do all the ab exercises in the world, but if your body fat is still too high, you won’t get your waist smaller.
In order to get your body fat down, you need to be eating at a calorie deficit. If you haven’t been making much progress in terms of losing fat in your stomach area, it could be because you’re still eating too many calories.
Track how much food you’re eating, and then make adjustments. A general rule of thumb is your bodyweight x 10-12 calories as a starting point.
For example, if you’re 170 lbs, then your starting point is 1700-2040. Start in the higher end, and make adjustments accordingly.
With each of your meals, make sure you’re having at least one serving size of protein (~25g) and a cup of vegetables. Be consistent with it, see what progress you’re making, and keep it going.
In regards to ab training, I recommend incorporating exercises that train the stability. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Side Planks + Front Planks
2. Ab Wheel Rollout
3. Stability Ball Stir-the-Pot
4. Hanging Leg and Knee Raises
Throw in one or two of these into your workouts.
Looking Sharp, Stud!
When improving your image, you need to upgrade not only your wardrobe, but your body as well. If you want to look your best in and out of your clothes, you need to train the right way.
You now have the right strategies on how to achieve the X-physique body. Train hard, eat right, and you’ll look better in no time.
In less than 90 days, my team and I will help you rebuild your body, refresh your wardrobe and reboot your image so you can you can get your swag back this Summer! Set up a Complimentary Image Accelerator Call to see if this program is the right fit for you!
Guest post written by Fitness & Nutrition Coach, Tim Liu of Tim Liu Fitness. Tim helps busy men and women lose fat and build muscle without living in the gym or giving up their favorite foods and drinks. Photography by Karjaka Studios.