Sculpting Specific Body Parts : The Classical Physique

The Apollean Benchmark


Figures in Greek mythology are the embodiment of physical well being. We have female gods such as the deity of love, Athena, who possess long flowing locks, a waspish midsection and a well endowed chest. As for their male counterparts, the physical attractiveness of Apollo, the son of Zeus and Hercules, the legendary strongman is renowned. If one would to study the physiques of these two figures, the discerning eye would detect a dichotomy. There is Hercules with a blocky body shape while on the other hand, Apollo's body seems to be carved on what is called "classical" lines.


Indeed, a "classical physique" is what many trainees aspire to have. Let's now take a closer look at what constitute the Apollean benchmark or what some commentators term as the "X frame" or the "V shape"


Wide Shoulders


Broad shoulders are much coveted for by the female species (and also a significant portion) of the male one. Broad shoulders emanate a sense of power and authority. That is probably why business suits have built in shoulder pads to provide the illusion of the wearer being wider-after all impressions do count in negotiating that multi million dollar deal.


All in all, have wide shoulders is the foremost criteria for having the "V" shape. Many of us are cursed with having narrow clavicles. Nevertheless, with intelligent and hard training, having broader shoulders are a distinct possibility. The first weapon you should draw out of the armoury to tackle the problem of narrow shoulders is wide grip upright rows. In the conventional upright row, you take a grip that is only a few inches between your hands. In the wide grip variant, you take a grip that is at least shoulder width or slightly wider. Perform a few medium rep sets of this exercise consistently and watch your side deltoids increase in mass which would create an illusion of wider shoulders.


At this juncture, I wish to draw your attention to the problem of overdeveloped traps. Having excessively large upper traps is ruinous to your goal of attaining the classical physique! They will make your shoulders appear as if they are drooping. Horrors of horrors, they actually make you look narrower! Hence, you should do well to keep in  check your trap development and must strive to never let them overpower your delts.


Flaring Lats


The next component of the classical physique are flaring lats. Indeed, you need latissimus dorsi development which looks like that of the hood of a cobra ready to strike. This would accentuate your broad shoulders and increase the V-shape of your torso. Not only that, wide lats being a rarity, scream to the world: I'm serious about training." 


To have lats as wide as the barn door, vertical pulling movements are critical. Pull up variants are fundamental in this endeavour. Contrary to popular opinion, the wide grip pull up is not a superior exercise for increase lat width. It has limited range of motion compared to narrower versions and thus, it restricts development in that sense. The ideal width of grip would be shoulder width or slightly broader. The type of grip also affects the degree of lat development. I used to do pull ups with my thumbs involved and would find my biceps engorged with blood thereafter. In other words, I was working my biceps harder than my lats during these pull ups. Recently, I switched over to a thumbless grip and has found this variant much more beneficial for lat growth. Simply put, when you do pull ups with a thumbless grip, you are only using the other four fingers other than the thumb to perform the movement.


The Classical Physique Is Yours To Obtain!


There you have it, the two most important components for having a classical physique-broad shoulders and wide lats. Having a waspish waist also work wonders for accentuating your V shape as it makes your shoulders appear even broader. Work hard on these three areas using the exercises prescribed above and you are way on your way to have a classical physique which you can call your own!


Author: Wan Beng Ho


This article is brought to you by Nutrition Park - Bringing you good nutrition and real results. .

Last updated on: 09/09/2007, 11:23:35hrs
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