Maximize Your "X Frame"

Exercises you should (and should not) do to develop a classic physique.

 QUESTION 

I STARTED WORKING OUT ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO AND IMMEDIATELY FELL IN LOVE WITH TRAINING AND THE SPORT OF BODYBUILDING. MY GOAL IS TO STEP ONSTAGE BY 2018 IN THE CLASSIC PHYSIQUE DIVISION, WHICH I FEEL BEST SUITS MY PHYSIQUE. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT EXERCISES I SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON IN ORDER TO MAXIMIZE THE “X FRAME” THAT CLASSIC SEEMS TO DEMAND?

 ANSWER 

This is truly an excellent question that all aspiring classic physique athletes should be asking. You are correct when you say that an X frame is vital for this division and thus needs to be addressed when planning every training session. Building a physique along the lines of a Frank Zane or Lee Labrada takes a combination of favorable genetics and meticulously planned workouts based around movements that help create width, shape, symmetry, proportion, and just the right amount of mass. Here is a list that should help keep you on track toward your goal.

  • CHEST  
    • Incline press
    • Incline flye
    • Cable crossover
  • BACK
    • Stiff-arm pulldown
    • Dumbbell pullover
    • Seated pullover machine
    • Underhand-grip pulldown
    • Pullup
    • Row
    • Close-grip pulldown
    • Pullup
    • Single-arm dumbbell row
    • Seated cable row
    • Pulldown
  • SHOULDERS 
    • Dumbbell lateral raise
    • Cable lateral raise 
    • Machine lateral raise
    • Wide-grip upright row
  • QUADS
    • Narrow-stance squat
    • Leg press
    • Sissy squat
    • Hack squat
    • Lunge
    • Leg extension
  • HAMSTRINGS
    • Seated leg curl
    • Lying leg curl 
    • Standing leg curl
    • Hyperextension
  • BICEPS
    • Preacher curl
    • Concentration curl
    • Spider curl
    • Seated overhead cable curl
    • Hammer curl 
  • TRICEPS
    • Overhead dumbbell extension
    • Machine extension 
    • Cable extension
    • Rope pushdown
    • Dumbbell kickback
    • Dip
  • ABS
    • Body-weight crunch
    • Leg raise
    • Front plank
    • Side plank
    • Stomach vacuum 
  • CALVES
    • Standing calf raise
    • Seated calf raise
    • Calf press

I would also like to mention some exercises you may wish to avoid (or at least utilize minimally) in your pursuit of building a classic physique: heavy, low-rep squats, deadlifts, and rows; any type of weighted side bends; shrugs. I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you up onstage! 


The Classic Physique V-Taper: Find out how to achieve this sought-after look>>

 FLEX 

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