How to Build a Beautiful Body – 3 Exercises You Should Never Do

Okay, so you want to build a beautiful body. No matter how many times I am asked the question “hey, what do you bench?”, my answer is always the same; “I don’t know”. This is because I don’t go to the gym with the intention of finding out how much weight I can bench press.

Bench pressing is the ultimate ego exercise and continues to dominate the egotistical mind as the standard measure of progress. This would be fine if you were a power lifter, but most people who work out regularly at a gym don’t fall into this category. You will find that the most common goal amongst gym rats is to lose body fat, gain lean muscle, and sculpt a beautiful physique. Well guess what? you are therefore a bodybuilder. Get that in your head first. Now you may not desire to have a physique to the same degree as say a professional bodybuilder, or even a natural competitive amateur bodybuilder, but you desire to create a beautiful body by losing body fat and building lean muscle. Yep, you are a bodybuilder. Once you make this mental shift, you will begin to realise that you can achieve your goals much easier because you are clear on what you are.

So back to the “What do you bench question?”. As a bodybuilder you use resistance training to stimulate and tear down muscle. The question of how much weight can you lift becomes irrelevant if you do not satisfy this first rule. Using the right weight with the right technique is paramount to achieving the desired effect. Yes, you can go too heavy as a bodybuilder. What happens in this instance is that other muscle groups compensate to cooperatively lift the weight. This lessens the tension on the primary target muscle group, and as a result, less stress is transferred to that targeted muscle and hence less results ensue. In the case of the bench press for example; using too heavy a weight incorporates more triceps, more rear deltoids, more shoulders, more forearms, even the back comes into play. All of this combined effort alleviates tension from the chest muscle which is where the stress should be focused. In bodybuilding, transferring stress to the right muscle group, while limiting the incorporation of supporting muscle groups, is critical for the overall development of the targeted muscle.

Bodybuilding is about visuality. It is about making your physique appear balanced, and proportioned, and appearing aesthetic from every angle. However it is also about optical illusion. Let me give you some examples.

– A dark tanned person looks more defined than a pale skinned person of the same body fat%.

– A well defined 16″ arm looks bigger than an undefined 18″ arm.

– Well developed calf muscles give more overall balance to the body, than the development of any other body part.

– If you have short hair, as opposed to long hair, your body will look larger.

– A person with overdeveloped biceps appears to lack chest development.

You can see from these examples how much visuality and optical illusion contribute to the overall image of the body. So, taking these things into consideration what are the exercises you should never do, and why not do them? Well the reason is this, they can damage your symmetry. Symmetry is the most critical element of a beautifully developed body.

#1 Do not perform side-bends

No matter how many places I have trained I always see someone incorporating this movement into their routine. The problem with this exercise is that is does not target the obliques. Instead it builds muscle in the area beneath your typical love handles, creating permanent, yes permanent love handles. Even if you were to diet down to single digit body fat% you would still have this muscle mass present making your waist line appear wide, and blocky. I have even seen people do this movement holding heavy dumbbells or a cable. I advise against it. Having a nice V taper from your back and lats, combined with nicely rounded shoulders makes the waistline appear smaller. Doing side bends, or weighted side bends makes the waistline look thicker, and no body wants that.

#2 Don’t train the forearms

If you are trying to look like Popeye go right ahead, but again, building a beautiful body is about symmetry, proportion, and visuality. Here’s the deal. Every movement that requires you to grab hold of something, whether it be pulls up, bench presses, or shoulder raises, to some degree involve the forearms. If you overdevelop this muscle group you will make your biceps look small. Even if you have well developed guns, having overdeveloped forearms will make them appear smaller than they really are. Don’t train them. They get plenty of work doing everything else.

#3 Don’t back squat if you have naturally large glutes

This is the basic squat that requires you to put a barbell across your shoulders and then to perform a regular squat. The problem with this movement is that it engages the gluteus muscles to a large degree, and if you are a person with naturally large glutes you do not want to develop them further. Your butt may be firm and even cut, but in regular clothes you look like you still have some junk in the trunk. Not only that, but from a side view your protruding buttocks make the back look undeveloped, and if you haven’t developed a thick curved back, it will really show up here. Instead, perform front squats, hacks, and walking weighted lunges to develop the quads. These movements place much more stress on the targeted muscle group. The reason why most people don’t do them is because they are so freakin’ difficult. Back squatting is much easier and you can put up a lot more weight. Again feeding the ego and back to the ‘how much weight can you lift’ mentality. When you focus on stimulating and building the muscle through resistance training, the amount of weight you use becomes irrelevant.

This is what it comes down to. People judge you first by what they see. If you are walking along the beach and are heavy and out of shape, people judge you by that. No body cares what you can bench press, even though you might be a power-lifting champion. They are not thinking ‘I wonder how much that guy can bench press’. They don’t care. You are not attractive enough to get a second thought, let alone a second glance.

On the other hand if your body is proportioned, muscular, sculpted and defined, one of the first questions that comes to a persons mind is ‘I wonder how much he benches’. The point is this. It doesn’t matter how much you can bench, it only matters how much you look like you can bench. A body that is well proportioned, muscular, and lean with beautiful symmetry, will always demand respect. No one is going to mess with you because you look like you’re strong. Whether you are or not is irrelevant.

So consider this the next time you train. When you go to the gym, leave your ego at the door. Focus on the finer details of your physique, especially your symmetry. You are there to build a beautiful body, not just to lift weight.