Physique training is the idea of training for the ideal human aesthetic by conditioning your size, shape, proportions, and symmetry into an ideal balance. You want a strong, powerful body that looks good from the front, back, and all sides. When you think of the ideal, you’ll think of a strong V-taper, abs of steel and a small waist, and strong quads and thighs. Physique training is not the same as performance training, although both are necessary for champions.
A proportional body is one in balance. Your upper and lower body should be equal or near-equal in strength and size. You don’t want to overtrain your upper body and neglect your lower, for example. In addition, you’ll want to make sure you stay symmetrical – your right and left sides of your body should also be near equal in terms of size and strength.
Low Body Fat
The ideal physique is one with very little body fat. When your body fat percentage is too high, you lose the muscle definition you want for physique training. To stay cut, keep your rests short to burn more fat while keeping your muscle gains. Add in cardio sessions to keep your cardiovascular health up and define your natural muscles.
To get the ultimate physique, you need to define your V-taper. To make your natural V shape stand out even more, use exercises that broaden your back and shoulders to make your waist look even smaller. This will help define your natural shape even at a very low body fat percentage. A part of that V-taper is of course your abs and obliques to tone your waist. Training your abs is necessary to balance, strengthen, and increase the size of the muscles.
Dieting for the Ultimate Physique
Eating complex carbs like brown rice, oatmeal, and rice cakes will help give you long lasting energy for your training days. You’ll also want to eat lean protein like lean steak and pork, about 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight per day.
Carb cycling is often used in physique training for competitions to lose as much body fat as possible. You’ll want one high carb day, two medium, and one low carb day.
High day: 600g of carbs
Medium days: 400g of carbs
Low day: 200g of carbs
Two weeks away from the competition, drop to the low day carbs, then carb up for the last week before the competition.
When looking to train for aesthetics, you want to achieve a proportional, symmetrical, ripped body without hulking-out to be overly muscled. Physique competitors want to be as defined as possible, whereas classic bodybuilders want to be as muscled as possible. Whichever you choose, sticking to a training plan can help you achieve the look you’re going for.