Will bodybuilding make me bulky? I prefer the lean and ripped look.

Bodybuilding is the type of weightlifting that’s designed to make you bigger, more symmetrical, leaner, and every other aesthetic goal. So if by bulky you mean muscular… then yes. Bodybuilding is the best way to build muscle. It’s also the best way to maintain your muscle mass while losing fat.

Will you all of a sudden morph into an Italian-sausage-like pro-bodybuilder with a spray tan? No.

I know, I know—some bodybuilding programs do result in a rather distinct look. For example, a 2002 study by Gundill found that the front of a typical bodybuilders shoulders (front delts) are 500% bigger than the average person’s, the middle of their shoulders (lateral delts) are 300% bigger, and the back of their shoulders (rear delts) are just 15% bigger. This is probably due to lots of time spent bench pressing, which works just the front of the shoulders. As you can imagine, this would make your shoulders look a little weird. (This is why lifts like TYIs, reverse flys, rows and full range of motion chin-ups are important.)

So if you train in the typical bodybuilding bro fashion you may wind up with a bodybuilder bro bod’, but this is due to bad bodybuilding, not because bodybuilding inherently makes you look funky. Bodybuilding is supposed to be the type of weightlifting that focuses the most on symmetry and aesthetics, after all.

Note: We aren’t a bodybuilding program per se, because we don’t just focus on aesthetics—we also focus on strength, mobility, posture and health—but since we are a program designed to make you bigger and stronger, we use a ton of bodybuilding techniques. However, most guys come into the program wanting to look like Brad Pitt, not Jay Cutler. And the spray tan sessions in Phase Five are totally optional 😉

Category: 4. Aesthetics & Size

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