T Nation

Creating the 'Illusion' of Size


Ok, so long story short, ive been eating like crazy, and gaining weight finally. But heres the deal, I want to specialize in certain muscle groups to create the proportions that im interested in.

I consider myself intermediate, as Ive been lifting for quite some time, have decent strength, and have made decent progress as far as muscle gain. Well, without further adew, here goes......

So the areas that I consider "over-developed" in proportion to the rest of my body are.

*Lat width
*Vastus medialis

And the areas I think are lagging and currently need to be addressed are:

*Back thickness

Now those are the areas from a purely visual aspect that I feel could use more size in proportion to everything else. Upon thinking further, I feel that these muscles are also holding me back strength wise.

I think the reason i have these imbalances are likely due to my leverages, and partially from performing movements that I have been good at. For example, incline bench, and shoulder press are way harder and I have to use much less weight on them. Although I try to incorporate them into my training, I feel I always revert back to what im stronger at, which is flat bench, with a wider grip.

So my plan is to cut back the volume on all the lifts that I think have created these imbalances, and focus on bringing up the strength and size of these areas. Here is what I have come up with so far:

Back thickness/rear shoulder:

Rack pulls
Face pulls
1-arm db rows

DB shoulder raises
Incline bench
DB tricep ext (JM press, i think)

Standing calve raises
Seated calves

so basically those are the lifts I feel will get me to my goals, and it just so happens that im disproportionally weak at all of these lifts compared to their counterparts.

Now I know there may be some better movements, like push press, and military press for shoulders, but i'll be hitting these muscles harder with a higher frequency, and some of these movements lead to joint problems rather quickly for me.

Any recomendations are appreciated as far as programmin/exercise selection goes. Below are some images illustrating the look im going for, which if I had to describe it, was more of a thick look, rather than a wide look.


heres another pic....


one more pic


i like ur rear delt work outs. BB shoulder press is a good overall workout for strength and mass. I would suggest doing it behind the neck to involve your rear delts a little more.


Why are you trying to lift if you're already huge? JK I know those pics aren't you but what's the point of posting them?


I was just trying to show the "look" im going for. I did a tough workout yesterday, with farmer's walks, pullups, Shoulder press, and incine flys. It was really hard, and I think it hit the muscles I need worked most. I'll throw up a log soon.


with the exception of the third pic, isn't that the "look" we are all going for on here?


overdeveloped lat width?


LOL thats what I was thinking, I wish I had overdeveloped lat width


I call bullshit on the intermediate status.

Your best bet on looking anything like those dudes is to train your whole body.


This thread is a failure.


The illusion of size indeed. Very illusory.



Bullshit this thread is a fail. I totally agree that the illusion of mass can be created by developing certain body parts. I also have overdeveloped chest and massively underdeveloped shoulders.

I think shoulders are most important for creating the illusion of mass, specifically medial delt size. I also do a lot of flat bench and am weak on shoulder presses etc.

Props to you OP for focusing on your weak points, it's hard to do when bench is your fave exercise.


John Cena is the opposite of illusion of size, lol. He's pretty fuckin strong.


Nice first post sir. That's a great story.

Or is that your second one mr. OP?



The illusion of size? That is a new one.

The guys you picked are all really strong as well as over 220 some odd pounds - give or take a few pounds.

There is no illusion. They are all strong, eat well and train hard. In the case of a few of them some chemical enhancement has been used for maintenance I'm sure.

Using the word illusion makes me think you are trying to find a way to "short cut" the process. When it comes to body composition that doesn't work. You can try it but all who have tried have failed.

I too have lagging shoulders. The thing that has helped make them bigger . . . a stronger back.


you can fake us all out by gaining lots of muscles and saying " i never worked out "


i've never worked out.....


Guys, I realized that these guys were actually big, and I named the thread innapropriatly.

What I was getting at with this thread, is that since my goals are not to be a bodybulider, but just to look good, it makes sense to develop the muscles that will give me the proportions I want. And the proportions I am looking for are similar to these two guys.

It doesn't make sense for me to add more all around chest size, and lat width, because this will only take me farther from my goals. So in order to achieve the body I want, I need to focus a little more on my traps, shoulders, and arms, and decrease bodyfat. Thats what I was trying to suggest with this thread......

As a note, I was reading over the article 20lbs of hollywood muscle, and either CT, or CW suggests that traps, shoulders, upper chest, and arms "create the illusion of size".


Macaroni is a bull, on the subject: You want to over develop the visual/beach/girl-attracting muscle groups? Different strokes for different folks