T Nation

Exercises That Make You Look Good


Alright so we all know the main lifts to pack the beef on..Squats, Deads, Benches, Military Press.
Sure I've built up a solid base but my chest is lagging and well I've heard it here before that using just the 3 lifts to build an impressive physique won't entirely work..

So I am sticking with my meat and potatoes obviously but would like some auxiliary exercies to build up the other muscles more so to look good. Things I never do that I am going to do after main benching.

Chest Flyes
Bench Press to neck (I tried these, I've never ACTUALLY felt my chest work so much)
Incline Bench (i've always neglected these)
Any other idea's? I'm getting width and upper chest working here..I could use some db presses for thickness as well but I think that covers the chest. I don't have any machines, so it's not really an option. But I'm sure these will work.

Lateral Raises!
Front raises - don't think I need these because of all the military pressing and such
Rear Raises, I do those
I think that covers that? lol

I do BB curls, DB curls, Hammer curls, and yes chin ups lol
I'm actually quite happy with my arm development.

I never do shrugs but I do deadlift so my traps are built up pretty good.
BB Rows
DB Rows
Pull-ups (wide)
I should include shrugs.
Also I never do any seated rowing and I'm sure that helps.

Anything else you guys know of auxiliary exercises that may help me.
I think I covered it all, like I said my list can't be extraordinary because no machines but I think adding the chest flyes, inclines, benches to neck will help put some meat on the chest..I've actually have had sore chest the last few days..and have never had that before lol

Any other suggestions for back and shoulders or is that pretty much that can be done?

Thanks guys.


You add chest flyes but leave out dumbbell presses? This is why so many of us do not follow the lame advice many of you seem to be. There is no way in hell I would have someone do strictly "

" because focusing on those at the exclusion of all other movements will lead to imbalances...and lo and behind if that isn't exactly what fucking happened to you and tons of other people apparently.

The entire way you think about lifting is screwed up if your goal is to pack on a shit load of size without being imbalanced later down the road....but clearly so many people here know better.

LOL @ chin ups for biceps.


I do not power clean. Most bodybuilders or people with a great deal of size don't unless they are doing that for a competition or something. Why take the most roundabout detour to work a specific muscle group? I think I have big traps. I do shrugs. That's how they got big.

As far as selections for exercises, in general for most of the time I was training, I would pick two very heavy movements for most muscle groups (like chest and biceps and triceps) and then one last movement that had the goal of getting more blood into the area.

That meant there were many days of dumbbell flat presses, incline presses and then maybe the pec deck afterwards. That was enough to hit those major areas of my chest.

Another thing, those of you waiting months or years before you add in lateral raises have your heads up your asses.

Stop thinking of "movements" and start thinking in terms of body parts and work from there. This is one thing most of you seem to not be doing and it makes no sense. You SHOULD be training triceps directly along with everything else. A weak link in the chain is probably why some of you are stagnating, especially in big movements like the bench press.


I was one of the people that fell to the whole, row for big arms, deadlifting is enough for your abs. Man I'm still paying for these.


Listen Prof I really want to take your advice but don't shit on me right off the bat.
Alright yes I've FOCUSED on those movements I got squat up to 405x15 reps, bench press 400lbs all at 210lb and being 19 years old..natural if anyones curious.
That speaks a hell of a lot more than most people on this site who dick around.
I can curl 135 for reps, I do feel the chin ups work my biceps as well.
I DO NOT use chin-ups as a MAIN exercise for biceps.

I will do Bent Over Rows, Bicep Curls, then Chin-ups as finisher for both. It might be wrong, might be right..but I'm workin damn hard so it'll make for some gains.
You don't understand that I didn't do those movements before because I was a COMPETITIVE FIGHTER. For me to do all these movements would cause unneccessary fatigue to my arms when I've got to hit pads, bags, and people the next day.
I did what I needed to do in the weightroom to get strong and to fight and train muay thai at a high intensity.

I do know how to get myself strong in movements but I'm looking at myself as a whole package right now.
I do have a pretty balanced physique actually I am no way near out of whack or anything, but I do know that things can be cleaned up for me, and going down that route won't lead to a desireable physique.
So I'm seeking advice and I'm glad your the first one who looked at this post.

If you don't mind I'd like to send you my current routine (PM) and if you could evaulate it that'd be greatly appreciated, PM me, or send a post if that's cool.


No kidding! This takes a while to understand, thanks to the somewhat dubious influence powerlifting gurus have on younger easily-swayed trainers.
As you're well-aware, there's a bunch of wendler-wannabes around these here parts who feel it makes sense to compare Ronnie Coleman's bench press training poundage to Stan Effarding's training poundage.


Every so often somebody starts a thread about the one exercise EVERYBODY training for size should do. Usually it centers around one of the big 3 and settles into the idea that there isn't one. I disagree on both counts. The one exercise EVERYBODY should be doing who's training for size is lateral raises of some kind. There's a hundred ways to hit every muscle except for the lateral delts. They are situated in such a way on the most mobile joint in the body (except maybe you're neck) so that ONLY moving a properly rotated humerous away from the body directly recruits that head.

Not even upright rows, which often wind up further out in front engaging the front delts, do as good a job. Overhead pressing? Nope. You'll get some action there, but with the humerous rotated back they still don't do as direct a job either. Deadlifting will get you some stretch position stimulation, but if you want to work the lateral delts, whether it be a well designed machine or dumbbell laterals themselves you will be doing that movement.

Yessir, instead of thinking of what exercises I should be doing and applying that to your body, you need to learn how your body works and apply that to exercise selection. We are all similar enough to where there will be a lot of commonality, but different enough, for a number of reasons, to where you need to learn what hits YOUR target muscles best.

The kiss of death is selecting or avoiding exercises based on how cool or ridiculed they may be. I don't care what anybody thinks of what I do. When I'm done I know I accomplished what I set out to.


The sad truth is there are legions of people on the internet that are preaching the opposite of what you are saying here, to new guys.

Planks, Birdogs and squats are all you need. Curling will give you cancer, and isolation work in general will cause WWIII.

People get told arm work is useless, and then wonder why threads complaining that "my arms give out from fatigue on my second push exercise." Ah, work your arms jackass. They will get stronger, and therefore the problem of weak arms goes away.


Careful, there's historical precedence for this. On August 5, 1945, Emperor Hirohito added lateral raises and biceps curls to his training. The next day...



I used to do smith machine incline presses. Guess what happened?

My chest got fucking huge from it. Clearly the smith machine is EVIL...because "guru" said so.


It is pathetic to the degree that I've asked some people what they are working and they don't even know.


It blows my mind that people still are quoting this bullshit doctrine...


That's just sad.....but yet they are no doubt ready to turn their nose up at the guy who outweighs them by 50lbs because he is doing triceps pressdowns.


Pick up Ian Kings "get buffed"


Indeed. The Smith is a great example because it has got to be the most under appreciated piece of equipment around. I'm doing incline Smith presses right now and they are working great. Declines sometime too.

Ya jist know there will be some guys who will now run out thinking "oh shit, I gotta work the Smith machine into my program" which of course misses the point again entirely. It's not that you should go around trying to invent ways to use a piece of equipment or exercise because somebody said it works any more than shun them because somebody says it doesn't. Leave ALL options open and find the tools that get you what you want on that basis alone.

Nobody can argue with results. Oh wait a minute, yes they can.


lol, I was gonna say... You weren't around for the debate team debacle were you...


Skimmed the thread, but as far as chest goes, definitely hit those inclines nice and hard, and get into DB pressing.


You list "arms" but it only covers biceps. How come you don't directly train yout triceps? I'm sure you kow it's 2/3rds of your upper arm size potential.


if you want maximal stimulation of the upper pecs what angle of bench would you consider to be optimal? (please only answer if you've made considerable improvements in this area)


35-40 degrees. Much higher than that and your front delts take over more of the movement. Some benches only go back 45 degrees so you work with what you can.