T Nation

Lifting for an A-Frame

I recently read Don Alessi’s article on lifting for one’s frame. I am a male with an A-frame (pear shape). While he offers a few suggestions on ways to lift for an A-frame, I feel like there should be so more information out there on lifting for frame types. However, I can’t find any thing using the search engine.

Any suggestions or article links? As an A-frame, I am obviously trying to gain in my upper body (shoulders, chest, arms) to match my already large lower body. I am finishing up 12 weeks to Great Guns as we speak.


any thoughts…

Sressler,you are right you should try to transform your “A” shape into an outstanding “V” shape that is big chest,BACK,shoulders.
These are the exercises:

  1. the big 3: Squat,Deadlift,Bench press
    2)Pullups,chins,rows,military presses,dips.
    Arms are already enclosed in this list:dips and chins.
    To achieve a “wasp waist” is more complex. You need: proper nutrition, proper anaerobic cardio, proper abs training. On these topics I suggest you to read carefully T mag papers,FAQ & Forums.

I am a cursed A-frame as well, I train for strength but i wouldn’t mind looking good while doing it. I gave up BB cause i thought i was a ‘hard gainer’ and concentrating on something i knew i could see results, which for me was putting up bigger weights.

My pecs are rubbish and i find that benching doesn’t do anything for them cause i bench like a PL. Benching for pec growth (elbows flared) puts too much stress on my shoulders so i have to add isolation exercises, dumbbell flies, cable flies to hit them.
I also train the medial delts like mad as i need the illusion of width, again with lateral raises, dumbbells and cables. I use these single joint movements so i don’t effect my main lifts negatively. I also have to do direct bicep work but my triceps grow from all the pressing i do.

I’m a terrible A-frame. People used to make fun of me in high school; the conversation would go like this:

me: I like to lift weights.
them: But you’re so small.
me: Fuck you.

hitting the back hard did more for me than anything. I’ve done a lot of rows, chins, upright rows, deads, and oly varitations. I can post a recent pic if you want me to, but it wouldn’t matter much because I don’t have any before pics.

I honestly don’t think frame type is terribly important. Biomechanics will dictate your form on exercises, but I think that, given the chance, most people’s upper and lower bodies can even out pretty well.

What’s your height and weight right now?

Ryan: LMAO!!

I agree with TommyGun. Hell, I’d look at it as an advantage and revel in the huge legs you’re gonna have when you start trainin em properly!

Also, you need to give more stats. What’s your height, weight, bodyfat percentage right now?

Either way, the most important thing to do is find out what your goal truly is (gain size and strength OR trim fat) and go for that goal. Once you’ve done that, then focus on the opposite goal. Don’t try to slim down your lower body, or slim down all over for that matter by dieting and doing cardio while trying in vain to build up a bigger upper body. Ain’t gonna happen. You ain’t givin your body the energy it needs to build. And for God’s sake don’t try to deliberately lose muscle on your lower body.

I’d say, if you have a “pear” shape ( hate saying that because I sound like Dr. Phil and the like) you probabaly have some fat to lose. Drop the fat first, and then go on a plan to start gaining muscle with minimal fat gain.

I don’t think you’re gonna need to blast out upper body much more than lower. I think that if you get on a well balanced, fundamental-based weight training routine, you’ll fill out as needed. Give it time though. I guess you could not train lower body as much but damnit I’d hate to see that as squats make you grow all over.

So throw up some more info and maybe some other dudes will drop some knowledge bombs on ya.

Agree with Ryan and all the back stuff, too.

I’ve done said too much and forgot what I said…time to submit!

Thanks for all the responses.

Currently, I am 6’3, 205 at about 16%bf. I had been skinny all my life (even though I had been lifting) until I stumbled upon t-mag about 6 months. I was 6’3, 180 10%bf as of September 1, 2003. I completed the 12-week guide to gaining mass and am almost done with 12-week guide to greater guns all done with massive eating. I gained a lot of weight, some fat and some muscle.

Part of the problem regarding my A-frame was during the 12-week guide to gaining mass, I did squats and deadlifts seriously for the first time and my butt blew up (many friends commented on this). Also, after reading a few articles, I think my height affected how I did squats and may have targeted my butt. In the future, I will try other variation besides the standard squat.

As soon as I am done with Great Guns, I am going to try to trim down with a
4-week Meltdown Training and another
4-week fat loss program (to be decided-suggestions?). After this, I want to work on fixing up my A-frame. Any more suggestions on how to do this and what exercises to do and avoid would be appreciated?