Have you ever been out in public (at dinner, grocery shopping, night club, etc.) and upon noticing your reflection, immediately began to feel much smaller than you did before stepping out of your house? Too the pride, it is as though a tip of a needle met a fully pumped balloon. In actuality, the issue may not be that you are small, but rather that you are hiding what you have underneath the clothing. Now most people wouldn’t want to wear a cut-off shirt and gym shorts to a night club (for fashion-related reasons, along with dress code standards), so muscle groups become covered up in the process of picking out attire to go out. The result is that the majority of muscle groups (chest, abs, back, shoulders, legs, and even a large portion of biceps and triceps) go unnoticed by the spectators as you stride on by projecting yourself to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. For an amateur bodybuilder like myself (I cannot speak for the pros), carrying your progress is important, and while in public the validation of progress made (muscle gains, leaning out, etc.) from bystanders, friends you run into, cashiers, gym mates or complete strangers is extremely rewarding. Therefore, since I have been able to mitigate this issue over the past year (not entirely, but on a large scale) I’d like to share a few ways to help prevent your gains and fitness accomplishments from being overlooked in public.
One of my strong points have always been my deltoids, but when it came time to get dressed for work or to take my wife on a date, I’d cover them up (usually with a XL or now, a XXL polo shirt) and next thing you know, I would go from appearing to be a decent sized bodybuilder to that of a full-time marathon runner. Feedback from spectators in public in regards to my physique was minimal and although the feedback from others isn’t the purpose of working so hard in the gym it is again, validating which motivates further progress. Honestly (not to brag, but to inform), I do NOT have this problem anymore and it is simply because I spent an entire year focusing on my peripheral muscle groups at the same level of intensity and discipline as I did any other muscle group.
The breakdown looked like this:
Monday: 8 sets (reps: 25-35) of forearms pre-workout, intra-workout, or post my workout
Tuesday: 8-10 sets of calves (varies) pre-workout, intra-workout, or post my workout
Wednesday: 12 sets of abs & 6-8 sets of forearms pre-workout, intra-workout, or post my workout
Thursday: 16 sets of calves (dedicated workout—No other muscle group this day, just some cardio which
I prefer stairmaster)
Friday: 8 sets (reps: 25-35) of forearms pre-workout, intra-workout, or post my workout
Saturday: 8 sets (reps: 25-35) of forearms pre-workout, intra-workout, or post my workout
Sunday: 8 sets of abs & 6-8 sets of calves pre-workout, intra-workout, or post my workout
Now (after having implemented this type of regimen), I get the impression that when people see me in my XXL shirts, they tend to look at the size of my forearms which results in the “sizing up and down” procedure that us bodybuilders so naturally execute, giving them a more accurate assessment of my physique and doing my deltoids justice that once were only considered big on the beach.
Morale of the article: Prioritize all muscles, including the peripherals.
When it comes to calves: Any YouTube video from Ben Pakulski
When it comes to forearms: Rich Piana has some great tips on his YouTube channel
Or: Private Message me for tips!
-Chase Chandler (Chachistyle)