Beach Muscles

When it comes to building the perfect beach body, your natural instinct is probably all wrong. Most guys focus on building their chest and arms, ignoring the muscles that take up less real estate in the mirror. That’s a mistake because building a big back and wide shoulders is the trick for attaining the classic V-shape, which creates the illusion of a smaller waist, thicker chest, and more powerful torso. Because those neglected muscles are less developed, they’ll also grow faster than their overtrained counterparts. And that means you’ll see dramatic changes in your physique–almost instantly.

Part 1 of this three-part “Beach Body” series targets the muscles you work the least–your shoulders, lats, and upper back. By fixing these weak spots now, you’ll strengthen the muscles that surround your chest and arms, enabling you to work your pecs and biceps harder than ever in the weeks to come. You’ll definitely see faster gains in the mirror–no matter which direction you’re looking.

How to do it: Alternate between Workout A and Workout B three times a week, resting at least a day between each session. (Start with Workout A in the first week, Workout B in the second week, and so on.)

Repetitions and weights: Use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed reps for each exercise. If you have trouble performing all the repetitions for body-weight exercises such as pull-ups and chin-ups, use the “substitution” exercises for those movements.

Speed of movement: Next to each exercise, you’ll find a recommended “tempo,” designated as three digits. The first digit is the number of seconds it should take you to lower the weight, the second is the length of the pause, and the third is the time it should take you to lift the weight.

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