First impressions are big for you never get another chance. Whether it’s an interview for a new job or a hot date, making a good first impression is paramount. Before a word can even be spoken, the first impression weighs heavily on your physical presentation: how you carry yourself, how professional and well-kept you present yourself, and of course what you’re wearing. Now, far be it from me to offer advice on what one should wear to an interview or first date (I’ll leave that to the
The Center Piece – the “Suit”
For the analogy I want to draw here, let’s just imagine putting together a professional ensemble that begins with a great suit. The suit is what makes the biggest impression – its color, its shape and contours, how well-fitted it is, etc. It becomes the center piece of the outfit. When it comes to your physique, the “suit” is comprised of the major muscle groups: chest, back, legs, and core musculature. They are the most important because they make up over 85% of your body. Whether you want to improve, define, or strengthen your physique, it’s vital to train these muscle groups as the focus of your workouts. In terms of musculature, 2/3 of all the muscle mass in the body is below the waist. If you want to make overall changes to the body, you have to work the legs. The next largest muscle group is the back – big, powerful muscles that not only strengthen and support the spine, but are key in all pulling motions. Next are the chest muscles. Whether you’re a man or a woman, the “pecs” are also important to posture as they balance the forces of the back muscles and are involved in most if not all pressing motions. And finally, the core musculature is important for posture, balance, strength, and stability of the spine, and most important is the link between the larger muscle groups of the lower body and the muscles of the upper body. Just as with selecting the perfect suit, your workouts should focus first on the body’s center piece working the larger muscle groups of the body. Then you can focus on the finishing touches.
The Extras – the “Accessories”
Once a great suit is selected, then comes the accessories which will often take a great suit to an awesome suit. Shoes, belts, jewelry, ties, scarfs, etc. can certainly raise the level of the suit, but in and of themselves don’t’ make the suit. Same with your physique. The “accessories” of the body are the arms, shoulders, calfs, and even some of the core musculature, primarily the superficial muscles of the abdominals. Often times when someone says they want a stronger or leaner physique yet see diminishing returns, they focus too much time on developing the “accessories” and do not devote the time to fully develop and build the “suit”. Training the arms only or doing abdominal exercises until you’re blue in the face with little attention paid to the bigger picture will lead to frustration and diminished returns. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a nice set of arms and good looking abs, but you’d be better served focusing your energy on the large muscle groups first (the suit) and then complimenting that training by hitting the extras (the accessories).
Proper training has more to do with what you do than how much you do. Spending whole exercise sessions on just training the “accessories” will not produce the same yield as training the “suit”. When you train the “suit”, the “accessories” get worked as well and if you train them properly and intensely enough, they won’t need a special training session all their own. Focus your training on the “suit”, compliment with the “accessories”, and you’ll have one fine looking birthday suit!
Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.