Fill Your Frame

Pro tips to help you get the look you're after in no time.

Fill Your Frame

Hany Rambod makes sure six-time Mr. O Phil Heath targets the right muscles.

A bodybuilder’s physique has traditionally been described as an X, complete with wide shoulders, a small waist, and big legs. The term V-taper has evolved to describe men’s physique, a look focused on upper-body training. With the launch of the classic physique division in 2016, a new frame has been introduced to the mix. I’ll call bodybuilding “Bold X,” classic physique “X” and men’s physique “V.” Follow these pro tips to maximize your frame (shoulders, back, waist, and legs) or build up into a bigger one.


All groups will perform presses and variations of lateral raises.

  • V (Men's Physique): Rep range is 10-15. Achieve a combination of shape, roundness, and separation. 
  • X (Classic Physique): Rep range is 8-10. Achieve a combination of size and definition. 
  • Bold X (Bodybuilding): Rep range is 6-8. Go super heavy for size. 


Backs are trained for both width and thickness for each group. 

  • V (Men's Physique): Rep range is 10-15. Focus on upper back (straight-arm pulldown, pullup, and pulldown). 
  • X (Classic Physique): Rep range is 8-10. Upper and lower lat fullness (reverse- grip row, straight- arm pulldown). 
  • Bold X (Bodybuilding): Rep range is 6-8. Thickness and width (deadlift, dumbbell row, barbell row). 


Exercises are barbell curls, preacher curls, pushdowns, and skull crushers. 

  • V (Men's Physique): Rep range is 10-15. Shoulders should be balanced with your arms. Use high reps/light weight. 
  • X (Classic Physique): Rep range is 8-10. Also balanced, but more size for both shoulders and arms. 
  • Bold X (Bodybuilding): Rep range is 6-8. For proportionate shoulder to arm size, you’re looking at over 20 inches. 


Train your calves. If things are close that could be the tiebreaker. 

  • V (Men's Physique): Rep range is 10-15. I have my guys train legs once a week (squat, lunge, standing calf raise). 
  • X (Classic Physique): Rep range is 8-10. Lunge and squat, but not so heavy that it compresses the torso. 
  • Bold X (Bodybuilding): Rep range is 6-8. Go heavy on all exercises (squat, leg press, hack squat, calf raises). 


A well-developed midsection sets off the rest of the physique. 

  • V (Men's Physique): Rep range is 50. The waist is going to be the smallest of all the divisions. Body weight only. 
  • X (Classic Physique): Rep range is 20-24. Ideal is a 30- to 31-inch waist. Use moderate weight. 
  • Bold X (Bodybuilding): Rep range is 10-15. Use heavier weight to thicken the abs from multiple angles. 


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