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The 6-Week Program for Bulging Pecs, Broad Shoulders, and Bigger Legs thumbnail
Per Bernal
Per Bernal

Gut out all six weeks of this routine to get bigger, stronger, and more symmetrical.

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Being shaped like a refrigerator is no way to go through life, son. It’s time to go old-school. By that, we mean embracing the Golden Age bodybuilding physiques of the ’60s and ’70s, which are characterized by broad shoulders, bulging pecs, a V-taper, and a tight waist with symmetrical legs. Freaks may rule the Mr. Olympia stage these days, but the aesthetic appeal of greats like Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger is what most guys want to emulate.

The good news is that building a classic physique is an attainable goal, and we have the program to get you there: Six Weeks to Wide (SWTW). Developed by New York–based trainer David Otey, C.S.C.S., this four-days-on, three-days-off workout will help you build muscle where you want it and tighten you up where you need it. You’ll fill out your shirts with confidence and display a powerful body that will earn admiration—and maybe even a little envy—from men and women alike. The benefits of SWTW go far beyond an impressive physique, though. Otey structured this program around the key points below.

Health Boost

SWTW will enhance your spine’s stability and your functional strength, which means you’ll be better at performing simple activities like carrying groceries and shoveling snow. After six weeks you’ll also have a stronger core, which helps minimize injury by enhancing your structural integrity from head to toe. What’s more, recent research has discovered that body shape is a more reliable gauge of disease risk than BMI (body mass index). Someone with a pear-shaped or apple-shaped body has a much higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes than somebody with minimal fat in the abdomen, hip, and thigh areas. So changing your shape can help save your life.

Hormone Response

The high-volume resistance training in this program will release a greater amount of muscle-building hormones like testosterone and growth hormone, which help boost your metabolism and increase your body’s protection from cortisol and other stress hormones that can negatively impact your recovery and growth.

A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that strength training with free weights had a more acute effect on hormonal response than training with machines. While SWTW does incorporate some cable and TRX work, it’s dominated by free weights.

Full-Body Attack

Many Golden Age greats targeted their full body each workout, as you will during SWTW, to spark greater muscle growth. As it turns out, they were on to something. A different study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that more muscle growth was produced by whole-body workouts than was produced by split routines. That sounds good to us.

No Cardio Required

Otey also implemented a high-volume workload, much like Golden Age bodybuilders used, to cut out the need for traditional cardio. This means you can expect to do at least eight different movements per day, most of them for four sets of eight to 15 reps, with bread-and-butter exercises like deadlifts, rows, curls, and presses. The added benefit here is conditioning. High-volume training gets your heart rate up, providing an endurance boost as you build muscle and reshape your body.

The SWTW Plan

THE GOAL OF SWTW is to beef up the lats and rear delts and create round, capped shoulders, while tightening your core to create a dramatic proportional effect. Instead of flopping around on a Swiss ball or doing burpees until you puke, you’ll be gripping heavy iron, powering through supersets and giant sets to get your heart rate up as you perform strict reps to initiate growth-inducing pumps. SWTW is rewarding but also very intense, oo don’t do this workout year-round. Perform it for six weeks, and then back off.

Ready? Time to build the body of your dreams.

Note: Exercises marked A, B, and C are to be performed as supersets with no rest in between.

Head To Toe Cut in 6 Weeks The 6-Week Program for Bulging Pecs, Broad Shoulders, and Bigger Legs

Weeks 1-3

Weeks 4-6