Why You Need To Create The Super Hero Look (V Shape)

August 9, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

We all want to look like super humans, right? Of course we do. That’s why we have all taken up the bodybuilding lifestyle. Not to necessarily look better than anyone else. But to look better for ourselves. But if we’re going to do that, we might as well do it so that we can look the BEST we can right. Of course.

100% or nothing I say!

Since that is the case, the most important thing you should aim for is the V-shaped super hero physique.


  1. Your waist appear smaller which will make your shoulders and quads appear larger in size.
  2. You’ll look like a a person that means business.
  3. People can actually tell you workout.
  4. You’ll stand out from the crowd… like a super hero!

Tall People… I’m Talking To You. Especially You

There are quite a few of you that have commented on this site who just happen to be tall giraffe long limbed individuals like myself. Much taller in some cases.

  • Shaun Sinclair = 6’2 inches
  • Stayfitbuggers = 6’5″ inches plus!

(Damn I’m short)

Any how, the first thing you tall people will NEED to do is focus on building a super hero shaped upper body.


Because if you don’t, you’re just going to appear as the same tall lanky framed individual that you’ve always been.

OK, I know the comparisons are a bit extreme, seeing as Usain Bolt’s goal will be completely different from Triple H’s. But the fact is, both of these guys are 6ft plus in height and both of them started out as lanky ectomorphs long before the resistance training came into it.

  • Usain Bolt – V shape physique = fail
  • Triple H – V shape physique = success

Again, I’m only using both of their physiques as visual examples to what a v-shape super hero physique looks like in real life.

V-shape Super Hero Physique For Everyone Else?

The same rules apply

However, YOUR concern is that you don’t want to develop the short and stumpy look. Hence the reason for the need to develop the super hero V-shape physique. And what I’m about to say is going to actually contradict the advice I’m giving here.

The V-Shape physique might make you appear smaller in size


Unless… you wear the right clothes

Read the tailor made clothes posts to learn how to do just that!

Why Hardgainer Bodybuilders Need Tailor-made Wardrobes

Why Hardgainer Bodybuilders Need Tailor-made Wardrobes (Part 2)

The Core V-shape Muscles To Build

  1. Latimuss dorsi (Lats)
  2. Trapezius (Traps)
  3. Rear/ Middle/ Front deltoids (Shoulders)
  4. Triceps
  5. Quads
  6. Chest

It’s obvious that you will want to work all the muscle groups of your body to the max. However, these are the muscle groups that will have a direct impact on your quest to building the super hero physique we speak of here.

Note about Quads

You will want to kill chicken leg syndrome by performing a variety of leg exercises.

(Huge quads will make your entire physique appear ‘bigger’ in size as they are one of the largest muscle groups in the body)

  • Intense sprinting
  • Leg presses
  • And others

But squats will probably give the biggest impact here.


This is the super hero look, so it’s all about shrinking the appearance of your waist so that your core muscle groups stand out. If you don’t increase the size of your legs, you will look straight and narrow. I guess you could call this the creation of a male version of the female coca-cola bottle body. 🙂

And remember!

You don’t want to look short and stumpy (for you shorter framed individuals). So you may need to focus on a fat loss carb cycling diet to get rid of those male/ female love handles. Small waste for the win!

The Exercises

There are many exercises that will have a direct impact on all of the muscle groups mentioned above. But what I’m going to share with you are the exercises that have given ME the stand out shoulders (And upper body) which people seem to like to praise me for (Don’t be fooled, I still have work to do – the never ending journey of the unhappy human).

Dips (Weight assisted)

  • Latissimus dorsi ‘Lats/Wings’
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • chest

Pull ups

  • Back
  • Triceps
  • Latissimus dorsi ‘Lats/Wings’
  • Forearms
  • Chest

Lateral Raises

  • Deltoits (Shoulders) – Lateral/ Anterior
  • Trapezius ‘Traps”`
  • Front raises
  • (Shoulders) Anterior deltoids
  • Trapezius ‘Traps”`


  • Quads
  • Glutes

Like I said, there are many exercises that can have a direct impact on these muscle groups. But these are the exercises that made a huge difference to me and the changes in my body.

Could the reason be that they are all compound exercises? Maybe. Either way these are the core exercises that I still stick to today.

The Exercise Basics

Weighted Dips

Why weighted dips?

Because bodyweight only dips are for the weak. 😉

Either way, these are another favourite. They also play a part in building the lower part of your ‘V’ which starts off at your lower back. The Latissimus dorsi ‘Lats/Wings.

  1. Place a weight(s) on a dipping belt around your waist or place a weight plate between your lower legs (You
  2. can always increase the challenge by increasing the weight)
  3. Step up to the dip bar
  4. Grab both sides with each hand and mount the bar
  5. As you lift your body up, make sure that you keep your arms straight and hands level with your shoulders
  6. Keep your hips straight
  7. Lower your body until you feel a slight stretch in your shoulders

Pull ups

The ultimate lower ‘V’ section builder. Just go wide if you want super wings. Then you’ll really fly like a super hero. 🙂

  1. Grab the chin up bar with an over hand grip
  2. Pull your body up until your chin reaches the bar
  3. Squeeze your butt muscles on the way up
  4. Bend your knees and cross your feet
  5. Lower your body back down until your arms are fully extended (Hanging)
  6. Repeat

Lateral Raises

With this exercise, make sure you practice good form. I’ve seen so many people injure themselves while performing this exercise, just make sure that isn’t you! PLEASE!!

It is one of my favourite exercises no doubt.

  1. Pick up a pair of dumbbells (Remember, less weight is more with this exercise. Your shoulders are arguably the most fragile joint of your body and you DO NOT want to injure them (Read my shoulder horror story here)
  2. Stand straight with your feet at least 20 cm apart
  3. Hold the dumbbells together vertically in front of your thighs
  4. Bend your knees and your hips (Enough so that your are not standing completely straight)
  5. Bend your elbows at a 10-30 degree angle (A straighter bend will increase the difficulty)
  6. Raise your arms up (Until your elbows reach shoulder high only)
  7. Lower and repeat

Front Raises

I usually perform these before or right after the lateral raises. However, there is more of a focus on your front deltoids with this exercise.

  1. Pick up a pair of dumbbells
  2. Stand straight with your feet at least 20 cm apart
  3. Hold the dumbbells together vertically in front of your thighs
  4. Bend your knees and your hips (Enough so that your are not standing completely straight)
  5. You can choose if you want to bend your elbows or not with this exercise, but I always keep them dead straight.
  6. Raise your arms up vertically until they reach eye level
  7. Lower and repeat

Barbell Squats

  1. Approach the barbell on the rack and set it so that it levels up at chest height
  2. Go under the bar, rest the bar on the back of your neck whilst holding each side of the bar (equal at each end)
  3. Lift the bar off the rack and stand with your feet apart (Shoulder width)
  4. Make sure both feet are firmly flat on the ground!


– Lower your knees

– Make sure your feet and knees are pointed directly in front of you throughout the entire exercise

– Bend your hips backwards behind you

– Lower until your butt is horizontally aligned with your knees and the floor

– Stand up and repeat

The Super hero V-shaped physique is what you will want if your goal is to build some serious or decent amounts of muscle mass. Trust me. Doing so could potentially shrink your natural appearance when fully clothed (Mainly because of the smaller waist). But that will be far from an issue if you dress correctly (Read that post again!)

I don’t expect you to reach the size of Triple H. No, no, no. But I do expect you to become a V-shaped super hero and enjoy the journey on your quest to doing so.

If you want more info on the weight assisted bodyweight exercises, grab the Unique Bodyweight Exercises Ebook.

Some extra info from the archives

Killer Compound Exercises

I have man boobs! How can i fix my chest?

How To Build Lats (Wings) Like These

The Super Hero Workout – The Weightlifting Exercises

How To Build A Muscular Back (Part 1)

Exercise Tweak – The Incline Dip

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