What is Aesthetic Bodybuilding?

Aesthetic Bodybuilding
Aesthetic Bodybuilding

Aesthetic Bodybuilding is a specific sub-category within the vast arena of the world of bodybuilding. For decades, bodybuilding has been defined by its propagation of the huge, thick, and sinewy muscle-packed and well-oiled bodies found on show and competition contestants. Common names marking the colorful spectrum of bodybuilding history and aesthetic physique include Flex Wheeler, Ronny Coleman, and Franco Columbo. Each of these successful show-winning contestants had finely-tuned bodies and muscle groups but massive muscles that were indicative of years of training, discipline, and an array of efforts aimed at accumulating the biggest gains possible. 

Aesthetic bodybuilding is a world operating in stark contrast to that of traditional bodybuilding. The aims found within aesthetic body building are not centered on procuring and creating the biggest and most-massive gains, but rather on creating a physique that is:

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    ​Aesthetically pleasing in terms of societal and cultural standard for male bodies
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    ​Proportional in a highly-specific way that is widely accepted by aesthetic bodybuilding proponents
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    ​Envy-inducing for other males
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    ​Attractive to females
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    ​Reminiscent of action figure or superhero type physiques
​Examples of Aesthetic Bodybuilding: 

Brad Pitt in Fight Club, Ryan Reynolds in Amityville Horror, and Chris Hemsworth in Thor

​Encompassing what is widely considered to be the ideal male aesthetic and overall physique, the examples above show such attributes as well-developed “V-taper” style muscles, ripped and defined six pack abdominals, wide shoulders, a comparatively smaller waist, and well-developed arms with plenty of lean muscle mass.

In contrast to the sinewy, trunk-like features found on traditional bodybuilders, men whose bodies are the product of aesthetic training are proportionally lean with expansive shoulders that taper down to a slim waist and end with muscular, well-developed legs. No part of their body is exceptionally huge or stands out; rather their entire form is perfectly proportional to eye-appealing strength and power readily apparent at every facet of their body.

How is Aesthetic Bodybuilding Different Than “Regular” Bodybuilding?


Aesthetic Bodybuilding Different

Traditional bodybuilders aspire above all else to gain bulk along with strength.

Aesthetic body builders are primarily concerned with the aesthetic appeal associated with superhero types, fitness models, action heroes, and beach bodies, with a defined six pack, a sleek leanness, and an abundance of proportional muscles.  Aesthetic bodybuilders will often limit their workouts and engage in lower calorie diets to maintain a sleek look that is never too bulky in form.

The bottom line for aesthetic bodybuilders is to achieve an extraordinary physical look through the customization and tailoring of diet and workout.

On the other hand, traditional bodybuilders will never stop to increase their bulk or overall body mass and wholeheartedly subscribe to the bulky and sinewy look with plenty of massively-sized muscles.

The end goal for aesthetic bodybuilders is to accumulate bulk and build copious amounts of muscle through weight-lifting workouts and eating an abundance of protein.

What are the Benefits of Aesthetic Bodybuilding?

The benefits of aesthetic bodybuilding include, but are not limited to the following:
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    Garnering plenty of envy from other males who are less muscular and less defined

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    Experiencing a massive amount of female attention
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    ​Becoming more attractive and, arguably, more hireable for jobs
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    Cutting an intimidating figure that is less prone to being robbed or mugged
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    A bolder physique typically equates to better and more robust levels of health
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    ​Using hard work and dedication to achieve maximum results in personal physical potential
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    ​Increased confidence from transforming yourself from the inside out

1. Diet

​Aesthetic bodies can be achieved through numerous diets. Take your pick among these popular diets to achieve lean muscle mass and rapid fat loss:

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    ​IIFYM aka If It Fit Your Macros
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    ​Paleo
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    ​Caveman
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    Keto
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    ​Carb Loading
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    ​Carb Cycling
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    ​Intermittent Fasting

2. Training

Model your exercise sessions around procuring maximum gains while also maximizing fat loss.

A sample commonly used aesthetic body building routine is shown below:

One Muscle Per Day Routine

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    ​Monday: Chest
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    ​Tuesday: Back
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    ​Wednesday: Shoulders
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    ​Thursday: Legs
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    ​Friday: Abdominals

You are free to change up the routine as desired with examples such as having an upper body workout day versus a lower body workout day or multiple muscle and body part groups day (e.g. leg day, back and shoulder day, chest and arms day)

3. Recovery Time/Rest and Sleep

Critically essential for aesthetics bodybuilding and training endeavors, the concepts of recovery time, rest, and sleep must be practiced on a regular basis. Without proper recovery and rest periods, our bodies experience an immense decrease in energy while also experiencing an increase in stress, culminating in a decreased ability to lose fat and build muscle.

ripped guy holding kettlebells

4. Periodization

Practicing periodization is a powerful tool that can help you increase gains in a rapidly effective way. Try using flow charts, log books or fitness tracking software to log your progress, measurements, weight and more to ensure that you are periodically and consistently improving your level of performance and fitness while moving towards your ultimate aesthetic goals in terms of the following:

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    ​Squarely defined and angular chest
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    ​Expansive, ripped shoulders
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    ​Arm width perfectly proportional to shoulder width
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    ​Perfecting your V-shaped form from upper to lower body
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    ​Tapered waist
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    ​Proportional traps
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    ​Cut, ripped, well-defined six pack abdominals
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    ​Ripped, muscular, and well-defined calves

In today’s modern times, there is a heightened emphasis on male fitness with aesthetic bodybuilding giving significant priority attaining perfectly proportional muscles, strength, and overall power.  

While past bodybuilding endeavors centered around performance measures aimed at producing bulk, mass, and strength, aesthetic bodybuilding as a relatively new phenomena, has encouraged legions of men to partake in a highly personal transformative enterprise with the ultimate goal of obtaining the symmetry, balance, and proportions associated with beach body, superhero, and male model physiques.

Building a statuesque, perfectly proportional, and symmetrical body takes a perseverance, time, and a kind of intestinal fortitude that is rarely found. With a strict adherence to a multitude of fitness and health measures including calorie cutting, special diets, and sometimes even restricting workouts, aesthetic body builders are constantly engaged in a push and pull dynamic where gains are encouraged simultaneously to the loss of fat and excessive bulk.

If you aspire to achieve the kind of amazing physical prowess found on such men as Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, and Chris Hemsworth, use our guide as your personal blueprint and get started today on reaching your aesthetic bodybuilding goals!

Resources:

Physique Training: 5 Keys to Aesthetic Body, bodybuilding.com

Bodybuilding vs. Aesthetics, Bayesian Bodybuilding

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