September 02, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
See that swimsuit above? I used to fit in that before my biceps surgery. I don’t anymore. It’s too big at the waist. Instead of going swimming with those trunks, I’m swimming in them!
My legs are the same size as they were before the surgery. My arms are a bit smaller, but it’s my waist that really shrunk and it’s not from eating differently. It’s a result of not lifting quite as heavy anymore.
I don’t think people realize or appreciate the role that the abdominals play during heavy compound and isolation movements. I really haven’t done much direct abdominal work for years. The “bulk” of my core work has come from heavy squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, presses, and rows. Even some isolation movements like triceps pressdowns and pullovers with significant weight can hit your core heavily.
I miss that swimsuit. Why? Because it’s short. I can’t stand bathing suits that go down to your knees. If you have a good set of thighs, show them off! I’m not saying that you need to wear a Speedo, but go to a store and try to find a set of short trunks these days. Good luck!
Another thing I can’t stand are guys that parade around with impressive upper bodies and not-so-impressive lower bodies. Talk about muscular imbalance! This “top-heavy” effect can inadvertently knock your status down a few notches.
Whether you realize it or not, when you walk into a room with other people, your mind is formulating a pecking order. Where do you stand on the totem pole in this crowd? And who is the alpha male?
It’s natural for guys to size up other guys. I know I do. I’ll look at their hands and wrists first, then their arms and shoulders, and finally at their neck. That gives me a good idea of their physical ability, but the one aspect that trumps them all is leg power.
Most of the time you can’t really see someone’s legs because they’re wearing pants or long shorts, but it doesn’t matter. I visualize that person with a barbell on their back and 2 or 3 plates a side. If they go to squat, are they going to power that sucker up or are they going to crumble?
Now I’m not saying that a guy needs to squat 500 pounds to be a beast, but he should be able to do at least half that amount, and he should be able to do it explosively in good form for reps. At least in my mind, if he’s able to do that, he’s going to be a legitimate threat.
And don’t get me wrong, I realize that you don’t need to be muscular to be able to fight, but let’s face it, a little muscle doesn’t hurt. Some protection is good to have and at the very least, you won’t get picked on as often!
You know, ladies consider a guy’s leg power as well. In fact, the number one physical trait that a woman looks for in a man is not what you might think: It’s the glutes! A muscled butt reflects strong thrusting power and women, whether they realize or not, have a primal attraction to that. It indicates that this guy is a good candidate for reproduction and to continue the species.
The “bottom” line is that building muscle is important, but you need to train your bottom like your top and strive for muscle balance throughout the body.