BY WAY OF EXPLANATION…..
I am a participating member of Wealthy Affiliate, a hosting and training platform that I use and without which I would not have this site or be able to post the articles thereof. (Click on the above link or the one in my top menu for information. It is free to begin and may be free forever, though more sophistication is available for a reasonable rate).
Wealthy Affiliate provides a community of like – minded affiliate marketers who help each other. I had recently asked for suggestions for home workout topics. One response was that I should write about the Johnny Bravo physique and what suggestions I might make to improve it.
I had no idea what this meant. Not a clue. It turns out that Johnny Bravo is a cartoon character. It immediately became evident that his physique is a bit lopsided, with a huge upper torso and very small legs.
Johnny Bravo is shown below.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SYMMETRY
My fellow Wealthy Affiliate member was asking me to give advice on how to attain symmetry. I had never been a fanatical bodybuilder, primarily a fitness advocate. But I had often trained alongside others that were more serious. Suffice it to say that the best physiques were those with symmetry or balance.
We all have genetic predispositions that show through our physical structures. We can be top-heavy or bottom- heavy. Or we may begin with more balanced physiques or figures.
Anyone who has trained consistently with resistance workouts and has eaten healthy foods will know this:
- We can dramatically change our physiques or figures
- It only requires motivation and knowledge
- Our workout routines may be tweaked to accommodate uneven development
- Our genetic “givens” may still be apparent, but it is amazing how we can sculpt our bodies if we choose to do so
Reflecting a bit, I remember seeing a few Johnny Bravo types who were only interested in showy upper torso muscles. They generally wore long pants and cut off t-shirts when working out. To each his own.
As a tennis player, I generally worked on weaker strokes 60% of the time and stronger strokes the other 40%. I didn’t want to vacate the better part of my game completely, since my strengths might then become weaknesses.
As a young weight trainer, I found that my legs developed quickly, but that my upper body needed work. It was not that difficult to achieve balance. My legs had a head start, since I had run up and down basketball courts for years.
Steve Reeves starred in the “Hercules” movies of the late 1950s. He did his workouts 3 days a week, upper body and legs on the same days. This is ideal symmetry for the male physique, not easy to attain. But Steve Reeves managed to look pretty good without steroids. Also, he only used free weights. No machines.
Here is a very symmetrical female fitness model, though I don’t know her name or background. She also looks “pretty good”.
The above two incredible exemplars of male and female structures, of course, look better than “pretty good”. They may have begun with genetic blessings, but they have molded their bodies through hard work. Nobody looks that good naturally.
I really believe that many people are unaware of how their bodies may be changed through resistance training, healthy food consumption and cardio. We may simply think that the above man and woman were just “born that way”. They were not. I remember seeing pictures of Steve Reeves when he was a teenager. He had naturally muscular calves, but no other genetic advantages.
The female fitness model has a “toned” look, rather than extreme muscularity. But her hard work is evidenced by her abdominal and serratus anterior muscles. She is pulling down the waist of her pants slightly to show her abdominal development, not to be indelicate. She has a pleasing and balanced appearance and has put in the time working out!
Yes, I am aware that Steve Reeves was a handsome “dude” and that the above lady has a gorgeous face. These are genetic advantages.
BACK TO OUR CURRENT SITUATION
Generally, everyone is in quarantine, having departed from long established routines. Why not use this time to begin a new fitness journey or to strengthen our resolve if we already have one? I personally feel fortunate that my first Wealthy Affiliate website promotes fitness at home – workouts at home and related topics.
A top-heavy or bottom-heavy body may be balanced with resistance training – or at least vastly improved. The male and female physiques shown above show optimal balance. We may fall short of these ideals, but why let the perfect be the enemy of the good?
As we work out, we can achieve better balance by the following:
- Working on our weaknesses first, when we have more energy
- Working on weaknesses harder, since we only have finite amounts of energy
- But not completely disregarding our strengths
Personally, I have not worked my thighs (quadriceps) much in years, though they are worked somewhat as I use my treadmill. No heavy squats, but then I am not a young bodybuilder. It is also true that I believe that a disproportionate body, male or female, is not very attractive. With some work and some knowledge, we can improve our balance drastically.
Johnny Bravo has a large upper body and very small legs. Others may have differing imbalances. Here is a brief review of a few home workout solutions for lagging body parts:
- Chest – Bullworker chest compressions, lying dumbbell lateral raises, resistance cord chest presses or pec stretches, push-ups
- Shoulders – Lateral raises with dumbbells or resistance cords (or presses with either)
- Biceps – Curls with dumbbells or by use of resistance cords
- Triceps – Press – downs with Bullworkers, straightening arms from elbows against resistance with dumbbells or with resistance cords, push-ups
- Abdominals – Butterfly crunches or V – ups
- Thighs – squats with dumbbells in hands
- Calves – Heel raises with dumbbells in hands
- Cardio – Outdoor walks or runs, treadmill walks with speed / elevation increases
HOME EQUIPMENT RESOURCES
A home gym need not be spacious and the equipment need not be heavy and bulky. For basic equipment that I use, see the following:
For fitness equipment, outdoor sports equipment, sports apparel and excellent service, I highly recommend Dick’s Sporting Goods. DSG is the largest sporting goods merchant in the U.S. and the best source that I have found for any sports – related equipment. I have been a customer for several decades. The link below will take you to a landing page that will present further links to several categories of equipment and apparel to check out. Note the discounts currently available.
It may seem illogical, but maybe we can use our current “down time” to effect positive changes in our lives. There are many of us in self quarantine who could use this time to make positive changes in our physical structures. We certainly have sufficient time to do so, at least many of us do.
Let’s be adaptable and try to turn a health and economic downturn into something less oppressive, if not an opportunity for gains that we may not have otherwise made.
Please leave any comments or questions in the “Comments” box below or email me – email@example.com.
Let’s all stay focused!