Everyone has their own ideal physique. I don’t shame anyone from wanting to look a certain way. However, one argument I can make is that functionality and proportions do matter.
I certainly have my own body goals. My preference is lean and muscular. I do work on building a feminine physique, yet I want gains to be in proportion because I am a rather tall woman with a lithe frame. I know women who want to build a Kim Kardashian or Khloe Kardashian figure. Some want to just be very thin without being skinny-fat. And what I favor the most is doing whatever you want safely and consistently. As long as a person is happy, healthy, and safe, it’s all good.
However, there are some mistakes people frequently make.
Overtraining a few muscles while ignoring others can cause muscular imbalances that can later cause poor posture and injuries. Of course, it will also cause proportions to get out of whack (which can be ok to some degree/ the slim-thick figure).
Then some people don’t train consistently and get no results at all. It takes more than training 1-2x a week to get results no matter what form of exercise you are doing.
Here are what I frequently observe or hear complaints about:
————————————————————————————————————————————- 1) Not working the back. Not training the back causes both problems with function and and aesthetics. Working the upper body muscles surrounding the back (chest and shoulders) can ruin posture and even cause injury. Posture can be affected by the heavier anterior chain making you slump. Working the back would pull your shoulders towards the correct position. Another issue is when you try to lift something heavy your back will be weak, which causes you to use other muscles to compensate for the weakness, and then can result in a dislocation or musculoskeletal tearing. Proportions can be affected because the arms, shoulders, and legs can be ripped, but you still have a narrow frame due to a narrow back. Kind of like a dinosaur.
2) Bulking while fat. If you are bulking while fat, then you are not going in the right direction. I understand that you may want to just pack on more muscle before going on a diet, but you are just setting yourself up for more work. Eventually you will get even heavier, then have even more pounds to lose to show the muscles you did gain. Diet down to a healthy weight, and weight lift to maintain muscle mass. Besides, being at a normal weight is healthier for you, and having a low bodyfat percentage is what matters more in aesthetics (up to a point of course).
3) Tanning doesn’t hide it. Everyone says tanning makes you look leaner. I can admit this is kinda true from the correct angles. But if you are not having a fit physique, or are hiding insecurities, it doesn’t really matter. Others know. And you know it deep down. Choose health, and go eat healthy and work out to get the body you are actually after.
4) Training abs to lose stomach fat. Ok. Fat and muscle are completely different tissues. Doing ab exercises will make your ab muscles bigger, but the fat is still covering it. You have to ditch the fat if you want to see your abs. You can’t “spot reduce.” However, keep training abs regardless because a strong core is important for posture, protecting the spine, and core stability helps with heavy lifting.
5) Training abs only 1-2x per week. Abs need to be trained 3-5x a week for around twenty to thirty minutes. It should be a whole workout in itself, not merely added as an afterthought when you’re done with a different workout. Would you expect to get results with hardly any training? I would hope you know better. If you hate doing ab workouts, try to at least find some videos to follow along to or browse bodybuilding.com or pinterest for workouts that sound appealing.
6) Doing squats to try to build glutes. This is for both men and women. Squats work the quadriceps more than the posterior change. I’ve heard numerous complaints of people who squat, and squat, and squat, only to get huge quads that overpower muscularity in the posterior chain. Here is a great article by “The Glute Guy” Bret Contreras.(https://bretcontreras.com/growing-glutes-without-growing-the-legs/) A TLDR for great exercises to grow glutes without the quads are Barbell Hip Thrusts, Weighted Back Extensions, and Barbell Glute Bridges. Those exercises take activation away from the quads and load it onto the glutes. Trust me on this. I’ve gotten results.