Is your fitness goal a bit different than the classic "lose weight and look fit" narrative? Do you want to look buff, big, and bulky like professional bodybuilders?
If that sounds like you, then you've come to the right article. Working on your gains takes more than just gym dedication and the right diet. There are certain muscle groups you should be focusing on in order to gain mass and look as big as possible.
We're going to go over how to look bigger by training key muscle groups and areas of your body. We'll also throw in a few other tips for looking big as well, so keep reading.
Your "traps" refer to your trapezius muscles, aka the triangle shaped muscle that appears to connect your neck to your shoulders/back. Picture a football player or a wrestler in your mind: most all of these huge, strong athletes have highly developed traps that make them look wide, thick, and strong.
Building up your traps will give your neck and back a broader and thicker appearance. Not only will building your traps make you appear larger and stronger, but it will also increase your upper-body strength tremendously, which will help you add size and gains to other areas of your upper body as well.
One of the best movements to build your traps are "shrug" movements. Both dumbbell shrugs and barbell shrugs are a great trap exercise.
You can also work your traps with barbell rows, dumbbell lateral raises, and "heavy carry" exercises like the farmer's carry.
Your "pecs" are your pectorals, aka your chest muscles. Gaining muscle in this area will make you look wider, and will give your chest a more "puffed out" appearance, which will make you look bigger overall.
Professional bodybuilders know the importance of these muscles and dedicate ample time to their bench press in order to gain strength, size, and definition. Find out more bodybuilder secrets by reading up on the top, award-winning bodybuilders to really understand what they do to gain size.
You can also do dumbbell presses, variations on the "fly" movement, and use a chest press machine to build both your major and minor pectorals.
If you don't have access to gym equipment, good old pushups are an excellent way to work your chest muscles.
Biceps and Triceps
You probably aren't surprised to see the two major muscles of the upper arms on this list. Most people equate arm muscles with strength, especially since some find these are the easiest to train and the quickest to gain mass.
You want to be careful about training these two muscles equally. If you only train your biceps, you're sure to see an increase in mass. But, you'll look imbalanced and non-symmetrical, which won't give you the built look you're trying to achieve.
For your biceps, focus on curl variations. This could be classic dumbbell curls, concentration curls, seated cable curls, standing cable curls, incline dumbbell curls, etc.
For your triceps, your movements can vary. Dumbell kickbacks, cable extensions, cable kickbacks, and overhead tricep extensions are all great options. You can do classic "press" exercises to work triceps as well.
If you don't have equipment, pushups and dip variations are also great for building tricep strength and mass.
If one arm is weaker than the other, don't worry. This is normal. Focus on balancing the way you work out each arm to get the right symmetry.
"Delts" refer to your deltoid muscles, aka your shoulders. Beefing up your shoulder muscles will help you look bigger by making your overall body broader. Even if you only train your delts and your traps, you will look significantly bigger.
However, training these muscles along with all the other ones we've mentioned will make your upper body look larger, stronger, and bulkier. This combined with a smaller waistline will create the "Dorito" or "V-shape" look that is so sought after.
The great news about delts is that you'll already be training them with other exercises we've gone over, specifically:
- Lateral raises
- Dumbbell press
However, you can target them even further with an overhead press movement and cable side laterals.
All of the muscle groups we've gone over so far have been focused on the upper body. That's not by accident: building your upper body muscles is the easiest and quickest way to look physically bigger and stronger.
However, if you pair all of those large muscles with chicken legs, you're going to look foolish.
Quads are the biggest muscles in your legs, so building them up will make an already big muscle look even bigger. Train quads with squat variations: front squats, overhead squats, dumbbell squats, split squats, etc.
How to Look Bigger: Other Tips
Besides focusing on certain muscle groups, consider these tips on how to look bigger.
It can't hurt to size down in shirts once in a while to have the material cling to your gains. Be careful with pants, though: you don't want to split them when you're squatting heavy in front of your gym crush.
Eat Enough (Not Just Protein!)
Building muscle mass means that you need to be eating in a caloric surplus. This means you need to be eating more calories than you need to maintain your weight since your goal is to put on weight.
Be careful with what you're eating though. It's easy to cram in calories with excess fat and sugar, but this will add on weight in fat and not muscle. Up your calories from protein and clean carbs to add on the weight you want (aka muscle).
Feelings strong and looking big are big motivators for working out. If you're asking "how to look bigger", Make sure that you're targeting the muscles we went over in this guide.
All set with the training tips and now questioning your nutrition? Check out this article on bulking and muscle gaining supplements.