A lot of times when I’m talking to guys about fitness their main concern is looking better without their shirt on, which is totally understandable. It’s great to have confidence during the summer when you aren’t wearing a shirt. However, what I rarely ever hear guys mention is how they want to look IN their clothes.

Think about it…clothes are made by a designer who takes body size into consideration. Sure, there are some high end designers that purposefully create their clothing to fit in a boxier, more intentional way, but for the most part designers are making their clothes with a classic body type in mind. When you look at a mannequin, it’s not shaped in a slightly muscular, wide shouldered way because that just so happens to be how the factory creates them. It’s so when the clothes they’re helping advertise are on their backs, they look the way the designer intended them to look.

This all goes back to your fitness. I’m not someone who aims for massive size. I like to have the ideal frame for clothes to fit me like they should. That’s slightly wide shoulders, defined arms, and a chest and back that are muscular but not enormous. This way, my suits fit like a dream, my t-shirts are tight in all of the right places so as to flatter my look, and my pants fit like they should because my waist stays slim from the activity.

I’m going to share with you an upper body workout today that works wonders if you stay dedicated. It’s not going to make you the strongest or biggest guy in the gym, but it’s going to create a frame that will lead you to look your best when wearing clothes that fit properly. Here’s what to do:

Bench Press

Perform two warm up sets of 10 reps with a lighter weight than you normally lift. The second warmup set should be a bit heavier than the first. Then, do 5 full sets of 8 reps. By the end, you should be struggling to finish that 7th and 8th rep, that’s how you know the weight is where it should be. If it’s easy, bump up the weight.

This will build your chest and tricep muscles, which will fill out your shirts nicely.

Bent Over Back Rows

Using a barbell, slightly bend your knees and keep your back parallel to the ground. Extend your arms fully and then pull the bar back into your torso, squeezing with your shoulder blades. Also perform 2 warmup sets like you did with bench press and then 5 working sets of 8 reps each. Push yourself but also beware that you’re not overdoing it and putting too much stress on your back.

This will build your lat muscles, which will help create the V shape you want from your torso to fit shirts and suit jackets nicely.

Pull Ups

This classic workout is unbeatable when you’re in a pinch. If you don’t have access to weights, just start doing a bunch of pullups. Ideal form is to hold the bar with the back of your hands facing you. Let yourself hang completely and pull up so your chin is above the bar. Perform 5 sets of 10 reps. If this is too easy, add a bit of weight.

This will also build your lat muscles as well as your shoulders and biceps.

Dips

This is another classic bodyweight exercise that is excellent for building your triceps and chest muscles. Push yourself to perform 5 sets of 10 reps and add weight if this is easy for you.

**If you’re inexperienced in the weight room, that’s fine!! It’s never too late to start getting into better shape. Just go on YouTube and find videos on how to perform each of these moves properly. You’ll see dramatically better results when ensuring you’re using proper form. Don’t just jump into it thinking you’ll figure it out. Take the time do research.

Stretch to Finish

DO NOT SKIP THIS! It’s like the dessert of your workout. Stretching is extremely important to ensure your muscles heal properly and you don’t spend the next couple of days in agony from soreness. It’s also a great way to elongate your muscles and create a leaner, meaner body type.

There are lots of great routines out there. A couple that I like are here, and here.

Questions? Comments? Find me on social media @parkeryorksmith or email me at parker@thelooksmith.com!

About the author

I'm Parker York Smith, a curious dude still very much figuring everything out. I hail from the Midwest but have been dwelling in Los Angeles for the last few years being a pretty stereotypical west coast transplant. I'm a fashion geek, I love to walk (a LOT) and I do my best to find the bright side. I'm extremely excited about this blog and hope that (with some hard work and luck) it turns into what I believe it can. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please get in touch with me via my social networks (which can be found in the sidebar) or email me at parker@thelooksmith.com.

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