You shouldn’t add light shaping exercises to your routine until you’ve normalized your body. Let me explain.
Some of the people I hold in the highest regard, like the late and truly great Harry B. Paschall, are not always people I agree with 100 percent of the time. Paschall stressed that a trainee could use shaping exercises along with basic work almost from the beginning and that such training really helped make a program superior. I’m not so sure.
I don’t believe that heavy and hard training on a simple program of, say, six to eight basics requires any shaping exercises at all in order to build a shapely physique. I believe that heredity and diet determine the shapeliness of a physique.
I’ve seen trainees who worked on only two or three movements for long periods of time and enjoyed a more pleasing appearance than bodybuilders who did all they could to round out their training programs. Not that I feel there’s never a place for a little light shaping work’only that I wouldn’t worry all that much about it. Here are a few guidelines:
‘Spend at least one solid year building on the big core exercises’like squats, presses, deadlifts, curls, rows, cleans, bench presses and abdominal work. Once you’ve put on a substantial amount of muscle weight, you can begin to include some simple shaping exercises.
‘Keep the ratio of basics to shaping movements at about 8-to-12’80 percent basics and 20 percent shaping work.
‘Take one or two six-week periods each year to simply work hard on the basics and omit all shaping work.
Remember, you must keep your foundation solid and strong. IM