Essential Muscle Groups That Every Man Should Train

Would you like to know the essential muscle groups that all actors focus on to get in amazing shape for action movies? Read on to learn more and discover the secrets of an action hero’s body.

Watch any movie with an action hero heartthrob and you’ll immediately notice how in shape the leading man is. They always look strong, fit, healthy, and powerful and they always have an incredible physique, no matter what their last role was.  

Sculpted Male Body

It prompts people all over the world to search for replica programs, diet plans, and workout schedules to try and emulate the results, but the truth is, there is it’s not as complicated as people think to achieve similar results.  

While it is true that the studios invest heavily in these actors, it’s also true that they aren’t doing anything revolutionary and in this article, I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to do to get the ultimate action hero physique. So if you’re interested in getting into the best shape of your life, read on to see what you should be doing.  

Movie Star Muscles

There’s a reason why most men skip leg day and focus on training their chest and arms because people notice these muscles first. They’re eye-catching and demand your attention and they’re the type of muscles that look good when you’re shirtless.

Movie producers realized this and started putting their actors on programs that emphasized these muscle, but they also understood the need for a complete physique, one with good balance and symmetry, after all, having a big chest and bulging biceps wouldn’t look as good if you had tiny legs, which is why actors target the following 4 muscle groups to get ready for a role.

Let’s take a look.

Upper chest

While most men know the importance of training their chest, not enough people emphasize the upper chest. It’s a sure-fire way to guarantee that not only will you look fantastic in your shirt, but also out of it and it’s almost a given for every single movie star. Think of any superhero movie or traditional action movie and the male lead will always have a powerful looking chest, that’s because by emphasizing the upper chest you can create a visual of muscle so thick and strong it could bounce away bullets or deflect a knife attack, and with it, an image of someone who can protect those around him.

Best exercises: Incline Bench Press, Low to High Cable Crossovers, Incline Chest Fly


Strong, full shoulders are the key to making any physique pop so you shouldn’t be surprised to see it on the list. They fill-out your physique and give you a sense of power and strength that is sure to turn heads the moment you walk into any room. Having a big chest is great, but it doesn’t quite look right if your shoulders are small. By building your shoulders, to compliment your chest, you can build a powerful upper body that just oozes power.

Best exercises: Barbell Press, Seated Dumbbell Press, Front Raise, Lateral Raise


From a movement point of view, strong lats help to stabilize the neck, shoulder, back, hips and can be a huge factor in how well you move. However from an aesthetics point of view, a strong thick back creates the impression of ‘wings’ from the back and power from the front.

It also helps to make you look smaller in some places too, as strong lats, built together with your shoulders, chest, and traps will ensure you look big on the top but smaller as you come towards the middle, meaning your upper body will look thick while your waist looks slim.

Even if you do have a relatively thick waist, if your shoulders, chest, and lats are packed full of muscle, it will make your waist look smaller.

Best exercises: Deadlift, Barbell Row, Pull-Up, Single Side Row


After so much effort building your upper body, it wouldn’t be wise to neglect your legs. Strong and powerful quads ensure you have a well built and aesthetically pleasing physique and also ensures symmetry. If you neglected your legs you would look top-heavy, uneven, and unbalanced, and nobody wants that.

Strong legs are often associated with athletes therefore having strong quads will give you the appearance of someone who prioritizes their training for function, not just someone who trains the ‘beach muscles’. It will also ensure you look good in any outfit.

Best exercises: Squat, Lunge, Step-Up, Bulgarian Split Squat

Ok but what else?

The key thing to remember is that no matter how hard you work in the gym if you don’t eat right outside of the gym, your results will never show. It’s an oversimplified answer but it’s the truth, if you’re going to focus on building a great physique in the gym, but continue to eat and drink poorly outside of it, then you’re never going to see the results you crave.
To fine-tune some of the other aspects of your physique you may also want to include cardio or HIIT training in your routine, but that is more for personal preference.

Final Thoughts

It may be hard to believe but when it’s time to get in front of the camera, actors go through the same types of training plans that we do. They focus on key areas that will make them look more impressive. They eat right, cut back on alcohol, and drink more water.

These are things that anyone could do, and while it is true that many movie studios will pay for their star to get a full-time trainer and make working out part of their job, they aren’t doing anything special that you couldn’t do by yourself.

It just requires hard work, a good training plan, and some willpower to succeed.

If you have that and you’re ready to take some steps towards the type of physique you’ve previously only ever dreamed of, build your next program following the principles above and watch as your physique changes. An initial plan of 12 weeks should give you a  good starting point and if you’re eating right too, you’ll see great results in no time.

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