5 Ways to Build a More Intimidating Physique

Follow these muscle-building tips to build a badass physique that demands respect.


As a competitive bodybuilder and coach for over 25 years, my goal has always been to create the most balanced, symmetrical and proportionate physiques possible. I look at the human body as a living, breathing work of art that needs to be meticulously sculpted, every muscle flowing into the next, with no area being dominant over the other. However, in this piece I am tossing my tenets about “proper” bodybuilding aside and focusing on the muscles that scream “I am a bad ass!” That’s right, today it’s time to talk about five ways one can build a more intimidating physique! The type of physique that emanates pure power and makes other say to themselves, “Wow, I would not want to piss that guy off!”



The muscles of the forearms and calves, which obviously “reside” below the elbows and knees, respectively, are quite often the most difficult to develop for most folks. Why? Because there seems to be an extra strong genetic component to successfully building these muscle groups. It’s amost as if you got ’em or you don’t! However, if you want to look extremely intimidating in short sleeves and a pair of shorts, then do everything you can to add serious beef to your forearms and calves. When onlookers see massive muscle in these areas they just assume the rest of the physique goes with it, and you don’t even have to flex a thing!

Tip: Don’t treat the forearms or calves as an after thought, but instead with as much importance and intensity as you would any major muscle group. Additionally, both the forearms and calves can withstand up to 3 sessions per week!



One area of the physique that is usually hyper-developed on the biggest, strongest, and “baddest” men on the planet is the neck/traps. Whenever you see anyone walking around with traps almost as high as the ears, surrounding a neck that is wider than the head, you most often assume he is a football lineman, strongman, power lifter, fighter, bodybuilder or just one tough dude!

Tip: Some of the best trap-builders include BB, DB, Smith and machine shrugs, as well as extra-heavy top end deadlifts. For the neck, you want to work hard at flexion and lateral flexion, best performed on a specialized neck-building machine.



If you can build a physique that almost appears as wide as you are tall, you are going to demand serious attention. Trust me, people will notice if you can barely fit through a doorway, and wonder just how powerful one must be to become that wide! To attain this freaky appearance, you need to focus on the lateral head of the deltoids and the “belly” of the lat muscles. Slap on some serious beef in these areas and you will look like a walking building.

Tip: To grow lateral heads of the deltoids, you must focus on all types of lateral raise, using DB’s, cables and machines. The key is to perform the exercises with very strict form to ensure the side delts are receiving the brunt of the stimulation. Some awesome lat-wideners include CG pull-downs and rows, as well as all forms of pullovers and stiff-arm pull-downs. In addition, make sure to stretch the lats harder after each training session.



Except for a few odd exceptions out there, very few of us lifters walk around constantly flexing our arms. So, for this reason, you need to push your triceps development to the limit in order to look intimidating with your arms simply hanging at your sides. The triceps make up about 2/3 of the mass of the upper arm and create a look of power and girth whether viewed from the back, front, or sides! Big biceps are cool when someone asks you to make a muscle, but nothing is cooler than looking like you can tear a phone book in half while doing nothing more than sitting and drinking coffee in your t-shirt!

Tip: The triceps respond well to both low (4-8) and high reps (12-15), so make sure you cover both of these ranges in your workouts. In addition, make sure to use a full range of motion on every triceps exercise, from stretch to contraction, in order to smash every fiber possible.

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