Workout to achieve "Abercrombie and Fitch" bodyshape?
June 20, 2012 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Workout to achieve "Abercrombie and Fitch" bodyshape?

Hi I am a 24 y/o male. I currently go to the gym 3 times a week and pretty much do exclusively cardio (about 45 minutes to an hour of running or cross trainer), with a few sets of sit-ups and push-ups. I am looking to up my gym routine over the summer. I am only interested in this for aesthetic reasons. What sort of routine / diet would I be looking at to achieve, for want of a better and less cringeworthy expression, the "Abercrombie and Fitch" model bodyshape? Probably worth mentioning I am also vegan meaning I don't eat any animal products. Anyway, thanks in advance.
posted by FuckingAwesome to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
What's your main issue? Are you looking to slim down, since most A&F models are on the quite skinny side? Do you want more muscle tone?

For the skinnier stuff, it's a matter of calories. Cardio will burn off a bunch, but eating less is generally accepted as the way to reduce fat in the quickest way possible.

To get the muscle tone, resistance exercises are what you want. The most effective tend to be heavy compound exercises, like pull-ups, squats, dips, bench presses, etc. I'm of the opinion that heavier weights with lower reps (3 sets of 6-8 to failure per body area a couple of times per week with adequate rest between workouts) gain the best results, but that's entirely based on my own experience.

At 24, if you're already kind of slender, you can probably manage it fairly easily, but remember that most of the A&F models are quite young (teens to early 20s), and have genetics already on their side.
posted by xingcat at 8:00 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't forget, they also have photoshop on their side. Keep your expectations realistic.
posted by alms at 8:04 AM on June 20, 2012 [13 favorites]

Genetics play an important role in a specific look as well. If you're not naturally an ectomorph, you might be out of luck.

I know that people told you that you could be whatever you want to be, with enough hard work, but this is something that may not be achievable.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:14 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Probably worth mentioning I am also vegan meaning I don't eat any animal products. Anyway, thanks in advance.

I was actually recruited (although my nose was just off enough to get weeded out) by A & F when I was 21. What I did at the time was:

1) Lift weights five to six times a week, focusing on building muscle mass and low-rep, high-weight movements; cardio workouts three to four times a week;

2) Ate very clean (i.e., no sweets, no sugars, low carb and low fat), heavy on the protein and veggies;

3) Drank almost exclusively hard liquor with no mix or water at parties;

4) Tanned regularly;

5) Waxed or shaved virtually every part of my body that required it.

It's a lot of work and if you do not have naturally broad shoulders, or tan well, or are unable to lower your body fat to such a level that your core muscles are very defined, it's not going to happen to you. I was lucky to have been born an ectomorph. I worked a lot on top of that, but the base body was already there.

It's also a huge life killer; at times, I'd be working out twice a day (5:30am and 6pm or so), which meant a lot of sleepless nights with papers/partying. I would get up at 3am to chug a protein shake with amino acids to ensure my body had what it needed to repair itself. I took afternoon naps because I was exhausted. Sometimes I would go a couple of weeks without a normal bowel movement.

And, truth be told, when I stopped caring that much, women and men found me a lot more desirable. If your end goal is something external, my advice to you is to break your goal into chunks (i.e., add 10 lbs of muscle, trim 1% body fat, clean diet for 6 days per week, etc.) and achieve those before you go all out towards a goal like this. It's a total lifestyle thing, not just a workout thing.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:16 AM on June 20, 2012 [14 favorites]

Well, the phrase that I would've used in place of "Abercrombie and Fitch" for describing your desired body type is "Swimmer's Build". (Note that if you've got Google Safesearch turned off, those links definitely go to some NSFW material.) So, have you thought about swimming some laps?
posted by Scientist at 8:18 AM on June 20, 2012

The most commonly recommended program for that body shape (because it focuses more on upper body and 'aesthetics') is 'Greyskull LP.' Forum post.

It runs on the same idea (linear progression, lots of weight, lower reps) as other programs, but isn't as lower-body intensive.

Reddit's r/Fitness is very helpful. Read the FAQ
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:24 AM on June 20, 2012

I have seen this achieved with P90X.
posted by valeries at 8:44 AM on June 20, 2012

I would say you'll need to increase your time in the gym significantly and find a good all-round upper body strength routine. You could ask an instructor at the gym to put one together for you. Building muscle optimally requires a high protein, low fat diet which, as a vegan, is not impossible but a bit more effort. Try a hemp or whey protein supplement alongside your workouts.
posted by londonmark at 9:02 AM on June 20, 2012

Oops, whey is dairy, right? Sorry. But still, I know my local health shop stocks hemp-based formula.
posted by londonmark at 9:06 AM on June 20, 2012

The Thrive books by Brendan Brazier are all about being a professional triathelete while staying vegan. It's worth reading if you are serious about doing this. To get that type of body you need to really dedicate your life to doing it, you can't cheat with your diet or workouts.
posted by markblasco at 9:25 AM on June 20, 2012

For nutrition, Vega One shakes might be up your alley. I drink them occasionally and they're a big nutritional boost.
posted by tatiana131 at 2:50 PM on June 20, 2012

Deadlift More
posted by tiburon at 10:13 PM on June 23, 2012

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