Do some kind of chin-up every day. Never go to failure either. Slowly and steadily increase volume over time.
Don’t avoid chin-ups in favor of rows. Chin-ups are difficult, I know, but most good things in life are. If your elbow is giving you problems do chin-ups with a neutral grip.
Do train your way into chin-ups if you can’t do them. Start with bodyweight rows and work your way up to chin-ups.
Don’t say, “I can’t do chin-ups.” You can, you just have to train for them with a proper progression.
Do your curls with a thick grip. Your biceps will grow, especially if you’re skinny. And biceps can go a long way in creating a pleasing physique from the front. Fat Gripz work well for this.
Don’t toy around with curl variations; pick one or two and work with them over time. Heed the thick grip recommendation above. (Hint: barbell curls and hammer curls are the answer here.)
Wear shirts that fit tight around the neck. It de-emphasizes your lackluster upper chest. Just make sure they aren’t so tight that they make your lower chest look C cup sized. (Unless you’re a chick, in which case my phone number is…)
Don’t wear loose clothing. Be picky here. Make sure you try your clothes on before buying them. They have to fit your body right.
Focus on the muscles you want to grow, like the upper chest, the shoulders, the upper back, and the lats.
Don’t focus on muscles you want to shrink. Because they probably won’t shrink. Nothing’s going to shrink your waist. It will grow as you grow. But you can grow your shoulders and lats to make your waist look smaller.
Do incline presses on a 30 degree incline. It will hit your upper chest best. A 45 degree incline shifts most emphasis to the shoulders.
Don’t flat barbell bench press. Unless you’re a powerlifter, in which case, why the hell do you care about an x-physique?
Pick stuff up and put it overhead; this requires a lot of lifting on your own feet. Picking stuff up will make your back grow. Getting it into a position to press it overhead will make your upper back grow. Putting it overhead will make your shoulders grow. Are you seeing why this is important?
Don’t do a lot of things sitting down. Incline bench pressing. That’s about it.
Do a lot of things where your hands support your body weight. Push-ups, chin-ups, dips, bodyweight rows, levers, handstands. (Gymnastics rings help.)
Don’t let the bar be your only form of upper body resistance. Putting your bodyweight to use in challenging ways does wonders, especially if you’re progressing to straight arm gymnastics ring work.
Front squat. It will hit the upper back in a unique way.
Don’t get fancy with leg exercises; the barbell is the solution. Squats. Pulls from the floor. That is all.
Pull with a snatch grip sometimes. This can be power snatches, snatch pulls, or snatch grip deadlifts.
Don’t forget about conventional deadlifts. It’s still the base pulling exercise. Get good at it before you dive into these advanced exercises.
Do barbell rows with your back parallel to the ground. You’re going to be doing enough pulling with your body vertical.
Don’t ditch barbell rows in favor of dumbbell rows. Old timers used to barbell row on top of a box to get a full stretch at the bottom position.
Do some Olympic lifting stuff without doing Olympic weightlifting.
Don’t do shrugs. You’re better off doing another exercise that will contribute to something else too. Just do your deadlifts and finish with a shrug, like you would during a clean-snatch pull or a clean-snatch panda pull.
Don’t think you need to be 200 pounds to look good. Frank Zane — who many believe to have had the “best” physique — only weighed 185. And that was with performance enhancing drugs in his system.
Overload chin-ups with sub-maximal volume. If you add one rep to the total amount of chins you can do every week, you’ll be up 50 reps within a year. It won’t happen, but it shows you the power of volume over time.
Don’t overdo weighted chin-ups. One session per week at max. Your elbow will thank you for it.
Flare your elbows on your rows and use some oomph. Flaring your elbows will hit your upper back more. This is a good thing. Also use your legs a bit to get the weight moving. The upper body will be further overloaded by the increased weight you’re using. Don’t flop like a fish or anything, just use a controlled boost.
Don’t row with super strict form. No one that does is worth a salt. Learning how to create and use force with a little extra body movement is key in almost every lift. Why do you think old time Olympic pressers shifted their hips back and forth on the press?
Go train now. You won’t get the physique you want reading articles online all day.