What are gym aesthetics? Surely you have heard of these guys if you are fully involved in the world of Fitness. The most popular names are Zyzz, David Laid, Jeff Seid, Greg Plitt or Lazar Angelov. "Aesthetic" means aesthetic. This tendency is to build a physique with noticeable muscles (without being exaggerated like those of a heavy bodybuilder), proportionate and with a low level of fat. 

The aesthetic trend  has been very popular among young people around the world since 2011, when this movement was born by Zyzz . Do you want to discover this movement? We explain the keys to aesthetics, their lifestyle, their pros and cons or  how to have an aesthetic physique . Enter with us in all this information.

History of the aesthetics physiques of the gym

An "aesthetics" body is an aesthetic physique worked on in the gym. To achieve this, you need an exercise program that emphasizes the V shape in your torso. That means you have a broad back and shoulders . An aesthetic body also requires maintaining a narrow waist and quadriceps muscles with good external volume.

An aesthetic bodybuilder physique is in good shape and is easy on the eye. So much so that this body can even be compared to a work of art. In this article, we will describe in detail how to create a physique aesthetics , including the main elements of bodybuilding aesthetics.

Aesthetic Boys

What is an aesthetics body?

It is a muscular body with symmetrical and balanced proportions. The appearance of the physique should be almost artistic. This is somewhat subjective, but the general characteristics of an aesthetic body in bodybuilding are the following:

    • • The upper part of the back is broad. You have to strengthen your lats.
    • • The deltoid is muscular, rounded and wide.
    • • Biceps and triceps balanced and sized.
    • • A good muscular definition, especially in the abdominal section.
    • • Small and narrow waist. The abdomen must not be distended!
    • • Quadriceps and calves should be of medium size in relation to the upper body.

Developing such an aesthetically pleasing physique requires targeted, balanced resistance training combined with a good diet.

Bodybuilders of the past as a reference for gym aesthetics 

We can consider that the father of the Aesthetics movement was the Russian Zyzz. However, to build his physique, he was inspired by the bodybuilders of the 1970s and 1980s. Classical bodybuilding favored balanced physiques, with good muscular proportions, broad shoulders, and narrow waists. The well-known bodybuilders of this time were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Franco Columbu, Serge Nubret, Sergio Oliva or Lou Ferrigno. 

Zyzz even brought back some of the classic bodybuilding poses, like Sergio Oliva's victory pose . However, even before the time of Arnold Schwarzenegger, there were bodybuilders who lived up to the ideals of aesthetic bodies. One example was Steve Reeves , who featured a gym aesthetics physique and competed in bodybuilding in the late 1940s.

Zyzz striking a pose AestheticsSergio Oliva, victory pose
Zyzz.Victory pose by Sergio Oliva.

Arnold noted that the beautiful bodies of old-school bodybuilders like Reeves, Parks, and Zane were admired by both men and women. More importantly, bodybuilding reached unprecedented heights in the 1980s and attracted new fans, especially teenagers . Young men began taking up the sport to develop their physiques in the same way that the superstars they saw on "Pumping Iron" and in fitness magazines.

Legendary athletes of the 1970s such as Arnold, Oliva, Zane, Robinson and Ferrigno inspired a generation of teenagers, including 1983 Olympian Samir Bannout, to lift weights with enthusiasm. Bannout remembers flipping through "Muscle Builder/Power" magazine and falling in love with Arnold and Zane's appearance. He was watching the magazine as he started his path to become one of the greats.

 Aesthetics bodybuilders of the 1980s; Arnold, Serge Nubret, Frank Zane, Franco Columbus.

The Fitness Revolution  of the 1980s was also a revolution in bodybuilding, especially among teen and older competitors. The dream was not to earn a professional card, but to pursue the titles of Mister America, Mister Universe and, perhaps, even Mister Olympia. Winning a major trophy and getting it published in bodybuilding magazines was the dream of young bodybuilders all over the world.

These days, not many young men are inspired to look like a bodybuilder. There is no demand for competitions from teenagers. Many teens choose CrossFit or martial arts instead. Many blame this on the body types Arnold complains about. Given the choice, most men and women would prefer the looks of Oliva and other greats from the golden age to the massive physiques that dominate the sport's biggest competitions today. To some, Arnold is the unofficial leader of the bodybuilding genre. His words carry weight.

Zyzz's aesthetics movement was  an attempt to bring back the handsome, muscular bodies of the days of Schwarzenegger and Zane. Since the 1990s, professional bodybuilding degenerated into a spectacle of massive, wide-waisted, disproportionate, otherworldly men. The introduction of new doping substances, such as growth hormone and insulin, maximized the muscle weight an athlete could gain. The result was that physiques were increasingly muscular, but less handsome and athletic than they used to be. Aesthetics want to recover the classic ideal body and promote it among young people.

Zyzz, the father of Aesthetics 

With the "boom" of the internet, Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian, who was popularly known as Zyzz, became famous . Shavershian was born on March 24, 1989. He was an aesthetics bodybuilder , model, and personal trainer. He was born in Russia, but also had Australian citizenship. Zyzz lived in Australia, where he started to become popular. When asked about his ethnicity, Zyzz has replied that his parents are of Kurdish descent , although they were born in Armenia and have close ties to the Armenian community. 

Aziz Shaversian, Zyzz

In 2007, Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian started uploading videos about his bodybuilding lifestyle to YouTube, the platform he used the most. Zyzz was a skinny guy before he had the bodybuilding lifestyle. After high school, inspired by his bodybuilder brother, Zyzz started at the gym and learned about exercise and nutrition. He applied his knowledge in the search for an "aesthetics" physique. He spent a lot of time in the gym. Aziz said that his favorite bodybuilders were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane. He wanted to get a physique similar to theirs.

Initially, Zyzz acknowledged that he wanted to become a bodybuilder "so that girls would like him." The young man would look at the photos of classic bodybuilders and say that he would like to look like them one day. However, his motivations changed later. He said that he was no longer focused just on impressing people, but on setting goals in the gym and improving himself every day .

Soon, Aziz Shavershian would have great success on YouTube with his videos in the gym or partying with his friends. Zyzz became an icon and an ideal to follow for thousands of young people. He had a muscular and aesthetic physique, great self-confidence and a riotous lifestyle with a lot of humor. Many young people around the world wanted to achieve a Zyzz-like physique and lifestyle. The "Aesthetics" lifestyle was born .

Aziz was so popular that he launched several products on the market: a protein brand (launched in June 2011) called Protein of the Gods, an aesthetics clothing collection, and "Zyzz's Bodybuilding Bible" (book released May 17). 2011), where he compiled the knowledge he had acquired in the last four years. Zyzz managed to build his brand thanks to the internet and the success achieved with social networks.

However, not everything was so idyllic and motivational. Zyzz and his friends ( The Aesthetic Crew ) used anabolic steroids. Zyzz's friends included Said Shavershian (his brother, who was nicknamed "Chestbrah"), "Supaturk" "Turtle", "Philrayho", "Babo", "Gonzalez" and "Vlado". In addition, Zyzz fell into a life of excess, parties and drugs. Aziz Shavershian died on August 5, 2011. He was on vacation in Thailand when he suffered a heart attack. Zyzz passed away at just 22 years old. The subsequent autopsy revealed that Aziz had an undiagnosed congenital heart problem. 

Aesthetics Crew, friends of Zyzz

Supaturk, Zyzz's friend
Supaturk, a friend of Zyzz's group.

The legacy of Zyzz and the following Aesthetics Fitness

Zyzz's death did not spell the end of the aesthetic's legacy. Aziz had already won the hearts and admiration of thousands of young people from all over the planet. The  aesthetics culture of the gym continued and new references became famous. Perhaps the two most popular aesthetics after Zyzz were Jeff Seid and David Laid.

• Jeff Seid : He is an American bodybuilder and Fitness model. Seid has a well-proportioned physique with little fat, as if he had been sculpted like a Greek statue. Jeff Seid was a rugby player in college, but later decided to go into bodybuilding. Seid has competed in the Men's Physique bodybuilding category. He presents all the characteristics that an aesthetic wishes to have. He has a broad back, narrow waist, big arms, balanced legs, is handsome, and has good hair. Also, Seid loves festivals and flirting with girls. He also has a YouTube channel and is an entrepreneur.

 Jeff Seid, Body Aesthetics

• David Laid : This Estonian-American boy stood out for presenting a defined and impressive physique and lifting huge weights at a very young age. Laid is very tall (1.88) and weighs 90 kg with good muscular definition. He has very broad shoulders and a slim waist. More than 1.5 million subscribers follow David Laid on his YouTube channel. This "Fitness influencer" is the definition of aesthetics in its purest form.

David Laid Aesthetics Body Transformation

Although both are a source of inspiration to many, both Jeff Seid and David Laid have possibly used doping substances to build their aesthetic physiques.

Other references with an  aesthetic male body are Greg Plitt (deceased) and Lazar Angelov.

• Greg Plitt : He was an American Fitness model and actor. He also recorded training videos to upload to the internet. Plitt was considered an aesthetic because of his beautiful and defined body, which has served him as a model for various clothing brands. Unfortunately, Greg Plitt passed away in 2015 after being hit by a train while he was recording a video for a protein brand. Plitt slipped and fell on the tracks as the Southern California Metrolink train approached.

Model Aesthetics Greg Plitt

• Lazar Angelov : The Bulgarian model achieved a super aesthetic body with 88 kg for 1.80 m tall. Lazar had excellent proportion and definition in his muscles. He acknowledged that, because of the steroids, he had had major health problems.

 Modelo Fitness Aesthetics Lazar Angelov

The ideal of  aesthetics for bodybuilding  is also highly inspired by the physiques of ancient Greek statues such as Apollo or Zeus. Pursuing the ideal of a lean, muscular, athletic body may be fine, but it causes frustration for many people. Also, as we have seen, contemporary referents use anabolic substances to build bodies that are otherwise impossible to achieve. Sometimes, the "influencers" and referents of the movement do not reveal the use of anabolic steroids. This gives false expectations to fans, who would do anything to present a physique like that of their idols.

Statue of Apollo, body AestheticsStatue of Zeus, physical Aesthetics

Do you know how to have an Aesthetic physique?

If you've been struck by these physiques and are trying to create an aesthetic body, a good first step is to have a visual idea of ​​how you want to look. A good idea is to look for bodybuilders or athletes who are similar in height to you. They should have the kind of physique aesthetics you want to develop. Do you want to practice aesthetic bodybuilding? So you may want an aesthetic body without too much muscle.

However, you must work well on your proportions, symmetry, balance, and fitness . This means a small waist, a nice V shape, and big enough quads to make your knees look small. The quadriceps should also be in good external shape. Don't forget the calves either!

Samir Bannout, for example, was known for his aesthetics and proportions. Some might say that Bannout has an artistic physique. He is 185 centimeters tall and weighs about 98 kilos. If we look at his physique, he might seem to have more fluidity and nicer lines than, say, Frank Zane.

If you find examples of male aesthetic physiques that inspire you, will these be a powerful motivator to help you create your own body aesthetics? Study your physique to create a clear image and train accordingly to bring your image to life. 

Think about your ideal aesthetic body

Now that you have a visual idea of ​​the physique you want to build, you can use visualization techniques to help you achieve it. Practice visualizing what you want your physique to look like. You can imagine yourself posing in front of a mirror. While posing, you can think about the physique you want.

You can also imagine your physique during exercise. Arnold saw his biceps as huge mountains when he did the exercises. During your training, you can see how you develop a great aesthetic physique.

Mentally connect with your muscles to improve your aesthetic appearance

Gym Aesthetics Body Training

The gym aesthetics physique requires a nice V shape in the back. Your V is created by the width of your lats and your side deltoids. Exercises like the lat pulldown are a great way to train the width of the lats. This exercise, however, is problematic, as many people tend to feel it in the biceps. To isolate your lats, you have to mentally connect with the muscle .

First, make sure you understand the function of the lat muscle. Here's a way to help you make a mental connection to your lats:

- Place your left hand on your right dorsal muscle.
- Raise your right arm up with the palm facing forward.
- Make a fist and slowly bring your arm down imitating a pulling movement.
- You should feel how the latissimus dorsi muscle contracts.

When you are about to start the pulldown exercise, imagine that your hands are hooks. Think about the action of the lats. Start by flexing and pulling down with your lats. Don't pull with your hands. Let your arms follow the lats. Focus your mental concentration only on your back. Hold the weight and squeeze at the bottom, count 2 seconds and let the bar rise slowly. Fight the bar back to the starting position of the exercise. The mental connection will help you get much more out of your workouts.

Zyzz with his brother Chestbrah
Zyzz with his brother Chestbrah.

How long would it take to get an aesthetic gym physique?

The time it takes to build a gym look depends on the shape you are in when you start training. If you already have good muscle tone but want to focus on aesthetics, the goal can take several months. If you are just starting out, it will take at least a year to build enough mass. While you gain size, you can work on aesthetics.

The key is to plan properly so that you can develop an aesthetic body. We'll go over the training guidelines, but remember you also need to eat clean. Aesthetics bodybuilding involves following a clean, protein-rich diet. You want to eat as little sugar as possible and a moderate amount of total carbohydrates. Also, eat moderate amounts of healthy fats.

You will want to keep your sodium levels low. Too much sodium causes unwanted bloating, which hurts your proportions. Avoid processed foods . You must eat as clean as possible. If you want to gain body weight, try to make it lean mass. Build muscle slowly and limit your fat intake as much as possible. If your abdominal muscles are completely no longer showing, this means that you are gaining weight too fast. Try to maintain an  aesthetic abdomen . You will achieve this if you eat enough, but not excessively. This may mean that it will take you longer to build an aesthetically pleasing body, but you want to get it right.

Frank Zane's aesthetic body
Classic bodybuilder Frank Zane.

What is an Aesthetic training or routine like?

To be  aesthetics, training must focus on improving muscle symmetry. Use different repetition intervals and exercises to stimulate the size of your muscles. Bodybuilders who train for better aesthetics also focus on reducing body fat. The goal is to achieve a balanced size and good physical condition. Your  gym aesthetic routines will include specific exercises to develop specific areas of your physique ( muscle isolation movements ). This is what aesthetic bodybuilding is based on.

The most important bases of an aesthetic routine are the following :

  • • Use a split body routine to establish exercises and workouts; this allows you to give more work to each muscle group.
  • • Use a 50/50 ratio of basic and muscle isolation movements.
  • • Your routine should average 8 to 20 repetitions per set.
  • • You must do an average of 3 series for each exercise.
  • • Use exercises that build a V-shaped body.

It is important to start training with the most difficult exercises . These should be basic exercises and compound movements. Regardless of the type of bodybuilding you prefer, it is always good to improve your strength . However, the key to an aesthetically pleasing body is to also focus on isolation exercises . Consider lateral raises for the deltoids and quadriceps exercises that work the outer part of the leg.

Let's see an example of a shoulder aesthetics routine :

  • • Warm up.
  • • Overhead Press: 3 sets x 8 reps at 75% of your 1RM. This exercise will be your mass builder.
  • • Lateral elevation: 3 series x 8-12 repetitions. This will work on your V look by improving the width of the shoulders.
  • • Rear shoulder elevation: 3 series x 8-12 repetitions. This develops the shoulder in a balanced way.

Additional exercises, such as squats and leg thrusts, are also important to improve your aesthetic physique. In this case, point your feet inwards. In terms of physical aesthetics, this will help you develop the outer arch of the thighs. If you combine this look with a small waist, wide back and deltoids, you will create the aesthetic body of your dreams.

Also consider doing abdominal exercises that do not increase the width of your abdomen. For example, avoid dumbbell side curls. You are not trying to develop thick abdominal muscles. Instead, work your core to get that good bodybuilding aesthetic. This will help make your waist smaller. Crunches and abdominal wheel are also good options.

Aesthetics gym postures for boys
Aesthetics gym postures for boys (Zyzz).

Examples of men with aesthetic bodies

A few good examples are middleweight fighters. These individuals have an  aesthetic, strong and visible abdomen , as well as a good physical shape. However, they do not have much muscle mass. Another good example is beach physiques . Consider a fit person with moderate muscle mass. A guy like YouTuber David Laid is a good example of this physical level. However, it is difficult to reach this level as a natural bodybuilder.

There are many levels of aesthetic physiques. Different people think of different "looks" when talking about aesthetic physiques. However, all aesthetic bodies must have the same basic characteristics. This means a V shape, a slim waist, round shoulders, and well-developed legs. It also means visible abdominal muscles and a good physical condition.

Ultimately, the most obvious example of this is professional bodybuilders who train for an aesthetic body. Next, we will see what the classic bodybuilding aesthetic was like.

Bodybuilder bodies vs. aesthetics physiques

Technically speaking, a bodybuilder is a person who trains to achieve maximum muscle size. If you train with weights, you could call yourself a bodybuilder. Strength is often secondary for this athlete. Bodybuilding is criticized for being all a show. A bodybuilder always sees his body as a work of art that is still developing.

The aesthetics movement is a form of bodybuilding that focuses on creating balanced and pleasing proportions. Take a look at some of the most famous aesthetic bodybuilders, like Frank Zane or Bob Paris. You could say that they took the concept of "bodybuilding as art" more seriously than the "mass monsters" (these are the guys who want to get as big as possible; aesthetics are less important to them).

The aesthetic bodybuilder will limit size if he thinks too much of a muscle will ruin his proportions. This type of thinking was common among professionals in the late 1970s and 1980s. Frank Zane was a good example. He stayed below 90 kilos so as not to lose his proportions and aesthetics. Zane felt that if he went over 200 pounds, he would start to lose his classic look .

What are the most obvious examples of an aesthetic bodybuilder? Many would say that Steve Reeves was the first to define this "look." Guys like Frank Zane, Bob Paris, Flex Wheeler, Samir Bannout, Lee Labrada, and Shawn Ray. There are many others, but these bodybuilders are good examples.

The physique of these bodybuilders is in direct contrast to the massive appearance of some modern bodybuilders. Bodybuilders who prioritize size don't necessarily have good proportions. Mike Katz, from the 1970s, is a good example of this. Katz had a large chest, decent arms, and little else. He likens that to a Zane-type model, whose body was very aesthetically pleasing and well-proportioned. It is worth mentioning that many people also think that legends like Arnold or Sergio Oliva had an aesthetic physique. To others, these legends are perhaps less aesthetic and more like massive monsters.

As for modern bodybuilders, most professionals do not have good aesthetics. This is because they have bulging bellies and train solely for size. Often, the size is not accompanied by good proportions. The best example of a recent bodybuilder with good proportions is Dexter Jackson. Other examples include many competitors in the Fitness and Classic Physique category .

Steve Reeves, bodybuilder with physique Aesthetics de gym
Bodybuilder and actor Steve Reeves.

Aesthetic gym routines

Here are two aesthetic routines for the gym. One is to gain strength and aesthetics. The other is for beginners.

Strength and aesthetic routine

If you are intermediate or advanced, you can try this routine. You will train 4 times a week.


Squats : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Military press : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Front squats : 3-6 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1.5 minutes.

Pull ups : 3-6 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1.5 minutes.

Face pull : 8 series x 10 repetitions resting 45 seconds.

Band W : 8 series x 10 repetitions resting 45 seconds.


Deadlift : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Bench press : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Dumbbell bench press : 3-6 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1.5 minutes.

Romanian deadlift : 3-6 series x 6-8 repetitions resting 1.5 minutes.

Band pull apart : 10 series x 10 repetitions resting 45 seconds.

External rotations : 5 series x 10 repetitions (free rest).


Squats : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Military press : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Lunges : 3-6 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1.5 minutes.

Pull ups : 3-6 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1.5 minutes.

Face pull : 8 series x 10 repetitions resting 45 seconds.

Band W : 8 series x 10 repetitions resting 45 seconds.

Abdominal wheel : 4 series 3 + 3 + 3 repetitions resting for 30 seconds.


Deadlift : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Bench press : 3 series x 5, 3, 1 repetitions resting between 1.5 and 5 minutes.

Femoral Curl : 2-3 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1 minute.

Dumbbell bench press : 2-3 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1.5 minutes.

Hip Thrust : 2-3 series x 6-8 repetitions, resting for 1.5 minutes.

Dips : 2-3 series x 6-8 repetitions resting 1.5 minutes.

Band pull apart : 10 series x 20 repetitions resting 45 seconds.

It is recommended not to train more than 2 days in a row in this routine.

Aesthetic routine for beginners

This training for beginners presents the  ABxAxBx scheme . This means that you will train on Monday and Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, train on Thursday, rest on Friday and train on Saturday. “A” days are for pushing and “B” days are for pulling. You can also change Saturday to Friday. In this case, the schema would be ABxAB .


Squats : 3 series x 6 repetitions.

Bench press : 3 series x 6 repetitions.

Military press : 3 series x 6 repetitions.

Dips : 3 series x 8 repetitions.

Calf Raises : 3 sets to failure.


Deadlift : 3 series x 5 repetitions.

Barbell Row : 3 sets x 6 reps.

Pull ups : 3 series x 6 repetitions.

Barbell biceps curl : 3 sets x 8 reps.

Abdominal shrugs : 3 series x 10 repetitions.

How to progress? You will start the exercises with 75% of your repetition maximum. If you manage to complete all the sets and repetitions with correct technique, add 2.5 kg to the exercise in the following week. When you can no longer increase the weight for 2 weeks in a row, drop the weight to 60% of your 1RM in one week. Then, restart at the weight where you were unable to complete the set.

Aesthetics lifestyle 

The physique of an aesthetic is always linked to a lifestyle . Typically, guys who enter this lifestyle have a group of friends who share their ideals and with whom they train in the gym. Aesthetics try to live from social networks or some kind of online work, such as remote Fitness consultancies. They opt for a casual lifestyle, going to parties and festivals, having a good time with their friends and flirting with girls. At times, this lifestyle has been described as superficial. It is common to skip the diet on weekends to enjoy social meals.

Lifestyle Aesthetics

The aesthetics and the clothes

Aesthetics guys also take great care of their clothing and try to dress in fashion with clothes that manage to show off their worked gym physiques. Aesthetics clothing includes tight pants (skinny-jeans and skinny-shorts), tank tops, as well as hooded and sleeveless sweatshirts. The most famous aesthetics models endorse youth and sportswear brands, as well as supplement brands. They also use accessories such as bracelets, pendants and hats. They wear a very flashy hairstyle, like Zyzz or Jeff Seid, to get the attention of the girls. These guys like current pop and techno music.

They have inspired young people from all over the world through the internet to follow this lifestyle.

Zyzz Logo
The Zyzz logo.

Steroids controversy

Although it is good that you want to build an aesthetic body with effort, dedication and vision, not all things about this youth trend are positive. Normally, guys like Aziz Shavershian and other aesthetics use anabolic steroids to achieve impossible bodies. This causes enormous frustrations and a distortion of reality among young boys. 

Before his death, Shavershian was an icon of the Australian amateur bodybuilding subculture, popularly known as "aesthetics." Shavershian's brother Said was arrested on July 14, 2011 for possession of anabolic steroids. He was found guilty after Aziz's death.

Gym aesthetics lie about steroid use. Shavershian denied the use of anabolics and claimed that his physique was the result of hard work in the gym and a strict diet. The Sydney Morning Herald, the company that hired Shavershian as a stripper, stated that she was "a good guy, steroids aside." Aziz Shavershian often used phrases like "cycling". This, in gym lingo, means taking anabolic steroids.

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