Rusty Jeffers gives the dos and don'ts to sculpting a classical physique

A month before turning 45, Rusty Jeffers placed seventh in the 2009 Australian Grand Prix. He is noted for his classical, proportional physique, and here he explains his rules for keeping bodyparts in balance and maintaining a slim waistline.

Jeffers isn’t just old, by bodybuilding standards, he’s also “old-school,” and he dishes out an old-school, high-volume abs routine, which he does at the beginning of each workout year-round.


  1. Forget the scales. Use mirrors and photos to measure your progress instead of an increasingly greater bodyweight.
  2. Prioritize proportions. Train your weakest areas first and/or more and your strongest areas last and/or less, and reassess strengths and weaknesses regularly to continuously work toward symmetrical development.
  3. Limit Bodyfat. Don't allow yourself to bulk up too much, because it stretches out your waist and carries you away from your ideal shape.
  4. Work the X. To accentuate an X-shaped silhouette, emphasize building up your side delts, outer lats and outer quads and avoid exercises that work your obliques (such as side bends) and hip flexors (such as leg adductions).
  5. Build size with synergistic lifts. Focus on compound basics such as bench presses and pullovers. These creates a flowing physique with strong muscle tie-ins, instead of a collection of bodyparts.
  6. Accentuate Abs. If there's one area that distinguishes a classic physique, it's the abdominals. Train your abs at least twice weekly, eat clean and do cardio.


Decline situps 1 30-50
Rope crunches 1 30-50
Lying leg raises 1 20-30
Side bends 1 50
One-arm cable crunches 1 30 (each side)
Seated one-leg raises 1 30 (each side)
Seated knee raises 1 30-50
Side bends 1 50
Lying crunches 3 30
Side crunches 1 30 (each side)
Seated twists 1 100