Get Wide Shoulders, a Broad Chest and Chiseled Abs

Build Muscle and Grow With Matus Valent

Matus Valent is an international fitness cover model from Bratislava, Slovak Republic and now living in California. At 6’3″ and 215 pounds, his wide shoulders, broad chest and chiseled abs have made him one of the most sought-after fitness models in the industry. Though favorable genes certainly play a part in his impressive muscular physique, Valent’s hard work is the key to his success. Five nights a week you can find him in the gym for an average of two to two-and-a-half hours. His program emphasizes the moneymakers: chest, shoulders, and abs. “I train my legs, back, and arms very hard,” he tells us. “These areas are essential for fitness modeling. Without having them, you have little possibility for success.”

Matus also eats a healthy diet all year, so that the hard work he invests in his abs is visible at all times. “Anyone can have 20-inch arms or a huge chest, but having a shredded six-pack shows the real level of fitness, and that is the first thing people notice about you when walking shirtless on the beach.” We talked to Matus to get the lowdown on what he does to build his showpiece body parts.

Chest

It’s probably not a coincidence that Matus gets the most compliments on his chest, and it’s also his favorite body part to train. “I get a great pump every time I work chest, and it’s always responded well.” He trains it every Monday and Thursday with about 32 total sets. “I never care much about being the strongest guy in the gym or trying hard to achieve any incredible lift records,” Matus states. “My personal best in bench press is 345 pounds, but mostly I perform my sets with weight under 300 pounds.”

Bench Presses

Various presses form the foundation of Valent’s chest routine, but he always starts with the all-time most popular version— the flat barbell bench press. “It makes sense to begin any workout with the most basic and productive free-weight exercise for the chest muscles while I’m fresh,” he says. He’ll do a total of 8 sets, pyramiding up in weight and down in reps for 5 sets, then reversing the order for a final 3 sets. After a few more sets on a pec deck, his next pressing exercise for chest is the seated Hammer Strength machine press.

 Dips

Along with barbell and machine presses, Matus includes dips as a highly effective compound movement to assist his chest exercises. “I do these leaning forward on chest day, and upright when I use them to work triceps.” His own bodyweight provides sufficient resistance for 4 sets of 12 reps.

Cable Crossovers

Matus does 5 sets of cable crossovers. “Pressing movements will build the bulk in your chest, but you need to include flyes if you want the absolute best shape and detail,” Valent declares. At his first chest workout of the week, he sets the cable pulleys high and performs crossovers the standard way. At the second session, Valent drops the pulleys to their lowest position and does a movement that more closely resembles the act of scooping up from the hips to a point in front of his upper pecs. “That hits the upper and inner regions of the pecs perfectly.” 

Shoulders

Broad shoulders are essential for achieving the V-taper. They need to be wide, round, and manly. Matus trains his shoulders once a week. “Because they are involved in the chest workouts as well as my back day, working shoulders any more often would probably amount to overtraining.” 

Overhead Presses

The overhead press is his primary shoulder exercise because it delivers the most “bang for the buck.” Pressing behind the neck is often demonized as being akin to committing rotator cuff suicide, but he feels it’s safe when done properly. “Lower the bar only to the point where your upper arms are parallel to the ground, and no lower,” he advises. “That’s the safe range of motion. Going lower than that overloads the rotator cuff muscles.” 

Front Raises

Valent does his share of lateral raises, but he also devotes time to other isolation movements to target the anterior or front delts: the front raise performed in alternating fashion with dumbbells, then with a barbell. “Most of the time I’m photographed either straight on or from just a slight angle, so maximal development of my front delts is critical,” he explains.

Abs

The abdominals are his second favorite body part to train. He trains them five days a week and makes a real effort to go heavy. “Having a nice big six-pack requires treating it like other muscles,” he tells us. “You can look lean and do 1,000 crunches a day, but your ab muscles will never grow bigger and have that 3-D look. That’s why I use plates, dumbbells and heavy weights on machines, so I can achieve some reasonable size.”

Crunches

Valent starts his ab workout with 3 sets of heavy crunches on a flat bench, holding one or two 25-pound plates behind his head for added resistance. After performing as many reps to failure as possible, usually about 15-20, he drops plates and does another 10 reps with bodyweight. Matus does seated leg raises from the edge of a flat bench. “Regular crunches do a great job of working the upper abs, but you must do leg raises for the lower abs. It’s also important that you lower your legs slowly and keep tension on the abs for the duration of the set.”

Hanging Leg Raises

The hanging leg raise is an excellent exercise to hit the often hard-to-reach lower abs. Strict form pays dividends, so avoid swinging the legs and make the movement slow and controlled.

Put in the Work, Reap the Rewards

Matus Valent is living proof that hard work and dedication in the gym pays off. Apply his training principles to your own chest, shoulders, and abs for a killer V-taper. You might not be a famous fitness model, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your share of attention by having a ripped, cut body with a “V-taper” look. Website: MatusValent.com

Training Split

Monday: Chest and biceps

Tuesday: Legs

Wednesday: Back and triceps

Thursday: Chest and biceps

Friday: Shoulders and calves

Abs are trained every day, Monday through Friday

 

Daily Diet and Supplements

9 AM – 3 slices wheat toast with turkey breast

Natural peanut or almond butter or Nutella spread

Glass of whole milk

11:30 AM – Whey isolate shake made with whole milk

2 PM – Grilled chicken breast, 1 cup white rice

6 PM – High-protein yogurt, 1 banana, Kre-Alkyln, nitric oxide pills

7-9:30 PM – Train

9:30 PM – Whey isolate shake made with whole milk, L-Glutamine

10:30 PM – Steak or salmon

Daily vitamins and minerals: B, C, E, A&D, Chromium, Potassium, Selenium, Magnesium, and Zinc

 

Chest Workout

Flat Barbell Bench Press – 8 x 18, 10, 10, 6, 4, 10, 12, 15

Hammer Vertical Bench Press – 4 x 8-10

Pec Flye Machine – 5 x 8-10

Wide-grip Dips – 4 x 12

Cable Crossovers – 5 x 12

Incline Smith Press – 5 x 8-10

 

Shoulder Workout

Overhead Press – 5 x 8-10

Seated Lateral Raise Machine – 5 x 10

Front Dumbbell Raises – 5 x 9-10 each arm

Front Barbell Raises – 5 x 8-10

Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises – 5 x 8-10

Superset with Standing Shrug Machine – 5 x 12-15

 

Abdominal Workout

Crunches Holding Weight Behind Head – 3 x 15-20

Leg Raises on Bench – 3 x 12-16

Machine Crunches – 3 x 18-20

Oblique Twist Machine – 2 x 10-12 reps each side

Roman Chair Leg Lifts – 3 x 12

 

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