Everyone trains for different reasons some to gain strength, others to get bigger, and most guys just train to look good and be fit and fit-looking. Now because we have different fitness goals we tend to follow different kinds or workouts with weights and reps set according to what you want to achieve. Some guys lift heavy to get stronger for less reps verses lifting lighter for more reps to get bigger.
The interesting thing here is that when people train for size they have muscle size which makes them look stronger than they really are, whereas you could have a really strong guy who does not look as strong or have a physique as developed like the big guy. For examples of this just look at Olympic power lifters who are not that big and do not usually have nice looking balanced aesthetic physiques vs bodybuilders who purposefully add mass to targeted areas so they appear to have balanced sometimes oversized physique. Both this guys training attributes have negatives and positives but you as the guy who wants to look good have to take lessons from both training methods, combining strength training and training for size so that you have the best result.
What you should realise is that most people who are not that strong when they start working out therefore before you focus on building your size, you should increase you strength first which will allow you to later on be able to handle weights which will give you great size gains. To gain overall strength for your whole body you need the 3 core exercises of strength training which are the squat, bench press and dead-lifts. The aim is to gain strength by increasing these core lifts but you also need other exercise like bodyweight exercise to increase your strength and develop other body parts such exercises are the pull up/chin up which work your lats for back width and your biceps but these bodyweight exercises also help with your grip strength which is important for heavy lifts. To get the best results you should do weight pull-ups/chin-ups they are more difficult and more effective. You need other compound exercises like the shoulder press, bent over row, barbell/dumbbell clean and press to increase your overall strength, the reason why doing these compound exercises is so effective in strength gain using low heavy reps is because compound exercises engage most of the muscles in your body during the lifts therefore increasing whole body strength. Doing compound exercises works your major muscle groups which causes the body to secret more testosterone and human growth hormone which will help you grow and a faster rate.
The compound exercises will give you strength and initial size. To make sure you have a balanced physique and to concentrate on selected muscle groups that’s when isolation exercises come in and you focus less on the compound exercises which you used as a foundation for your initial strength and muscle gain. You now focus on training in the higher rep ranges of between 8-10 reps for most exercise some need more reps to be effective e. g. (calf raises, since we are talking about a complete physique). The 8-10 rep range is said to be the most effective for growth. At this point you are adding the detail that lacked from your compound strength gaining routine.
No workout is complete without adding the finishing touches which will be adding a cardio routine which will burn all the fat you would have gained from your workouts; this would add the finishing touches. Depending on the type of person you are you could do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or traditional steady pace cardio. If you are doing the traditional cardio be careful not to do too much cardio as that is counterproductive to muscle gain.
The process of building a great fit, strong body that looks good involves, gaining strength first by using compound exercises. These compound exercises will in turn give you that initial size boost, and increased testosterone and HGH. You will in turn use the increased hormone secretion to your advantage to tailor the look of your own body using isolation exercises and finalise your look by doing cardio to get rid of any accumulated fat. Then voila. . . you have a great looking and equally strong body.