“Honestly, he looks like a tree,” Tommy Vekhayn, bodybuilder and workout coach, tells me. He’s clicking through Google images of a Chanticleer, a cartoon rooster with a V-shaped chest bulging through a western shirt. A green ascot is tied around Chanticleer’s thick neck. It looks a bit too much like a choke collar.
Vekhayn is, of course, talking about the roaring rockabilly rooster from the 1991 animated film Rock-a-Doodle. Based on Elvis Presley and voiced by Glen Campbell, Chanticleer leaves his farm, where he crows every morning, to make it in the big city as a rock star.
Chanticleer is a hot, hot daddy cock. He has perfectly coiffed pompadours and veiny arms accented by cuffed shirts. Still, I don’t really want to squawk with him as much as I want to be him.
Well, as close as I can get. “Chanticleer has an incredible physique. But is it attainable? Not all of it, but you can get pretty close,” Vekhayn tells me.
Build Your Upper Body
The secret to Chanticleer’s build is his back. Robert Herbst, a 19-time World Champion powerlifter, tells me the coveted V-shape body requires strict upper-back workouts. Still, Herbst is adamant that Chanticleer’s physique, specifically his slim waist, is not fully obtainable. “You would never have a waist that small if you lift weights,” Herbst says.
Few know the shapes of their body better than a drag queen. As former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Eureka O’Hara coined, baby, you need to be proportionizing. “If you’re a big girl, cinch the center and add more to the top and bottom,” O’Hara says in this essential clip.
Want Chanticleer’s tiny-ass waist? Add more lateral raises and build up your back to give the illusion of a tiny midsection. ”If you add an inch to each shoulder, you’re effectively two inches wider and your waist looks smaller,” Herbst says.
The Chanticleer Come-Up
Focus on your lower-back muscles — your lats — and multiple reps over more weight. Six to 10 reps of 20-pound dumbbell curls build up more muscle than two 50-pound curls, Herbst says.
Vekhayn recommends a split day workout he’s aptly titled “Chanticleer’s Come-Up.” Since the rooster is almost entirely upper body, with very thin legs and a snatched waist, Vekhayn’s workout focuses on back and arm muscles.
- 5×5 bench press
- 5×8 pectoral flies
- 4×8 of T-Bar rows
- 5×8 lateral pulldowns
- 5×5 barbell rows
- 3×8 barbell curls
- 5×5 dumbbell curls
- 3×8 incline dumbbell curls
- 3×8 skull crushers
- 5×8 tricep extensions
- 4×8 T-bar rows
- 5×5 lateral pulldowns
- 5×8 barbell rows
- 5×5 overhead barbell press
- 5×8 overhead shoulder press
- 3×8 side lateral raises
- 5×5 squat
- 3×10 ab rollouts
- Any forearm exercise: farmer’s carry or forearm raises
Don’t Skip Leg Day
Whatever you do, though, make sure you get your squats in — that’s Chanticleer’s bad egg.
True bodybuilders, like those competing in the Arnold Sports Festival competitions, craft round butts and bulging thighs. Chanticleer, on the other hand, is doing one too many pushups and not enough donkey kicks. “His legs are falling behind almost to the rest of his body. [He’s] definitely skipping leg a little bit,” Vekhayn agrees.
Chanticleer’s ass is flatter than mine. Sucks for him.