It's hard to make a man out of him.
Sometimes a hard and strenuous workout isn't worth the effort to get muscles, or the character just isn't that well-built. So the next best alternative is getting fake muscles for show, usually by stuffing a large amount of something inside one's shirt, or simply wearing a muscular suit. Just be careful in not actually doing anything that requires great strength.
Compare Fake Boobs
. See also Muscles Are Meaningless
Film - Animation
Film - Live Action
- Mulan: During "A Girl Worth Fighting For", Ling strides out a river proudly displaying enormous new muscles... until the water drains out of his clothes and he's back to his skinny self.
- Napoleon Dynamite: During one of Kip and Uncle Rico's lunch talks, Uncle Rico sits with his arms crossed, but is noticeably using his fists to push up his biceps.
- Meet the Spartans, being a parody of 300, has most of the actors playing the Spartans have obviously painted-on six-packs, Kevin Sorbo being the exception (being Hercules helps).
- In Arrested Development, George Michael obtains a muscle suit to portray Adam in the Michelangelo painting The Creation of Adam. He winds up using it to impress his crush, Maeby.
- Mythbusters: host Adam Savage sometimes wears a set of fake foam muscles for laughs.
- Robotman And Monty: Monty once tried wearing the male equivalent of a corset, the "Thorset", which pushed his love handles upward so they looked like lats.
- In Space Quest 6, during a parody of an Insignia Rip-Off Ritual, Roger Wilco is stripped not only of his insignia, but also his uniform and the fake "ripped muscles" suit he's wearing under the uniform (which reveals he's actually much scrawnier underneath).
- One episode of the Strong Bad Emails at Homestar Runner had him draw a fake six-pack on his round little body with a sharpie. He pitches the concept as if it were an exercise or workout device with which to get rippled abs.
- Make-up artists can make actors appear more muscular by creating the illusion of more muscle definition.
- There's a so-called "real-life Ken" whose muscles are implants. He actually has little to no upper-body strength.
- Synthol injections. To give a basic idea, some bodybuilders tend to cheat, not with steroids, but with oils and fats into their muscles in order to make them appear larger than they actually are. This can make the muscles appear bigger... but also look like water balloons under the skin. Especially if the injected area ruptures.