I felt I looked the best when I did an upper body/lower body split with lots of cardio, and lots of extra stuff.
I did a workout like this:
Mon: Heavy lower body
Tues: Light upper body with stability work
Wed: Cardio (usually HIIT)
Thurs: Light lower body with stability work
Fri: Heavy upper body
Sat: HIIT or something else intense like 3KM power hike.
Sun: rest or some sport
The heavy lower body stuff had exercises that incorporated many muscles (cleans, squats, dead lifts) and the heavy upper body stuff had exercises that incorporated many muscles (weighted pullups). The stability stuff basically kept the muscles warm, but theoretically kept me from making my big muscles too strong without also strengthening the support/stabilization muscles. With warmup and cool down, the workouts tended to take about 1 - 2 hours.
With the above, I was the tightest I've been, but didn't have enough time to focus on beach muscles (biceps, triceps, abs, calves). So I did two a days for a bit. Every other day, I'd go to the gym for 30-40 minutes a second time, and just work on beach muscles. Easy to do when you have a home gym. Without one, tougher. I mean, how much time do you really want to spend a week on exercise/at the gym?
But... that's when I really saw stuff start to 'pop' and got the most comments from people on my physique.