I am nowhere close to ideal. My shoulder width is 46 inches, my waist fluctuates between (31-33)inches, my arms are 16.5 when flexed, my thighs are 23, and my calves and neck are 15inches.
My ultimate goal is to increase my shoulder width to about 49 inches, maintain my waist to no more than 31 inches, take my arms to (17-17.5), and my calves and neck to at least 16 inches.
Gosh you think I am obsessed about my physique going into such nitty-grittes of my physique, don’t you?
Well, yes, I am border obsessed about building an ideal physique that not only looks pleasing and sexy but is also optimally healthy. And I am border obsessed about helping others to do the same. I am also obsessed about what makes people successful and happy and few other things, but then lets leave these latter topics for some other day, and focus on our physiques for now, shall we?
Now, have you ever wondered why big shoulders and a narrow waist in a man is always a hit with the female-counterpart? Or why someone’s face looks more attractive than others? Or why the pyramids in Egypt are shaped that way?
Did you know that the secret lies in a number. Yes, a number!!
This ‘secret’ number or should I say ratio is termed as the- The Golden Ratio, also known as the divine proportion. This ratio has been around for centuries. From biologists, to artists, musicians and architects have pondered and debated the basis of it’s ubiquity and appeal. This ratio has inspired thinkers of all disciplines like no other number in the history of mathematics..
In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. The figure below illustrates this geometric relationship:
Where b is 1 unit long, and a is 1.618 unit long and algebraically they can be explained as:
a+b/a = a/b =(GR)= 1.6180
Lets me use my body as an example to illustrate the use of this fascinating ratio: At the time of writing this article my waist is 32 inches and my shoulder width is 46 inches. Therefore my golden ratio will be 46/32: 1.4375.
In order to reach the ideal of 1.6180, I need to decrease my waist to 30 inches, and increase my shoulder width to 48.5 inches which I am working hard to achieve!
Why don’t you grab an inch tape and calculate your own Golden Ratio?
Calculating your golden ratio is a great starting point, however it’s not a comprehensive analysis of an ideal male body. We all know weightlifters/bodybuilders who have a V-taper but still don’t look attractive, sexy or pleasing. What do you think is missing? Are they violating any principles or guidelines that is causing them to move away from an ideal or should I say the pleasing aspect of a physique?
I like to think so!
So if you want to find out the key principles and laws that when applied to your workouts, that will not just ensure that you get a V-taper but also a physique that is proportionate and pleasing to look at then keep on reading.
In this part (Part-1), I will discuss 3 steps that you should take that will take your towards building your dream physique that will make you look very attractive to the opposite sex.
In part-2 I will discuss the main principles and laws that you should apply to your workouts that ensures that you don’t deviate from your ideal physique and at the same time will give you suggestions and recommendation on what type of movements you should choose for best results.
3 steps to build that ultimate male physique you always wanted: The Detailed Way
Step no #1: Get your body fat down to less than 12% percent.
Arnold Schwarzenegger competed at around 9 percent body fat in world bodybuilding championships. Steve Reeves had a similar body fat percentage when he became Mr. Universe 1950. Why then do average people like you and me, who simply want to look good in a slim fit shirt or on the beach, want to go below 9 percent body fat? Well, again it’s a matter of personal preference, but in my mind, focusing on achieving low body fat ranges is counterproductive and can take the fun out of working out.
Related posts: Is being ripped worth it?
In step-3 I will discuss certain formulas that will only be valid if your body fat is ideally lower than 12 percent, ideally at 9-10 percent.
Most of our fat cells are located in our abdominal area. When we lose fat, our waist starts to decrease which gives us an improved V-taper. Basically we move closer to the Golden Ratio without even adding mass on your shoulders, chest and back.
At the same time, we also start to lose face fat. There is no hint of a doubt that a chiseled face has more sex appeal. Your eyes start to look bigger and your check bone appear to pop out, giving a certain personality to your face. Look at all the movie stars.
Step no #2: Calculate your “Sexy Weight Range” and decide whether you want to become ‘Lean’ or ‘Muscular’.
Here is a beautiful quote to live by: “Too many muscles can get in your way. You have got to have enough to get people interested, but not so much to scare them off.” —Steve Reeves (the most admired bodybuilder of the 20th century)
How much is too much? That depends on you. What is your preference? Do you like a lean look, like Brad Pitt in “Fight Club,” or do you like more size? How about Chris Hemsworth in “Thor,” or Brad Pitt in Troy?
Dr. Casey Butt has done a brilliant job of finding us a sexy weight range for men that women find attractive.
Sexy Weight Range = Minimum Lean Body Weight: 23 * H 2 – Maximum Muscular Body Weight: 26 * H 2
In this equation, height (H) is in meters and weight is in kilograms. You can convert feet and inches to meters here. www.feettometres.com
Let’s take an example of an individual who is 6 feet tall to illustrate this point better.
His sexy weight range, assuming his body fat is between 9 percent and 14 percent, is 77 kg – 87kg (170 – 192 pounds).
This sexy weight range came from a study by MJ Tovee funded by Newcastle University
Step no #3: Calculate your muscular girths
While, its impossible to be 100 percent accurate when using these formulas as people vary so much in genetic determined factors like height, body types, muscle insertion points and bone structures (small, medium or heavy). But they give us something specific to work with.
Lets head in straight in details:
John Mc-cullum’s formula:
John McCallum, both literally and figuratively, shaped an entire generation of would-be musclemen with his unparalleled ability to simultaneously entertain and inform. His formulas are based on one’s wrist measurements as stated in his wonderful book “The Complete Keys to Progress”:
Chest: 6.5 * Wrist
Hips: 85% * Chest
Waist: 70% * Chest
Thigh 53% * Chest
Neck 37% * Chest
Arm 36% * Chest
Calves 34% * Chest
Forearm 29% * Chest
If one’s wrist is 7inches, his measurements would be as follows:
Chest = 6.5 * 7 = 45.5
Hips = 0.85 * 45.5 = 38.6
Thigh = 0.53 * 45.5 = 24.11
Neck = 0.37 * 45.5 = 16.8
Arm = 0.36 * 45.5 = 16.3
Calves = .034 * 15.4
Forearm = 0.29 * 45.5 = 13.1
Steve Reeves’s formula:
When we think about a pleasing physique, almost 9 out of 10 times people think of Steve Reeves.
In his book “Building The Classic Physique, The Natural Way” he provides us the classic standards of symmetry:
Arm Size: 252% Of Wrist Size
Calf Size: 192% Of Ankle Size
Neck Size: 79% Of Head Size
Chest Size: 148% Of Pelvis Size
Waist Size: 86% Of Pelvis Size
Thigh Size: 175% Of Knee Size
Weight: 295% Of Height
Note that Steve has also included the ankle measurement which is in fact a more accurate way to go as some people have a heavier lower-body i.e. they have a heavier lower body skeleton frame than their upper body skeleton frame.
He elaborates further to provide us a chart which depicts one’s ideal weight according to one’s height:
5’5 160 (72.7)
5’6 165 (75)
5’7 170 (77.2)
5’8 175 (79.5)
5’9 180 (81.8)
5’10 185 (84)
5’11 190 (86.3)
6′ 200 (90.9)
6’1 210 (95.4)
6’2 220 (100)
6’3 230 (104.5)
6’4 240 (109)
6’5 250 (113.6)
These numbers assume that you have a solid body (not ripped), but fat levels no over than 15% for men.
Steve reeves was a professional bodybuilder and won lot of titles including the most prestigious Mr Universe title therefore these weight depict one’s full genetic potential.
For someone who wants to achieve a lean (or muscular) physique the ‘sexy weight range’ provided in Step-2 would be a more reasonable and achievable target.
Lastly, many would argue against applying these formulas and would rather rely on going after a certain “look” as opposed to a certain “measurement”.
However, I strongly feel applying these formulas gives you a long term vision of how you want to look. It further allows with the correct selection of exercises so that you can bring up your lacking body parts & stop training parts that are already well developed when compared with the rest of the body!
You will start to get a clearer idea only when you have entered the ranges (both weight and muscular girths) and then accordingly you can play with the numbers. But once you start to go outside the range especially the weight range there is a high probability that the mere size of your muscles disturb the pleasing aspect of your physique. Again its a personal preference, you decide what you want.