Why is it that women find broad shoulders on men attractive?
Because broad shoulders imply strength, valor, and virility.
It is human nature to perceive attractiveness based on the traits we most desire in a mate.
Turns out that there is actually a science behind the perfect male body measurements.
Discover how to develop your ideal physique.
The Divine Proportion
Phi (Φ = 1.618…) is the number referred to as the divine proportion.
It is also referred to as the Golden Ratio or Golden Mean1.
Like pi (pi=3.14…), phi is an irrational number, i.e. it goes on forever.
Two quantities are said to be in divine proportion if their sum divided by the larger quantity is equal to the larger quantity divided by the smaller quantity.
In written form it looks like this:
People have known about phi a long time. In fact, architects and sculptors have been incorporating it into their work since the BC era2.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is a drawing based on the Golden Ratio.
It is also no coincidence that phi occurs throughout nature3.
There is a certain significance to this number and it should be of no surprise that it also plays a part in determining what body proportions we find most attractive.
*Women can check out how the golden ratio ties into the perfect female body.
Phi In The Human Body
If you take the length of your arm (from forearm to tip of the hand) and divide it by the length of your forearm, you will get a number very close to 1.618. Phi occurs in other parts of the body as well like the feet, face, and torso4.
It is common practice for plastic surgeons to try and bring the proportions of the face closer to phi5.
The golden ratio is an exemplification of symmetry.
As humans we are programmed to seek, adore, and create symmetry.
There are two ways to alter your body’s proportions (four if you count surgery and the use of shady substances) in order to bring them closer to this ideal:
- Diet – Having a diet that is in a caloric deficit, yet complete in terms of required vitamins and minerals.
- Exercise – Workouts are focused on increasing the width of your upper body.
Sculptors in ancient Greece were renown for their work in the representation of the perfect male body.
Eugen Sandow, though you may not have heard of him, is a strong man from the 1800s considered the father of modern bodybuilding.
Sandow actually set out to measure ancient Greek sculptures and developed a formula for the perfect physique called “The Grecian Ideal”.
Sandow went on to build his proportions to match the dimensions of his Grecian Ideal6.
Pictured below are Eugen Sandow and a Greek sculpture from the Classical Era called Doryphoros.
Doryphoros was put together by the renown Greek sculptor Polykleitos as an exemplification of what he considered:
the perfectly harmonious and balanced proportions of the human body in the sculpted form7.
How To Get The Perfect Male Body
Step 1. Ask yourself why.
The first question you should ask yourself before setting out on any endeavour is:
“Why do I want to achieve this goal?”
In this case your goal is to build your ideal body.
Is it because you want a boost in self-esteem?
Is it because you want to become more attractive to the opposite sex?
Is it because you want respect from the people that called you chubby?
Why do you want this?
When your “why” is strong enough, you will always take right action towards your goals.
When your “why” is not strong enough, you will find excuses for not taking right action.
Step 2. Set SMART goals to increase the probability of success.
SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, results focused, and time bound.
A general goal is “I want to get in shape.”
A specific goal is “I will get a gym membership and workout 4 times a week.”
The measurable side of things will come down to things like:
- How many inches do I want to add to my shoulders?
- How many inches do I want to drop in my waist?
Don’t set out to try and drop 30 pounds of fat in one month. This is simply not attainable and you will become demotivated.
Instead, set goals that you can see yourself achieving in the near future.
Lose 1 pound a week.
Don’t just rely on the mirror for results.
Keep track of your progress by taking before/after pictures, weighing yourself, and measuring your waist once a week.
In how long do you intend on achieving your goal? Keep a deadline.
I find 12-weeks to be a good time frame for body transformation.
Step 3. Figure Out a Plan.
You have a why strong enough and a clear vision of what you want to achieve.
Next up is figuring out how to make that vision a reality.
Answer questions like:
- What exercises will your workouts include?
- What will your meal plan look like?
Step 4. Execute.
This will be a matter of following through with your plan day in and day out, whether you feel like it or not.
The Perfect Male Body Workout
Getting closer to your ideal measurements will entail two critical factors:
- Increasing the width of your upper body.
- Decreasing the width of your waist.
These two measurements serve as the foundation of the perfect male physique.
Adding inches to your shoulders will come down to your workout plan.
Decreasing your waist will largely come down to your diet and cardio.
One you determine what your ideal measurements are you will have a clear understanding as to what body parts you should focus on.
You can also check out the Adonis Golden Ratio program.
- Hom, Elaine. “What is the Golden Ratio?“ Livescience.com.
- Knott, Ron. “Fibonacci Numbers and Nature.” University of Surrey.
- Livio, Mario. “The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, The World’s Most Astonishing Number.” New York: Broadway Books
- Meisner, Gary. “Facial Analysis and the Beauty Mask.” Goldennumber.net.
- Meisner, Gary. “The Human Body and the Golden Ratio.” Goldennumber.net.
- Pednaud, J. “Eugen Sandow – Father of Bodybuilding.” Thehumanmarvels.com.
- Tobin, Richard. “The Canon of Polykleitos.” American Journal of Archaeology.