It’s a really interesting idea: building a sexy body. We all know what makes a body sexy (at least to us), but we don’t always think about WHY those characteristics are associated with sexiness.
Why do we want men to have broad shoulders?
Why is it attractive for women to have narrow waists and healthy hips?
The answers to those questions, as I’ve discussed on the blog, are grounded in HARD SCIENCE.
To summarize, we view certain physical traits as desirable in members of each sex: an X-shaped physique for men implies virility and strength; an hourglass shaped body on a woman, on the other hand, implies fertility and good mothering.
We view what is attractive partially through the eyes of people looking for mates—we view these bodies as “sexy“—because of scientifically proven NUMBERS.
You see, our brains are programmed to look for symmetry and balance everywhere; programmed to be attracted to it and to try to create it.
And so in part, what we consider a good body is really based on what we view as a body that projects certain characteristics that imply bodily symmetry…which is based on numbers like “The Golden Ratio.”
The Golden Ratio is number that shows up all over the human body, from the length of the arms and legs compared to the torso, and it seems to define what proportions look best; that is, most attractive.
In fact, artists and sculptors have known about the golden ratio for a long time and have used it to create sculptures and artwork of the ideal human figure. Even plastic surgeons and dental surgeons use it to restructure the human face.
It’s a really interesting bit of science and evolutionary psychology that makes you think.
Well, the first thing is to realize that chances are, the body that YOU are working so hard for…your idea of a “perfect” body is, made up of 3 components:
We’ve already talked about the intrinsic and symmetrical aspects, so let’s skip on to the socially created and enforced ideas about what a “perfect body” is.
This basically means that the society you live in influences what you view as important for having a good body, and is generally specific to that type of society and goes beyond just symmetry.
For example, in Western society, we value 6-pack abs very highly, and for us, no “perfect” body is complete without them; this is true even though, to our ancestors, having a bit of fat would have been desirable.
Finally, you have your own personal ideas about what it means to have a “perfect body.” These are usually above and beyond both evolutionary and societal ideals and pretty specific in nature.
For some guys, it might means having a specific arm size; I know that one of my goals from the first time I started training was to have 17.5″ arms. On the other hand, for a woman it might mean having low body fat and getting into jeans of a certain size without losing your curves.
It’s super fucking cool, that’s what.
Algebraically, if you have two numbers, A and B, it has to be such that (A + B) divided by A = A divided by B.
In most cases, this is going to be a comparison results in a ratio of 1:1.618. This appears naturally all over your body. For example, If the length of the hand has the value of 1, for instance, then the combined length of hand + forearm has the approximate value of 1.618.
Similarly the proportion of upper arm to hand + forearm is in the same ratio of 1:618.
Looking elsewhere on the body, the face is another great example. In fact, the human face abounds with examples of the Golden Ratio. The head forms a golden rectangle with the eyes at its midpoint.The mouth and nose are each placed at Golden sections of the distance between the eyes and the bottom of the chin.
The numbers are just everywhere in places we can’t control.
So let’s talk about body proportions that we CAN control through diet and exercise.
If you look at your waist as having a measurement of 1, then the aim should be to develop shoulders with a measurement of 1.618. We’ll talk about men first here.
Using myself as an example, when in lean condition (but not compeition shredded), I have a waist measurement of 30 inches. My shoulders measure about 49 inches around, which means my Index is about right (30.5 divided by 49 is 1.606).
Now, if I want to get close to the proportion, I’d have to either gain some circumference on my waist or drop my shoulder size a bit. I’m pretty happy with the measurement, so I’ll do neither.
On the other hand, let’s say we have a guy with a 34 inch was whose shoulders measure 45 inches around. His Index is about 1.323–so he has some work to do.
Let’s say our guy diets down to about 10% body fat and brings that waist measurement down to 32–even if he doesn’t gain muscle, his measurement has jumped to 1.406.
Now, he goes on to use a special workout to add size to his shoulders, and manages to put on about 3 inches on the total circumference. At 48 inches with a 32 waist, our client is now at 1.5. Pretty damn close.
For women, it gets a bit more tricky, mainly because you’re looking at the waist compared to both the shoulders AND the hips.
I won’t bore you with more math, but to be blunt, there is a resistance training program designed to optimize the shoulder to waist to hip ratio to move a woman’s body closest to its best proportioned shape (as defined by the golden ratio).
If you’ve been trying to get a “perfect body”…and that concept is based on a combination of the Golden Ratio, socially created ideals and your own personal goals…and you’ve been having some success using other programs…how SUCCESSFUL could you become if you used a program built specifically and scientifically for that purpose?
Well, over your time in the fitness world, you’ve done programs for fat loss, and for muscle gain, some to work on your abs…you’ve done all of these, in your quest to get fit, healthy, and to help you develop YOUR perfect body.
Along those lines, I know you’ve been having success, and I hope I can take at least some of the credit, since some of programs I’ve written and recommended have helped you get there.
Well, now, I’d like to take some MORE credit…because I’m about to introduce you to, as I call it, “…some next level type shit.”
In fact, I would like to introduce you to a free program I’ve designed for exactly what we’ve been talking about.
For those who want to look freaking awesome.
This program can help get rid of the obsession with bodyweight that so many other programs promote. Most women are SO caught up in setting weight loss as the goal, which I don’t care for. I just see it a never ending proposition; after all, how will they ever know when they’ve finally lost enough weight?
The same thing for men–how big is “too big” is a great question that i’s always been hard to answer in any quantifiable way.
It’s never good enough. I believe this is what leads to serious body dissatisfaction, frustration and a loss of confidence and/or hope that getting in good shape is really possible.
That’s why these programs are cool: once you get to your golden proportions you know you are there. It’s also a map to know how close or far you are from the final goal. You may not want to go all the way to the golden target, but at least you know the closer you get the better your proportions will be.
Of course, it’s ultimately up to you to decide how close to the target number you want to get. The point is, for the smart woman who wants to get in shape but isn’t trying to look skinny, woman who isn’t, the misinformation can get confusing.
With this, she will know for sure that the closer she gets to her ideal ratios the better her body is looking. It’s a can’t miss road map.
Lastly (and I think most importantly) it’s all in proportion to height, so the goal ratios and numbers are specific to each persons body. No more comparing yourself to other people. This isn’t about trying to turn you into someone else, it’s about maximizing the potential of your body based on your measurements.
Or, maybe I just like these workouts because when I took my measurements the formula basically told me I had a near perfect body. Which kinda made my day.