We all workout to be in good shape. But have you ever wondered what exactly is a perfect male body shape? or how you define an ideal male physique?
Well, if you are looking for an answer to that question, you’ve come to the right place. Because in this article, we will take you through some important concepts that define ideal male body measurements.
So, read along, and learn what exactly is an ideal male physique and most importantly, how close are you to the ideal physique!
What Is Considered The Perfect Male Body?
To be honest, there isn’t any universally accepted definition for a perfect male physique. Although the concept is as old as the oldest civilizations and different Ideas evolved over time, we are yet to have an ultimate formula for an ideal male physique.
However, there are some commonly accepted standards that define an ideal male body.
- A broad shoulder that is approximately 1.618 times the waist
- Big, bulging arm muscles
- Rounded deltoids
- A narrow waist that completes a V-shaped torso
- Ripped Abs
- Big, well-defined legs
Adonis Index / Golden Ratio
Ancient Greeks were perhaps the first to define ideal male body proportions. And it is quite appreciable that the concepts they arrived at for ideal physique are followed even today.
The Greek definition of an ideal physique is clearly visible by looking at those well-sculpted sculptures of their gods and superheroes.
One major concept they used was the Adonis index. Also called the golden ratio, the Adonis index revolves around the magic mathematical ratio of 1:1.68.
To make it clearer, the Adonis index takes the ratio between the sizes of waist and shoulder and compares it to the golden ratio. The closer your body’s waist: shoulder ratio to 1:1.618, the closer you are to the ideal men’s physique.
Based on the Adonis Index, here are the ideal dimensions of shoulder size in accordance with varying waist sizes.
Ideal Shoulder Size Based on Waist Size
Ideal Shoulder Size
For the Grecian Ideal concept as well, we ought to thank the ancient Greeks. However, it wasn’t the Greeks who arrived at the final formulae. Rather, it’s none other than ‘the father of modern bodybuilding, Eugen Sandow, who did it.
Sandow, a Prussian, studied various ancient Greek sculptures, including the famous Discobolus, and arrived at his famous Grecian Ideal formula.
The basic feature of the Grecian Ideal is a narrow waist and a broader shoulder, similar to the Adonis index. Besides considering the torso, the Grecian Ideal also considered the legs, making it different from the ancient Greek concept.
- Flexed arm: 2.5 x wrist (preferably the non-dominant wrist)
- Flexed Calf: As large as flexed arm
- Shoulder: 1.618 x waist
- Chest:5 x wrist (preferably the non-dominant wrist)
- Upper leg: 1.75 x the knee dimension
How to Achieve the “Grecian Ideal”?
The Grecian Ideal has indeed inspired several classic bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane. Their out-of-earth physique resembles the Grecian Ideal concept of a perfect male body shape.
Here is how to achieve the Grecian Ideal:
Flexed arm equals 2.5 times the wrist size
The major reason why wrist is taken as the reference here is- no matter what, the circumference of your wrist won’t change. It remains the same size if you lose weight, gain some muscles or become fatter.
Now, coming to the measurement of both; wrist and arms, start with measuring your non-dominant wrist.
First, spot that bony lump of your wrist, and by using your dominant hand, place the tape near it, and wrap it about the circumference of the wrist.
Then, measure the largest portion of your flexed arm. Usually, the largest portion of your arm is where the biceps is at its peak and the triceps, in its middle.
Now, take the ratio between the size of your arm and that of your wrist. Then, check if this ratio comes close to the magical number of 2.5 or not.
The closer the ratio comes to 2.5, the closer your arm is to the ideal size according to the Grecian Ratio.
Flexed calf is as big as flexed arm
According to the Grecian ratio, in an ideal physique, the size of both Flexed calves and Flexed arm muscle would be equal.
As you are already aware of how to measure your arms, here’s how you can measure your calf size:
Flexing your calf means, simply lifting your heel while pressing your toe to the ground with pressure. Then, wrap a tape around your flexed calf to get the size you need.
Shoulder size equals 1.618 times your waist size
This is the famous golden ratio for a ‘V’ shaped torso.
Proceed with measuring your waist size, wrap a tape around your waist. The ideal position where you should wrap the tape would be a bit above the belly button, but never above your rib cage.
Remember to keep your stomach relaxed for an accurate measurement.
Now, when it comes to measuring your shoulder size, you might need someone else to help you.
Once you got your friend around, stay straight, and ask the person to wrap the tape around the biggest portions of your shoulder and chest.
Keep in mind- you don’t have to flare your elbows or do anything like that. Just stand upright and keep your body straight, that’s all.
Once you have both these measurements, divide the size of your shoulder with that of your waist, then you have the required ratio. The closer your ratio is to the golden ratio, the more ideal are your upper body measurements.
Chest size equal to 6.5 times your wrist measurement
For measuring your chest size as well, you will need some outside help.
Stay upright, and keep your arms in the normal position, like how you did while measuring your shoulders. Keep your chest in normal condition, neither too expanded nor too relaxed. Then, ask them to wrap the tape around the fullest part of your chest.
For that, ask them to first place one end of the tape at one of your pecs, and wrap it across- through your armpits and shoulder blades.
You got your chest measurement. Divide the value so obtained with your wrist circumference, and check how close it comes to 6.5.
Upper leg circumference equals 1.75 times the knee dimension.
So far, you might have had an impression that your leg size doesn’t matter much in achieving the Grecian Ideal. But a well-defined, muscular leg is crucial to complete an ideal male physique.
Just like your wrist, your knee also stays the same size no matter how other parts of your body change. And measuring your Leg and Knee for the Grecian Ideal is quite simple.
To measure the knee, just keep your leg straight and simply wrap the tape around it.
Then, keep your leg flexed, and measure at the fullest part of your hamstring.
Once you have both the values, divide the measurement of your leg with the circumference of your knee. If you have an ideal leg according to the Grecian ratio, you would get a value of 1.75.
Keep in mind:
Although the above mentioned values are some great tools to assess your body proportions, don’t rely too much on them. In case of certain individuals, some of these values may disagree with what is ideal for them.
Hence, if you believe you got good body proportions, but not in accordance with the Grecian Ideal, don’t worry, because it varies.
However, if your numbers match those magical ratios, congrats, you most likely got an ideal physique.
Thanks to his Greek-god-like physique, Steve Reeves portrayed several Greek superheroes, like Hercules and Goliath, in various Hollywood movies of the 1950s.
Later, this bodybuilding legend derived a new formula for ideal male body measurements. According to the Reeves’ ratio, here is how large different body parts would be in an ideal physique:
- Arm: 252% wrist
- Calf: 192% ankle
- Neck: 78% head
- Chest: 148% pelvis
- Waist: 86% pelvis
- Thigh: 175% knee
But before you go with the above table, you have to make sure that your weight-height proportion is not too much. That is, if you are heavier than a particular limit compared to your height, the above percentages are as useful as nothing.
The table given below specifies the maximum weight limit for different heights in order to satisfy the Reeves’ ratio:
Ideal Weight Based on Height
Ideal Male Body Measurements Based on Height
There was once a time when height really mattered in bodybuilding. But over time, as in modern day bodybuilding, height has lost its significance.
While the average male height ranges from 5’8” to 5’11”, the bodybuilding world is rich with incredible physiques ranging from as low as 5 feet to up to as tall as 7 feet.
Therefore, there are a couple of helpful methods to derive ideal body measurements based on height.
Of all those methods, the most commonly accepted one was prepared by Gregor O’ Gallagher. He arrived at his formula by modifying the classic golden ratio formulae.
According to the Gregor Formulae, an ideal physique has:
- Waist: 45-47% of the height
- Shoulders:618 x waist measurement
- Chest: 10 -12 inches larger than waist
- Arms: Equal to the size of the neck
To make things even easier, here is a male body measurement chart that gives ideal body measurements based on height. Thus, you won’t have to go grab your calculator. Just look for your height, and find your corresponding ideal measurements:
Ideal Body Measurements Based on Height
What is a perfect male body measurement?
Previously in this article, we discussed several methods for deriving ideal male body measurements. As it is obvious, there isn’t any officially accepted formula to do so.
But one commonly accepted feature of an ideal physique is a V-shaped torso along with well-defined legs. That means a narrow waist that becomes broader as it reaches the shoulder.
There is a study, according to which, the 1.618 ratio constitutes an ideal ‘V’ shaped torso.
Perfect Male Body Measurement
However, a ‘V’ shaped torso is not only the ideal one. For instance, we have the trapezoidal physique in which, instead of the shoulder becoming broader steeply, the change will be rather gradual.
In any case, a muscular, well-built lower body is equally important, if not more.
What is the perfect male waist size?
Well, that varies according to your height. However, some studies suggest a perfectly sized waist is as large as 45% to 47% of one’s shoulder width.
What is the perfect male chest size?
This is a much-debated topic among fitness experts, as there is not yet a chest size that is considered ideal. But there are some mentionable concepts about ideal chest size.
According to Gregory O’ Gallagher, perfect chest size is between 60% and 67% of your height. There is also a concept that an ideal chest is 6.5 times the wrist circumference.
What is a good chest to waist ratio?
In an ideal ‘V’ shaped torso, the chest to waist ratio would be 1.4, and this ratio is considered ideal by most bodybuilding experts.
What is a good shoulder to waist ratio?
According to the widely accepted golden ratio, a good shoulder to waist ratio will be close to 1.618.
What is a good chest to height ratio?
The most popular belief is that in an ideal physique, the chest to height ratio is somewhere between 0.6 and 0.68.
What is a good arm to waist ratio?
You have a good arm to waist ratio if your flexed arm is 46-53 % of your waist.
What is the ideal male leg size?
An ideal leg size also depends upon your height. However, it can be compared with other parts of your body.
In case of thighs, an ideal thigh will be 3 quarters the size of the waist.
An ideal calf, to be specific, would be 2.5 times the wrist circumference, preferably the non-dominant wrist.
What Are the Ideal Male Bodybuilding Proportions?
According to a survey, here are some ideal bodybuilding proportions, considering a 6 feet man:
Ideal Male Bodybuilding Proportions
Building an awesome physique and an ideal one; both are different, although both take vigorous effort. For the former, you have to lift some big weights and follow a strict diet.
On the other hand, to build an ideal physique like those Greek gods, you need to do more. To do so, you have to approach bodybuilding more scientifically, and thereby do constant measurement analysis of your physique. And in this article, we’ve shared with you almost every major ‘ideal physique’ concept.
But there is one thing you need to keep in mind- there is not yet any universally accepted formulae for an ideal male physique. However, as discussed above, you can refer to those proportions and have a rough idea about ideal male body measurements.