**The Golden Ratio**

The reason 90% of men lift weights is the vanity of the mirror, whether they’ll admit it or not.

The best look is not that of a big bulky bodybuilder, but instead a reasonably muscular, lean, proportional physique. This will be found admirable universally.

## The Blueprint Of An Aesthetically Pleasing Physique

So what does an aesthetically sculpted physique look like? I think you’ll agree with me that it goes something like this:

**Broad shoulders**- Bulging biceps with equally developed triceps
**A flat, armour plated chest**- V taper from a small waist up to the broad shoulders
**Defined abdominal region**- Well developed legs featuring quad definition with matching hamstrings and bicep-like calves

This physique would also have that hard, dry look which is achieved by a very low level of body fat and minimal water retention.

The physique I’ve described is an old school physique, that which was quite common in the golden era of bodybuilding – during Arnold’s days. It seems today the goal of most gym goers and elite bodybuilders is to pack on as much muscle mass as possible, regardless of whether it is out of proportion or doused in fat.

The photos below depict Steve Reeves – this is the epitome of an aesthetic physique and you’ll be pleased to note you can 100% obtain this physique without any steroids or crazy supplements.

Steve’s physique looks perfect, correct?

This is because the golden ratio has been applied – yes, there’s a mathematical symmetry underlying his physique. It comes down to measurements and proportions.

Before I delve deeper into the explaination of the golden ratio and how it applies to bodybuilding it’s worth noting that if you did or do achieve the same ratio as Steve you will not look the same as him. Everyone has different genetics which determine the fullness of your muscle bellies, shape, length and the insertion points of your muscles. I can guarantee you however it you achieve YOUR golden ratio your physique will resemble that of a greek god.

## The Golden Ratio in Bodybuilding

Visually, the golden ratio is as follows:

The golden ratio is numerically expressed as follows:

1:1.618 (1 to 1.618)

**The golden ratio is everywhere.**

At the atomic level, in the skeletal system of animals, tree branches, the veins of leaves and the human body, of course.

Now, the part you’ve been waiting for… how can you apply the golden ratio to figure out the ideal size and proportions for your body?

## Determining The Numbers You Need To Resemble A God

I can’t just tell you your exact numbers, we need to establish some reference points first of all (as you know, each body part is to be proportionate to another… so get your tape measure).

Record the following measurements:

**Arm circumference (at the peak of your bicep)**- Circumference of your non dominant wrist
**Circumference of your shoulders**- Circumference of your waist
**Circumference of your upper thigh**- Circumference of your knee
**Circumference of your calves**

*Now, here’s the formula you’re going to apply your measurements to:*

#### Your Ideal Arm Size

Your arms when flexed should be 150% bigger than your non dominant wrist circumference.

This is the equivalent to your wrist measurement x 2.5

#### Your Ideal Calves Size

Your flexed calves should match the size of your flexed arms.

Calves measurement = arm measurement

#### Your Ideal Shoulder Size

Your shoulder circumference should measure 1.618 times larger than your waist.

This is the equivalent to your waist x 1.618.

#### Your Ideal Chest Size

Your chest circumference should be 550% larger than the circumference of your non-dominant wrist

This is the equivalent to your wrist measurement x 6.5.

#### Your Ideal Leg Size

The circumference of your upper thigh should be 75% bigger than the circumference of your knee.

This is the equivalent to your knee measurement x 1.75.

## One Thing To Keep In Mind…

These measurements are most accurate on a relatively lean physique. If you’re holding a large portion of fat on your waist your measurements will not be ‘ideal’ upon calculating them.

I recommend your body fat be no greater than 10% to accurately apply the golden ratio to your body. Check out my guide here if you’re looking to lose fat and get into that single digit body fat range.

If you’re lean and ready to start packing on muscle to get that golden physique here’s a good starting point.

## My Results With The Golden Ratio

**My current stats:**

Wrist – 6.75″

Arms – 16″

Shoulders – 48″

Chest – 43″

Waist – 31″

Thigh – 23″

Knee – 14″

Calves – 15″

**My ideal stats:**

Arm size – 16.875″ (0.875″ short)

Calves – 16.875″ (1.875″ short)

Shoulders – 50.05″ (2.05″ short)

Chest – 43.875 (0.75″ short)

Thigh – 24.5 (1.5″ short)

I will grind away until I get there.

## How Do You Measure Up With The Golden Ratio? Let Me Know!

Whiskey Tango says

This is almost verbatim from Michael Matthews Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger.

SJ @ IgnoreLimits.com says

There’s been a ton of articles around regarding the Golden Ratio prior to Mike’s latest book.

Michael Matthews says

Haha I’m guessing my article was the primary swipe source for yours though. 😉 All good.

Jen says

Have realized that too much volume on squats/deadlifts ruins the look. Thoughts? Been doing more 5×2 , 3×3 type stuff on those and only once a week. Doing more cleans, KB stuff, jumps, sprints, on other leg day. IMO the whole u have to squat/ DL is not really true. Up to 300/400 sure but after that, the benefits are minimal.

Whiskey Tango says

I’d completely agree. They are good movements to be sure but there other movements that have improved my legs more (Bulgarian Split Squats and Leg Press) and chin ups / pull ups for my back. Sj, why is beast mode free on Amazon now?

Greg says

What would you guess the Adonis Index to be for a professional bodybuilder. I came up with an estimated guess of 1.99 for Jay Cutler based on his measurements I found online for him. His waist was listed at 34″ and chest at 58″. I had to guess at his shoulder measurement, so I measured my chest and shoulders and came up with a ratio of 1.17, which I multiplied times Jay’s chest measurement. That gave me a measurement of approximately 68″. Dividing that by his waist measurement got me the 1.99 Adonis Index. I’m not sure if there was a suggested range for what would be ideal or if anything over 1.61 improved the aesthetics or, perhaps, did not improve them but did not detract. However, since bodybuilders are not viewed as having ideal symmetry (they carry far too much), it would only make sense that the A.I. would have an ideal range, with measurements below and above considered to be lacking. Otherwise bodybuilders could claim the perfect body when it’s been clearly shown that the majority of women do not find this type of physique attractive.

Has anyone ever measured the A,I. of a pro bodybuilder to test on this A.I.hypothesis? If so, what type of Adonis Index measurement did they have? And I’m talking about an IFBB Pro type bodybuilder, not a fitness model who works out.

Com3755 says

How is the golden ratio reached, if original Greeks defined the perfect physique so differently? Look @ Greek statues, they have large waists and completely different proportions.

Karina Rodriguez says

Genetics. Either you have it or you don’t. Wrists ankles calves flaring ribs high hips ugly abs all crooked flat lower bottom pecs narrow backs a frame shoulders wide waists thick obliques all stuff that can’t really be fixed. Aesthetics are for the Gods and those select few we see glorified like Ulysess. Same goes for women. No amount of squats is going to give someone jlos ass ratio when she was young. Or Rihanna thighs with a narrow back. If say it’s nice to have a roadmap. Do what you can but if it’s not already somewhat there don’t waste your life away trying to achieve the impossible.

SJ @ IgnoreLimits.com says

It comes down to doing the best with the hand we were dealt I agree

Scott Branham says

It’s a guide, not set in stone. Too pessimistic

disqus_0PtLV9c2IT says

The whole notion of the golden ratio applied to visual aesthetics of any type is bullcrap. It’s something that we try to find and impose on something we’re looking at, even when it’s not actually there.

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3044877/the-golden-ratio-designs-biggest-myth