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