The Perfect Body (According To Science)


From time to time, I’ll answer style and grooming questions on Quora. This one came up some time ago and it’s been one of my most viewed answers with thousands of views. I figured I would flesh it out here a bit more.

"What is the perfect body type for a 5'9 guy?"

"How buff should a guy in college be?"

"Do girls like guys with bigger arms or bigger pecs?" 

Completely accurate drawing of the perfect male body, illustrated by me.

Completely accurate drawing of the perfect male body, illustrated by me.


These are legitimate questions that many men tend to obsess over, and they're legitimate questions to ask, but only once you've build a solid foundation.

But a lot of those questions boils down to personal preference, both from what you want, along with what your potential mate wants. 

As far as attraction goes, there is a nearly universal law that applies though:

Women are attracted to a "V" shaped torso on men. Men are attracted to an hourglass figure on women.

The “V” body shape means having broader shoulders that taper down to a slimmer waist. This is also referred to occasionally as a “Swimmer’s body”.

An Archives of Sexual Behavior study reveals that women are most attracted to muscular men whose shoulders measure 1.6 times the size of their waists.

If you've ever heard of the golden ratio, this shouldn't surprise you. We’re going to use math to get you a good looking physique.

What is the golden ratio?

The golden ratio, 1 : 1.618 is said to be the most pleasing ratio to the eye. You can find this ratio hidden in works of art and occurring naturally throughout the world. It can be found in some of the most beautiful things: Seashells, the Mona Lisa, the Giza pyramids, and even galaxies, just to name a few. It also occurs naturally in our bodies. 

A very good example of this can be seen in our faces. The most attractive faces have the golden ratio all over them. I'll go into more depth on facial attractiveness at a later time. But as an example, here are just some of the measurements we can look at. The closer to ratio is to 1 : 1.61 the better.

  • With to length of your face

  • Pupil to teeth to chin

  • Hairline to eyebrow to eye

I want to add that this has been studied extensively and put in use by modern plastic surgeons when evaluating clients. However, most of the studies done in this area have been geared towards women. As more men start to put effort into their appearance, I suspect we will see more studies done with male subjects in the future.

How to Find Your Ratio

For this purpose we will give your waist the measurement of 1. This means your shoulders should measure to be around 1.61.

Very life-like depiction of the perfect body drawn to accurate scale...

Very life-like depiction of the perfect body drawn to accurate scale...

The closer you can get your waist/shoulder ratio to 1/1.61, the more aesthetically pleasing your body will be.

To find out your ratio, measure around your waist, then the circumference your shoulders, (You're probably going to need some help with this part) then divide shoulders/waist to get your ratio.

Example: 30 inch waist, 49 inch shoulders = 1.63

This will give you a good idea of what you need to work on to reach that magical ratio. 

Maybe you need to bulk up your shoulders a bit or cut down on the love handles. Whatever it is, this will give you a good assessment on how you should structure your training in the future.

Focusing on this will give you a near universally attractive body, aside from personal preferences.

This is a huge part of becoming a well rounded, attractive guy. Style and grooming are the next things to take care of. Luckily, I’ve been helping guys with just that for years. With The Online Style Consultation, I work with you 1:1 to show you exactly what works for you and why. No more guessing. Colors, brands, fits, skincare, hairstyle, and more. Have a look at the session to see how it works.