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Ideal Measurements for a Bodybuilding Physique

Post From http://leehayward.com/blog/ideal-measurements-for-a-bodybuilding-physique/

The sport of bodybuilding is all about the pursuit of building a Lean Muscular Physique.

The ultimate goal is to develop your body with the right balance of muscle size, shape, definition, symmetry, and proportion.

But what is the so called “Ideal Bodybuilding Physique” ?

Unfortunately there isn’t one set answer to this question because there are many varying opinions on what is considered ideal body proportions. And these opinions are constantly evolving.

The sport of bodybuilding has changed dramatically over the past 100+ years.
Just look at the pictures below to see what I mean…

If you think modern bodybuilders wear skimpy posing trunks, just look at what Eugene Sandow wore back in the day… Good thing no one had a leaf blower LOL

What Type Of Bodybuilding Physique Would You Prefer?

Everyone is going to have their personal preference for the type of physique they admire. However, there seems to be a growing trend among fitness enthusiasts for the classic old school bodybuilder look. Which is basically a smaller muscular build compared to the Freaky Huge Bodybuilders that we see in the pro ranks today.

While a Mr. Olympia Mass Monster like Jay Cutler is certainly very impressive. It’s not the type of body that the average gym goer would like have. Most of the guys that I coach would prefer to have a muscular build similar to what the old school bodybuilders had.

This trend is evident with the growing popularity of “Men’s Physique” competition. For a lot of bodybuilding shows the Physique Division is now getting more competitor entries than the Bodybuilding Division. And when you look at today’s Top Physique Competitors, they actually do resemble the same type of look that many of the old school bodybuilders had.

The Classic Old School Bodybuilder Look…

Steve Reeves

Reg Park

Vince Gironda

Frank Zane

What Are The Body Measurements For The Ideal Muscular Physique?

Many bodybuilding historians regard Steve Reeves as being one of the most symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing bodybuilders of all time. His build was more along the lines of what a modern day Physique Competitor looks like.

Reeves was one of the early proponents of training for balance and proportion, rather than simply trying to get big at all costs. He was always striving for perfection in this regard and came close to achieving his own personal ideal physique.


It’s interesting to note that Steve Reeves neck, arms, and calves all measured the same circumference. Having these 3 body parts all measure the same was one of his criteria for ideal body proportions.

In his book “Building the Classic Physique: The Natural Way”
Steve Reeves outlined his formula for the ideal body proportions as follows…

Muscle To Bone Ratios:
– Arm size = 252% of wrist size
– Calf size = 192% of ankle size
– Neck Size = 79% of head size
– Chest Size = 148% of hips size
– Waist size = 86% of hips size
– Thigh size = 175% of knee size

Height To Weight Ratio For Building A Classic Physique:
Steve Reeves also believed that ones height represented the limit to which they could pack on mass. His main philosophy proposed keeping your body weight within acceptable limits to prevent distorting your natural symmetry.

160 lbs.
165 lbs.
170 lbs.
175 lbs.
180 lbs.
190 lbs.
195 lbs.
200 lbs.
210 lbs.
220 lbs.
230 lbs.
240 lbs.
250 lbs.

These numbers would represent ripped contest weight. Not off-season bulked up weight.

How Do You Compare To The Classic Bodybuilders?

Right now you can have some fun and break out the tape measure and calculator and see how your measurements compare. Now while these so called “ideal measurements” can give you some direction with your fitness goals, don’t take them too seriously or get discouraged by them.

Remember that these numbers are subjective and simply based on someone else’s opinion of what an ideal physique should be, but take them with a grain of salt. We all have our own unique body types, strengths, and weaknesses. No body is perfect, and even Steve Reeves in his prime didn’t match up to all these “ideal measurements”.

But you can still use this information to your advantage and have fun with it. These ratios can be used as a general guideline to help plan out your training goals so you can bring up your weaknesses and create a more balanced muscular physique.

Would You Like Some Help With Building The Ideal Muscular Physique?

3-keys-image If you would like some help with building the ideal classic bodybuilding physique, than I recommend that you download a copy of my Free e-Book:

The 3 Keys To Building Muscle

In this 51 page PDF download you’ll get insider tips & tricks about Bodybuilding Training, Nutrition, and Mindset that top level Bodybuilders & Physique Competitors use to quickly fill out their frames with Rock Solid Muscle Mass!

Click Here to Download Your Copy for Free!

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