Women’s attraction to men’s musculature

Since we were talking about this whole issue of generating attractiveness and meetcutes recently, let’s look at the practical side of things. A few years ago, I explored the way men used the numerical scale to estimate the attractiveness of a woman (going from a 3 to an 9 per most men).

I found this particularly enlightening because before that many of the women who were commenting did not think this woman moved so drastically on the scale such as maybe 2-3 points at max or laughably from one of the peanut gallery detractors from a 4 to a 5 (probably jealous).

One of the more important points to note is that this woman at 132 lbs is maybe a 6ish or so to a lot of men but it’s the last 12 lbs to the 124 lbs where she jumps to an 8. It’s basically an exponential increase once you hit a certain threshold.

I suppose it’s also time to explore the male side of things since we have been talking about how much a man can gain in attractiveness with certain amounts of muscle and body fat.

Example 1

body-fat-percentage-men-women.png

Realistically speaking, when most men start working out for a few months they’re in the range of 20-30% unless they are a lot more overweight than that.

You only really start to see women’s interest start to pick up once you hit the 15% range and a lot more at the 10-12% range. Most men won’t hit the 3-4% and 6-7% in this picture so it’s not worth talking about, but like the example of the woman above you start to get exponential interest once the muscles start to “pop” out as you have a good about of muscle and low body fat.

Depending on starting point, your average non-overweight male can probably hit the 15% range after 6-9 months and the 10-12% range after 12-24 months. This requires dedicated effort to achieve which obviously most men will not see the results they are looking for unless they are committed. It usually also requires some amount of dedication nutrition toward gaining muscle and cleaning up the junk food from the diet.

Physical activity like cardio or hiking or any activity where you don’t actively lift to get muscles will generally not affect your overall attractiveness unless there are other factors like you are an expert in your field or sport or famous. Previously, when I said workout I guess some men seemed to take it the way that if they were physically active that it would increase attractiveness. It doesn’t. You must workout and gain muscle mass and lose body fat.

There’s a reason why most romance novel covers feature a somewhat shirtless muscular man with little body fat.

As an aside, men tend to like women in the range of 15-25 depending on the man in the above chart on the right, so there is a lot of variation. Most men tend to like 18-20% range the most so a little more lean than the 20-22. YMMV. For your average non-obese women lifting weights this takes only 6-12 months of lifting weights and good nutrition.

Example 2

Again, In the 13-19% range it looks like you workout some and you may see a little bit more interest, but you won’t see anything substantial until you’re starting to push in the the 11-12% and 8-10% range.

Part of this, and what I didn’t mention in the first image is that you’re almost never shirtless unless you’re at a pool. Therefore, unless you have a rather significant gain in muscle mass (10-20 lbs or more) and improved style (form fitting shirts and not baggy t-shirts or other clothes) then it’s unlikely that women are going to be able to see gains in muscle mass. It’s sort of like a woman that hides her figure underneath frumpy clothes. If she started wearing more form fitting dresses and skirts (though still modest) then she would draw much more positive attention from men.

Example 3

The previous examples looked at the differences at body fat with only one picture at a level, but there is a decent amount of variation in body types at any specific level. Here’s some examples of men at certain percentages.

What 16-18% body fat looks like (pt2)

16-18 is starting to work out and gain some muscle. Maybe a little interest.

What 12-15% body fat looks like

12-15 is “Ohh, you workout seriously..” and they might start to feel your muscles.

What 10-11% body fat looks like

10-11 and lower is where you really get the “Yummy” from women in my experience and talking to men who also workout. There is significantly more interest from the general population of women than any of the other two above.


Conclusion

Most men would stand to gain at least 20 lbs of muscle and cut their body fat down to the < 15% range to start generating significant attraction in women if they are not naturally handsome. Unless you’re very naturally handsome like Scott and others, improving attractiveness via physical musculature is probably the best way to make a good first impression.

However, it does require usually at least a year or more of dedicated time and effort. But the good part is that lifting weights is not only about looks, it builds good habits, a healthy body, and discipline and mental fortitude which help in a lot of other areas of life including spiritually. They’re all interconnected.

I won’t claim to rate how these men change from say 4-5 on a 10 scale to a 7-8 or something since I’m not a woman, but it would be nice to hear from the few women who read the blog what they think of the various changes in body fat and attractiveness (ignoring the face, obviously).

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44 Responses to Women’s attraction to men’s musculature

  1. Very interesting. I recall a Jordan Peterson lecture or snippet where he talked about men being attracted women and making judgements about their attractiveness based on a waist to hip ratio. He said the ideal ratio is around 0.8:1 (waist:hip) and that “men are making that calculation all the time”.

    So if a woman has 30 inch hips, she needs a 24 inch waist to be “ideally attractive”. Interesting.

    I think from the picture of the woman’s transformation that you showed, the biggest change in that waist to hip ratio came with those last 12 pounds which Might account for the large jump in rating. And as many people attest, the waist is the last place where fat comes off, at least generally speaking.

    Great article as always.

  2. Derek Ramsey says:

    Huh. I find girl at 132 to be more attractive than at 124, but both 124 and 132 are more attractive than all the rest. IMO, there is such a thing as too thin.

    The pictures of men above are not representative of all body types. In my early 20s, a body fat analyzer didn’t register because my body fat was too low. I was skin and bone with little muscle and burned calories like mad. I couldn’t gain weight, and at roughly 110 pounds @ 5’6″, I ate more than those who were 180 pounds. I could put down the majority of a pound of pasta and a jar of sauce in one sitting (1400 to 1950 calories). Fasting (even one meal) made me lightheaded and dizzy. Lots of physical activity just made me hungry. My metabolism didn’t noticeably slow until sometime in my 30s, when my calorie requirements started to decline, but I’m still way smaller than most men I know (including my brothers). I’m also always hot and wear short-sleees and shorts and sleep at night with a fan on year round. I could stand to lose 10 pounds of fat on the belly, but I find it hard to imagine what it would be like to have more muscle (assuming I could). The wife wants me to lose the fat, but doesn’t care about the muscle. I don’t want to look… disproportionate.

  3. @ Derek

    Huh. I find girl at 132 to be more attractive than at 124, but both 124 and 132 are more attractive than all the rest. IMO, there is such a thing as too thin.

    Yeah, there’s some variation. I think most men tend to prefer the 124 though. At least on Heartiste’s original post I didn’t see many that preferred 132 over 124.

    At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game. You want to be as attractive to the most people you can to be able to apply selective filtering for a godly spouse.

    The pictures of men above are not representative of all body types. In my early 20s, a body fat analyzer didn’t register because my body fat was too low. I was skin and bone with little muscle and burned calories like mad. I couldn’t gain weight, and at roughly 110 pounds @ 5’6″, I ate more than those who were 180 pounds. I could put down the majority of a pound of pasta and a jar of sauce in one sitting (1400 to 1950 calories). Fasting (even one meal) made me lightheaded and dizzy. Lots of physical activity just made me hungry. My metabolism didn’t noticeably slow until sometime in my 30s, when my calorie requirements started to decline, but I’m still way smaller than most men I know (including my brothers).

    I’m similar. I had to workout and eat until I almost threw up to gain muscle. But eventually my stomach expanded to accommodate the increase in food intake.

    However, the studies have shown that most people who can’t gain weight overestimate their caloric intake and most people who can’t lose weight underestimate their caloric intake. So even if someone says they’re eating a lot or a little I won’t fully believe them unless they are literally tracking every calorie that they’re putting into their body for a couple weeks. That’s absolutely how you know for sure.

    The wife wants me to lose the fat, but doesn’t care about the muscle. I don’t want to look… disproportionate.

    You’d be surprised. My wife likes how I looked, but once I started to put on muscle again her behavior markedly changed even if she didn’t acknowledge it. Same for a lot of men’s wives on reddit.

    The whole “watch what they do, not what they say” observation still rings true.

  4. Anonymous Reader says:

    Very interesting. I recall a Jordan Peterson lecture or snippet where he talked about men being attracted women and making judgements about their attractiveness based on a waist to hip ratio. He said the ideal ratio is around 0.8:1

    Peterson personalizes things a lot, the more one looks into his work the stranger it gets. I do not believe he remained awake for that many weeks, for example.

    Anyway, a hip / waist ratio of under 1.0 is a good predictor of many things including successful childbirth. Men and women are wired in certain ways to produce children.

    Here is a paper from 2011
    Eye-tracking of men’s preferences for waist-to-hip ratio and breast size of women
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19688590/

    Here is a more interesting one from 2015
    Preferred women’s waist-to-hip ratio variation over the last 2,500 years
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25886537/

    Hip / waist of 0.6 to 0.8 works, with 0.7 perhaps as a happy medium. But in the modern world of perpetually thirsty betas, it’s not a rule of iron.

  5. Derek Ramsey says:

    “studies have shown that most people who can’t gain weight overestimate their caloric intake”

    It’s not hard to do the math. I suspect those who over- or under-estimate don’t bother skipping the estimating and just running the calculations.

    Every time I went to parties, I ate the most food. I got such a reputation that my hosts would send the leftovers home with me. When I would heat up my leftovers in the microwave, I had people asking (with astonishment) whether I was going to eat all that food (yes, I was). It became a running joke at work.

    “You’d be surprised. My wife likes how I looked, but once I started to put on muscle again her behavior markedly changed even if she didn’t acknowledge it. Same for a lot of men’s wives on reddit. The whole “watch what they do, not what they say” observation still rings true.”

    Yeah, that’s a good piece of advice. I suspect you are right. But what kind of time commitment are we talking about?

    We both talk about our respective weights to each other, but neither of us has much time to dedicate to muscle building. At most she only has time for a gym-type activity once a month. By comparison, fat reduction (weight loss) is easy: just reduce caloric intake. I’ve can fairly easily lose 10-15 pounds in 2 months and keep it off for 6. But, I’d rather spend an hour working in the yard or the garden or play games with the kids than work on a muscle training program. If I were childless and single, it would be a completely different ballgame.

  6. whiteguy1 says:

    You know when the time in the gym is paying off when strangers (girls) touch your biceps without asking. The first time it happened to me, it was at work! One of my colleagues I hadn’t know more than a month ‘felt me up’, as I was sitting next to her at a meeting. LOL.

    I’ve spent the last 4.5 yrs at the gym (using the starting strength program, then lots of 3×5 sets at heavy weight) only taking the about 4 months off due to built up fatigue, and injuries.
    I’m due for another DEXA scan but, my weight on the scale really hasn’t changed much since Dec 2015… But I figure I’ve gone 42% BF to 30% BF, to as low as 24%. But the key here is I’ve added 30lbs of muscle, I’m 45, and that wasn’t easy. Chest is up to a 48 (from a 44), My biceps are the same size as my calves now (17″). I’m now having to shop in big and tall for dress shirts and then take them to the tailor to fit right. (Who knew 18.5″ neck was considered “big&tall”?!)

    But the women notice, A LOT, when I tipped under the 27% BF was when they really paid attention to me, it was humorous. Now I don’t care as much, what started as getting ‘attractive’ turned into taking care of myself and glorifying GOD with my work ethic and example to others.

    I’m trying to encourage the men at my church to hit the iron, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

    Derek, don’t listen to your wife! You put some meat on your bones and she will complain a little bit a first, then be extra ‘handsy’ with you! You will enjoy each others company that much more. I’m know I’m preaching to the choir here, its a reminder that the more contrast there is in the relationship the more excitement there can be.

    Women love having a ‘rock’ around, when she touches your strong biceps when out on a walk, it reminds her in a very real way that you her ‘rock’ that she can depend on.

    (Oh and don’t skip leg day!!!)

  7. whiteguy1 says:

    Derek the first year of my time at the gym was 3 days a week, for approximately 1hr. Using the starting strength method. I probably gained 15lbs of muscle that year and lost 25lbs of fat. No running, no cardio, just watched my diet and lifted 3 days a week.

  8. Novaseeker says:

    I think a good amount of the difference in the perception between the 132 and 124 has to do with presentation. 124 is wearing a flattering, fitting dress, high heels (makes the legs more attractive) and is posed in a way to accentuate her hip/waist ratio (and is a well known “sexy pose”), as well as being made up and having her hair (which appears notably longer than at 132) coiffed, and in this case positioned, specifically for a nice picture. 124 pic is very much trying to be a sexy pic from start to finish, it isn’t a cameo.

    132 is regular streetwear which isn’t sexy at all, obviously no heels (can’t see but it’s obvious from the lack of flex in her legs), and not a flattering pose, and she isn’t really made up for a sexy pic either. It’s more of an “everyday look”.

    I agree that most men would find 124 more attractive than 132 even if they were equally presented, but the fact that they are not equally presented really magnifies the “delta” between the pics a great deal and distorts the rating considerably.

  9. Joe2 says:

    I agree that most men would find 124 more attractive than 132 even if they were equally presented, but the fact that they are not equally presented really magnifies the “delta” between the pics a great deal and distorts the rating considerably.

    Exactly! I read that OKCupid had similar observations and advice regarding men posting shirtless photos.

    According to OKCupid, presentation is what is important. A shirtless photo taken as a selfie in a mirror projects the message you are a loner / loser and is to be avoided. The best photos are those taken where being shirtless is socially accepted, such as at the beach or pool. The photos should also show how you are using your body, it could be reading a book or playing frisbee, and the women will notice your six-pack without you appearing narcissistic. Also, a professional photo is recommended. Look at all the photos in the examples – about 14 or so have cameras, not recommended and the photos of the lowest body fat percentages, see Example 1 less than 15%, look like they were professionally taken.

  10. Scott says:

    Trying to maintain body fat in the teens for me means being voraciously hungry, all the time and I still don’t have prefect washboard abs at that percentage. There are two types of people. Those who sometimes forget to eat all day, and those who are thinking about what they are having for dinner, while consuming their lunch. I’m the second type.

    I do pretty well, when I am training for something in particular (like a fitness competition) but I cannot maintain that level of intensity, counting every single gram of macro, watching the heart rate monitor and all the values associated with it.

    I have a private practice. I have a hobby farm. I am building a house. I have a wife and four kids under eleven with baseball, piano, ballet, horseback riding lessons, church, volunteer work at the kids private school,

    I get in super good shape about once a year, and slack off the rest of the time. I have a “range” of in shape that I try to maintain, and I know when its time to get serious again. That range is about 195-215lbs. (6’1″) This is what I look like when I am firing on all cylinders. (I was 47 in this picture). What it takes to look like this is 13 workouts a week, and absolutely obsessing over diet.

  11. Bruce says:

    Professor Martie Haselton cites studies that show that women prefer muscular men but men tend to overestimate how muscular i.e. men think of the bodybuilder look which isn’t what most women prefer.

    From experience, women seem to prefer (fairly) big with reasonably low bodyfat to smaller with very low bodyfat i.e. they prefer the “beefcake” type over the “ripped crackhead.” A lot of guys sacrifice muscle mass for low bodyfat – not always a good trade.

  12. Scott says:

    Bruce-

    And, I might add for the billionth time. Its mostly genetic.

    Sure, you can do your calculations. Do your CICO. Watch macros for protein intake. Hit the exact same workouts that you read about in the magazines. But everyones body responds to resistance training differently. If you don’t have the genes for V-shape, you will not have V-shape.

    No matter how much weight I lift, no matter much protein I consume, I will never look like a body builder.

    You MUST start with whatever raw material you have, and then set your goals from there.

  13. Bruce says:

    Scott – it gets harder as you get older too – I’m closer to 50 than 40. Having a wife who’s a good cook doesn’t help either.

    Your genes are what they are – what I try to emphasize to young men including my sons is that you don’t have to look like a bodybuilder. You can lift 2 or 3 times a week (rest is important) either weights, machines or bodyweight. I try to emphasize simple but effective – I think a lot of guys set goals too high and then quit. In general, women don’t prefer the freak-bodybuilder look. Set reasonable goals and a routine that is effective but something you will stick with.

  14. @ whiteguy1

    I’ve spent the last 4.5 yrs at the gym (using the starting strength program, then lots of 3×5 sets at heavy weight) only taking the about 4 months off due to built up fatigue, and injuries.
    I’m due for another DEXA scan but, my weight on the scale really hasn’t changed much since Dec 2015… But I figure I’ve gone 42% BF to 30% BF, to as low as 24%. But the key here is I’ve added 30lbs of muscle, I’m 45, and that wasn’t easy. Chest is up to a 48 (from a 44), My biceps are the same size as my calves now (17″). I’m now having to shop in big and tall for dress shirts and then take them to the tailor to fit right. (Who knew 18.5″ neck was considered “big&tall”?!)
    But the women notice, A LOT, when I tipped under the 27% BF was when they really paid attention to me, it was humorous. Now I don’t care as much, what started as getting ‘attractive’ turned into taking care of myself and glorifying GOD with my work ethic and example to others.

    Yeah, if you’re a big husky frame you don’t necessarily need to get into the teens body fat to get good results with women. Simply having the big muscles and low enough body fat to show them off (low mid 20s in some men) can be effective.

  15. @ Bruce

    Professor Martie Haselton cites studies that show that women prefer muscular men but men tend to overestimate how muscular i.e. men think of the bodybuilder look which isn’t what most women prefer.

    From experience, women seem to prefer (fairly) big with reasonably low bodyfat to smaller with very low bodyfat i.e. they prefer the “beefcake” type over the “ripped crackhead.” A lot of guys sacrifice muscle mass for low bodyfat – not always a good trade.

    Yup, I’ve seen those, which is why I didn’t comment as much on the single digit body fat. There’s a point of diminishing gains.

    But it’s also true that a lot of the physique competitors (not mega-muscled bodybuilders) do have some of the more attractive girlfriends. Not a coincidence there. Women say they don’t like super muscled men, but watch what they do not what they say.

    I personally don’t think think is such thing as too much muscle, as long as you aren’t taking steroids. Steroids is really the only way to get super big plus years of dedicated training.

  16. Anonymous Reader says:

    Derek Ramsey
    We both talk about our respective weights to each other, but neither of us has much time to dedicate to muscle building. At most she only has time for a gym-type activity once a month

    That’s just buffering / excusing. A set of simple weights costs less than dinner out.

    Plus there’s basic ideas like this one. Everyone has access to the floor.
    https://hundredpushups.com/

  17. Anonymous Reader says:

    whiteguy1
    I’m trying to encourage the men at my church to hit the iron, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

    They should be doing it for their health, then. Resistance training can lower blood pressure, any exercise improves circulation and shift metabolism including bone density. At some point we come down to laziness vs. industriousness.

  18. Sharkly says:

    Again I am reminded of what Bob Lutz once said about the results of Chrysler’s market research. The results from the survey data always had people claiming they wanted an efficient inexpensive quiet no frills commuter vehicle just to get them from point A to point B, and it didn’t really matter that much what it looked like. And Chrysler built and refined the K-cars to match that stated desire. However nobody really wanted a K-car. During a recession Chrysler had to pay people $100 to get them to come in and test drive a K-car.
    So, Chrysler then built a car that nobody had described wanting, it got horrible gas mileage, had loud exhaust side pipes that would burn your legs, almost no trunk space, a convertible top that leaked, with door and window handles that worked poorly, and they couldn’t make them fast enough to keep them in stock. Some dealers sold the initial Dodge Vipers at twice their retail price. His point was that people will always tell you that they just want what is necessary and reasonable, when they actually want something excessive that will make their neighbors envy them.
    When women say they just want a nice guy, with a “dad-bod”, and Etc. They are just saying what sounds reasonable. But if they paid to see male strippers on a girls’ night out, and were treated to some typical guys with dad-bods and average endowment, the panties would not come flying off, they’d complain and want their money back. Women actually desire an impressive man; don’t believe otherwise.

  19. Derek Ramsey says:

    “That’s just buffering / excusing. A set of simple weights costs less than dinner out.”

    I remember dinner out. My wife and I have not had a date since before COVID-19. There was a time when we had an hour of free time one to three times a month to do that, but now with the kids home all the time and every social activity cancelled, that has ended.

    We have five children, some with complex mental, social, and physical needs. One of us more-or-less needs monitor our one child 24/7, while ensuring that our home is not a prison for the other children. We find ways to spend time together here and there (e.g. watching TV; talking), but working out is definitely not a priority, especially since neither of us are overweight. But that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to it or can’t budget the time: i’s a trade-off.

  20. Derek Ramsey says:

    “Plus there’s basic ideas like this one. Everyone has access to the floor.
    https://hundredpushups.com/

    FWIW, I’m a (low) rank 4 and I don’t work out beyond the normal physical activity in my life.

  21. @ Derek

    We have five children, some with complex mental, social, and physical needs. One of us more-or-less needs monitor our one child 24/7, while ensuring that our home is not a prison for the other children. We find ways to spend time together here and there (e.g. watching TV; talking), but working out is definitely not a priority, especially since neither of us are overweight. But that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to it or can’t budget the time: i’s a trade-off.

    I have a doorway pullup bar around the house so I can bang out several sets throughout a day. Not as good as the gym, but I’ve seen a bit of muscle gain just from working harder variations over time.

    Same with pushups, squats, and other bodyweight exercises during this whole COVID thing.

  22. Joe2 says:

    And Chrysler built and refined the K-cars to match that stated desire. However nobody really wanted a K-car. During a recession Chrysler had to pay people $100 to get them to come in and test drive a K-car.

    Really, nobody wanted the K-car? Wikipedia tells a completely different story. Some highlights are,

    1) American domestic auto manufacturers found themselves trying to develop compact vehicles that could compete with the Japanese imports of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan in price and finish. Chrysler Corporation’s answer to the import pressure was the K platform…

    2) Arriving on the brink of Chrysler’s near certain financial collapse, the new platform had a dramatic effect, helping Chrysler report a profit in October 1980 of $10 million, its first profit in two years.

    3) Within two years, the K platform vehicles accounted for roughly 50% of Chrysler’s operating profits.

    4) In 1984, David Lewis, auto industry historian and professor of business history at the University of Michigan said no platform “in the history of the automobile industry has so dramatically allowed a company to survive in such a substantial way.”

    5) In 1984, The New York Times said the K platform not only “single-handedly saved Chrysler from certain death, (it) also provided the company with a (platform) that could be stretched, smoothed, poked, chopped and trimmed.”

    6) The K-cars (Dodge Aries, Plymouth Reliant, Chrysler LeBaron, Dodge 400, and, in Mexico, Dodge Dart) sold over 2 million vehicles from 1981 to 1988, and around 100,000 in their final year, 1989…and Iacocca credited them with allowing the company to pay off its bankruptcy loans early

    This above doesn’t read like nobody really wanted the K-car.

  23. Anonymous Reader says:

    FWIW, I’m a (low) rank 4 and I don’t work out beyond the normal physical activity in my life.

    Your SES rank is not relevant so long as your wife remains attracted, however the health and longevity benefits of moderate exercise are not open to debate. 30 minutes of walking 3 days per week makes a difference.

    Effect of chronic exercise in healthy young male adults: a metabolomic analysis
    https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/doi/10.1093/cvr/cvaa051/5813974

    Regular exercise critical for heart health, longevity
    American College of Cardiology Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council encourages physical activity for heart disease prevention
    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/acoc-rec011416.php

  24. Derek Ramsey says:

    “I have a doorway pullup bar around the house so I can bang out several sets throughout a day. Not as good as the gym, but I’ve seen a bit of muscle gain just from working harder variations over time. Same with pushups, squats, and other bodyweight exercises during this whole COVID thing. “

    This is good advice and I appreciate it. I’m just looking for good bang for my metaphorical buck. Hitting the gym isn’t practical.. But, push-ups and sit-ups around the house are easy and we just got a perfectly functional pull-up bar installed last week on the outdoor swing set. The kids and I are competing for bragging rights for the most pull-ups.

    “Your SES rank is not relevant so long as your wife remains attracted, however the health and longevity benefits of moderate exercise are not open to debate. 30 minutes of walking 3 days per week makes a difference. “

    30 minutes of walking! Though I work a desk job, I’m on my feet way more than 30 minutes a day. Even when I’m sitting I’m always moving and changing positions (which is probably one reason I burn calories fast and my muscle strength isn’t that bad). So to be clear, I’m interested in exercise for health reasons, not for attractiveness reasons. I’m happily married. If she becomes happier, that’s an excellent side effect, but not the motivation.

  25. Sharkly says:

    Good genetics really are helpful. Everybody is different. So I’ll resist the temptation to one-up Scott’s picture. I don’t have to work or diet nearly that hard to maintain that kind of shape, even at 50. In fact I’ve never worked out 13 times a week in my life. I work out 3-4 times a week when I’m trying to improve myself, and once or twice a week to just maintain. Otherwise I mostly spend my day seated at a computer. I have owned my own weights since Junior High. Here is some stuff I have learned:

    Get muscular while you’re young! Your fat and muscle cells quit dividing much after about the time you quit growing taller. So, the cells you have at that time are what you’ve got to work with muscle wise, and what you’ve got to work against fat wise, for the rest of your life. There is a phenomenon called “muscle memory” where I work out a little bit and my muscles swell back up quickly to where they were. However, beyond that it is much more difficult to make additional gains.

    Buy your own home gym equipment. It makes it much easier to squeeze in a little time to workout, and is no hassle, no pressure, and you are less likely to injure yourself showing off, than in a public gym. Your equipment lasts forever with nobody abusing it. My first weights were cheap vinyl ones, which I still have in good shape, but I’ve owned and used Olympic weights for the last 27 years.

    Work mostly on your weak points. A well balanced physique is the most appealing and probably most functional too. It can be fun to work most on your areas that progress the easiest, but then you can become freaky looking instead of looking proportionate and pleasing to the eye. My upper back is my easiest growth area, so I hardly ever do much for it, or it will get disproportionately ahead of the rest of my muscles. My father had a really wide upper back, and he didn’t even exercise.

    Don’t expect the same results as the guys on steroids, but in the long run, you’ll have less major injuries and be hormonally healthier and maintain your muscle level easier then them. Also don’t overdo your workouts. You don’t need to tear your muscles down nearly as much since your recovery ability is far less than the pros on steroids. Their workouts will actually be quite excessive for you and cause you to suffer needlessly and get diminished gains.

    Be safe! The goal is to get healthier NOT to injure yourself and gain physical limitations. One big screw up and you could seriously decrease your quality of life. forget all that crap about being a raging animal in the gym, be smart and don’t overdo your training. Injuring yourself while trying to become fit is extra stupid. I’ve had a great physique for most of my whole adult life with out any major injuries as a result of my training. My major injuries came from quitting lifting for an extended period, getting heavy and weak, and then playing unruly basketball. It is super slow and hard to get back in shape once you’ve messed up your joints. That’s when it is really fortunate to have that “muscle memory” working on your side.

  26. Bruce says:

    I got real into the bodyweight thing. For pushups you can transition to close-hand/”diamond” pushups to make it harder, then gradually to one arm and/or you can add weight. You can add weight to pullups e.g. a few weights in a backpack. I never got to true, one arm pullups. I do pistol squats for legs. As far as the 100-rep pushup thing, I do not recommend more than 20 rep sets to get bigger – instead add weight or transition to harder forms of pushups.

    A few good books (available online): “Never Gymless” by Ross Enamait, any of Pavel Tsouline’s books or “Convict Conditioning” ( a kind of corny book but some good info). I particularly recommend Ross’ book. Pavel has some good ideas of how to transition to one-arm pushups and pistol squats.

    Also, strength and muscle mass are different (though not mutually exclusive) workouts/goals – you can train for raw strength or big muscles (or both).

  27. Scott says:

    To be precise/clear, I count my runs as workouts. And I run pretty much every day. in the morning

    When I am training for something in particular, that makes up about 6-7 hours of cardio a week (40 plus miles). Most of the guys I see at the gym who can bench 400 lbs and have 25 inch biceps can’t run around the block.

    I also do HIIT intervals in between each set, which has a sprinting on the treadmill component. At the end of an afternoon at the gym, I have run another 1.5 miles, at basically sprint speed. (About 95%)

    At the moment, I am trying to get back to that number, but I am around 25 miles.

    Which gets back to genes. I have a medium frame, and this means I plateau at certain muscle mass. Once I get to that point, I start geting injured, and its not worth it. And I love to run. I only rest because “they” say I “have” to. But on the days I don’t run, I feel like crap all day.

  28. Sharkly says:

    Well, since this post is sort of geared around honing your body’s appeal to the opposite sex, I’ll just say that I feel like I get better results in that regard with less effort, than many. And for those with very limited time to try to improve their looks They will need to focus on strength training and keep their “cardio” to under 20 minutes a day. Otherwise cardio/cortisol will spoil all the results of your hard work. Read this great synopsis of how it happens:
    http://thenewprime.com/blog/is-cardio-making-you-skinny-fat/

  29. Scott says:

    I say.

    Do what feels right for your body type and fitness goals. Try stuff. Discard what doesn’t work for you. Stop worrying about what women think. If you’re going to the gym to get girls you’re doing it wrong.

  30. @ Bruce

    A few good books (available online): “Never Gymless” by Ross Enamait, any of Pavel Tsouline’s books or “Convict Conditioning” ( a kind of corny book but some good info). I particularly recommend Ross’ book. Pavel has some good ideas of how to transition to one-arm pushups and pistol squats.

    There’s a program review section on bodyweightfitness for books. I see a few of those mentioned.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/program_reviews

  31. Sharkly says:

    And I love to run. I only rest because “they” say I “have” to. But on the days I don’t run, I feel like crap all day.
    I’m not a psychologist, but that sounds to me like you’ve just described the basic attributes of an addiction. 😉 While I’m trying to help people learn how to naturally put on some muscle with minimal effort, I think subconsciously you’re here justifying and pushing your addiction on others. 😉

    It sounds like you get a “brain reward” from running. You mentioned that guys that have 25 inch biceps can’t run around the block, but, do you understand why the guys who run around the block never have 25 inch biceps? I think despite the article I linked to, you are also exhibiting diminished recognition of the drawbacks of running? And feeling like crap all day when you don’t run is evidence of a psychosomatic withdrawal. Is exercise consuming all your free time? Do you continue to exercise despite recurring problems? Are you spending less time doing other things?
    We’re here for you Scott! If you want help, there is help available:
    https://www.runnersworld.com/women/a20800575/are-you-addicted-to-running/

    Click to access EDS21Manual.pdf

  32. Scott says:

    There are certain activities/hobbies that, for some reason lend themselves to a particular type of know it all.

    Horses is one of them. I noticed when I entered “horses” as a general hobby/topic everyone and their mother just had to give their advice. Which is fine. But their advice had this sense of superiority and urgency to it.

    “I can’t believe you are feeding THAT KIND of grain to your quarter horse in California with these temperatures on the 4th Thursday of the month! You might as well just drop the horse off the Empire State Building.” I have never been able to resonate with this level of self-assured hubris and condescension.

    Anyone entering one of these hobbies for the first time gets very quickly discouraged by this behavior.

    On a side note, I have found that runners tend to not be of this type. We give each other advice about which body-glide applicator works the best to prevent chaffing. But mostly, we are an introverted bunch and don’t really care how you do you.

    Of course I know why runners don’t have huge biceps. They have a body type that lends itself to running, they like running, so they run a lot, therefore they sacrifice size for distance and endurance. But none of those world class runners even had any change of being huge. They found their thing.

    I tried the low/almost no cardio style of bodybuilding a couple of times. I consumed 2.5 grams of protein for every pound of lean mass, lifted huge amounts of weight. Blah blah. It works for some people. Its too hard on my system and–I can’t run fast like that.

    I have found my thing I. I lift, but I mostly run. Do your thing. It’s no deeper than that.

  33. Scott says:

    All of the world class athletes who have taken their body type, shape, frame size, natural abilities and maximized those variables to their fullest potential so they can do their thing better than anyone but do not look like Arnold Schwarzenegger:

    Soccer players, baseball players, swimmers, figure skaters, basketball players. Ballet dancers (my daughter is in ballet and it is grueling) are getting less chicks than they could if they were meat heads.

  34. Sharkly says:

    I have found my thing I. I lift, but I mostly run. Do your thing. It’s no deeper than that.

    Perhaps in some fields of study there is not much depth, and their groundbreaking studies are often not repeatable. However regarding exercise physiology, there is depth, and the studies are usually quite repeatable and usually quite consistent in alignment. While any individual may be different. The medical studies that formed the basis of the article I linked to about cardio/cortisol are not the result of studying just one individual, but are the combined results from groups of test subjects. These results bear themselves out in real life. If you want to look more like a natural bodybuilder, train like one. If you train just like a marathon runner, you will begin to look like one, that is the general rule that generally proves true for most people. So, for most people, to get the best results with the least effort, it would behoove them to start by trying what generally works to achieve their goals. To add some muscle mass and thereby increase one’s metabolism, The quickest non-illegal way to do it is by performing heavy compound lifts, like deadlift, squat, bench press, Etc., and eating a protein rich diet in conjunction with the strength training. Adding in hours of running will actually elevate catabolic cortisol and decrease the typical man’s muscle mass. Leading them perhaps to believe that their body type just dooms them to gain less muscle mass as a result of exercise, when they are actually getting the scientifically expected result from that training regimen. While there certainly are individuals who may not be physiologically normal, most people will be close to the norm and will be most likely to gain the most benefit from doing what has been shown to work for most people. The article I linked to is just one, I quickly found, of many that have gathered that same information and report that same conclusion from various scientific exercise studies.

    Scott, I’m your same height, about your same age, probably similar in frame and physiology, and I maintain more lean muscle mass while exercising less than two hours a week. If people don’t want to spend additional time, my scientifically backed method will be the more efficient way to achieve their goal of adding muscle mass. Shedding fat generally happens by eating less, while keeping your metabolism elevated and cortisol low. It is possible to maintain a strong, lean, and appealing body for most people, without too much effort, if one goes about it the right way. Most people however go about it the wrong way, by just “doing their thing” improperly informed, by fads and wives tales, and consequently getting diminished returns.

  35. Scott says:

    Wait wait hold up.

    I’m a little slow on the uptake with this conversation because I have an actual life.

    Aren’t you the guy who claims to have some crazy excess mutant testosterone that makes your cock so big your wife has to gasp for air every time?

    Now we all have to believe you have a perfect physique with almost no effort?

    Funny. You’re anonymous

    That pic is me. For better or worse. When I’m in tag that shape I do sets of 315 x6-10 on bench. I currently am a little off but I can also run a sub 18 5k

    Are you also an expert on the running mechanics and VO2 max it takes for a 200lb 50 year old to run 3 6 minute miles in a row while also being able to bench 1 1/2 times my weight 10 times?

    I don’t pretend my way is the only way. But at least I can show the results.

    I’m not anonymous but I am one of only two clinical/forensic psychologists in this state who can do what I do. I could be “cancelled” in a heartbeat for my online behavior. But I’m a faithful Christian so I don’t give a give a crap about that. So I’m bored with anonymous blogging.

    So from now on, you are a 600 lb unmarried keyboard warrior.

  36. Sharkly says:

    I didn’t say mutant testosterone, I said I exhibit signs of having high DHT. Which could be not only genetic, but also because I got fascinated with bodybuilding beginning in sixth grade, and I was doing strength training since then throughout my growing years. You have challenged my “anonymity” before, and I have told you before that I have commented on your blog before and my email address that I used, is my real name. I’m not sure why you would need my name, but you already have it. I’m sure you have excellent aerobic fitness, and no doubt you excel at running. And if your quoted bench press is accurate, that is also quite impressive. But, not everybody wants to work out twice a day for an hour, and yet they’d like to build some muscle. That’s where I come in. As somebody who puts in less than two hours a week exercising, and yet looks great naked, I can offer them an easier regimen that still gets them the results that the original post is talking about. Now I for one haven’t written my own post about how to look sexually appealing to women, because even though I have spent a lot of time working towards that, I recognize that isn’t a huge priority in the Bible. Deep Strength has however written the above post, so I have just shared my knowledge and experience regarding the subject.

  37. Sharkly says:

    Scott,
    I’m sorry if I have got your goat again. Will it really make things better if I post a recent picture?

    However, based upon your most recent comment, it sounds like you’re not going to be satisfied until you get a dick-pic from me. LOL I will say it again that I am proud of you for the professional risk you are taking. However, I myself also have said plenty of things that can get me fired, and so I have not published any recent identifying photos of myself, nor have I published my name, even though many know it.

  38. Sharkly says:

    My wife took our computer and I don’t have copies of any photos except a few I finally got her to send me of myself with my sons. And I have never posed for shots like the one Scott posted above, since I was in High School. So in this shot I have cropped out my sons and censored identifying features. It was taken when I was 47 or 48 just like Scott’s photo, I’m also 50 now.

    My arms have never been a strong area for me, and they are all that is visible, but if you use your imagination you can see that I’m 6′ 1″ & 210 pounds of lean muscle. My physique at the time of that photo would have looked much like Scott’s, only with more muscle and more definition in the abs and serratus, yet with the same bulging love handles that have come with age. The real difference is that I came back from being quite out of shape and injured to that physique by only doing about three or four 15 minute weightlifting sessions a week for a couple years. My weights are next to my computer here, so I can squeeze my lifting in as I’m online praising the patriarchy. My fifteen minutes of workout usually happens during less than an hour of doing other things around the house. I like to rest a lot between sets, so I don’t get winded or sweaty. I really am pretty lazy about my working out. My point is, that my body is right about where most women would ideally like it, with very little effort, due to the fact that I work smarter, not harder. I sprint occasionally or jog short distances, but don’t make it a habit to run for any extended length since it wouldn’t help much with my fitness goals. I have spent a lot of time studying supplements, alternative medicine, exercise physiology, and the results are that I can get a lot of results with minimal effort, and you most likely can too if you lift heavy and get good sleep for maximum recovery.

    Sorry to Scott and the ladies, my package is obscured in the photo. You’ll just have to use your big imagination. LOL

  39. @ Scott

    All of the world class athletes who have taken their body type, shape, frame size, natural abilities and maximized those variables to their fullest potential so they can do their thing better than anyone but do not look like Arnold Schwarzenegger:

    Well, if they’re elite athletes then women will throw themselves at them for the fame and money usually. Plus, most elite athletes have at least some semblance of looking like they workout except perhaps marathon runners.

    They don’t need to care about their musculature as much as your average man.

  40. Anonymous Reader says:

    If you’re going to the gym to get girls you’re doing it wrong.

    Yep. Confidence counts more. There are any number of vids from PUA channels where girls admit that the confidence matters. The Dark Triad is an insane level of confidence. Now, church going men may say “Fooey, I’m not a PUA and don’t want to be” but confidence still matters.

    A married man gets betaized, doesn’t matter how, his confidence declines and he becomes less attractive to his wife. Many bad things follow. The first step for him is to admit the problem and commence working on it, and that means following Scott’s advice for the depressed. Pick a feasible goal, have a plan, meet the goal, get the dopamine hit, move on. Confidence increases.

    Weight training increases confidence in various ways, including by increasing T. It’s good to be able to pick up the wife and carry her off to the bedroom, because that hits her cavewoman brain centers just fine. Weight training helps make that happen.

    One of the tenets of various parts of the manosphere including this one: “Do not make the woman your mission”. Going to the gym to get girls is … making the woman your mission. Plus I would be a bit wary of most gym rat girls, frankly.

    Go to the gym to get fit for almost any other reason.

  41. Sharkly says:

    People will claim that if you work-out to look good for women, that is lustful, spiritually immature, making women your focus, Etc.
    And they’ll be quick to tell you that working-out to impress your fellow man, is totally gay!
    And if you say you work-out because you want to look better for yourself, you’re a Narcissist.
    All the actual reasons get shamed.
    That’s why people lie and claim they just enjoy doing the extra work, or claim it is entirely done for future health reasons, even while they keep other health destroying habits. Men aren’t aware and honest enough to just say that they’re the image and glory of God, and they naturally want greater reverence than society gives them, and that working-out helps, in that regard, to restore a small bit of the respect that satanic Feminism has eroded away from men. While you shouldn’t have to look like Thor, to be treated like a son of God, it sure helps. Other men may jealously crave power, wealth, and renown, to increase this same respect that is being stingily denied to them. And women want to usurp and gain this respect too. But the respect that comes from the flesh, is fleeting, as our youth inevitably fades and we will all someday become feeble and die, if we live that long. So work to store up for yourself honor and treasure in heaven, where it won’t be destroyed.

  42. info says:

    @Bruce

    I suspect your wife cooks too much Carbs. Cut down on the Carbs in the meals and that will help.

    A more ketogenic diet of more vegetables, Dairy Products and Meat whilst cutting out more wheat and sugary products may help.

  43. locustsplease says:

    I am a fan of mis 30% and 15-17. %25 would b third. With women just as men different body makeup really is hard to account for in photos. Some (some) women look great when they get a little thick. How many nfl linemen do not have 6 packs but would walk in a room and it goes quiet because they are so imposing. Generally speaking the shorter you are the lower you are going to have to b % have the same effect as taller men.
    I am 6’3 and around 20% might weigh 250 while i am trying to loose more weight “had a medical problem” i dont need it to get looks from very attractive 20yo’s. I understand being 5’9 this is not happening my buddys tell me. Just being skinny does not do it for me with women some of them have featureless bodies that just turn me off worse than obese women. My buddies wife is 91lbs and approaching 1-3 my size thats too big a difference. I like about half my size and also like women 5’10 5’11. For men having mass and being relatively lean is where you want to b. Skinny is not an attribute skinny cant win a fight doesn’t trigger im being protected.

  44. Pingback: How to Transform Your Image | Σ Frame

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