This post looked at attraction to men’s musculature. Reliably, if you can get to the 10-12% body fat range for men and you have some musculature you’re likely to get some women who want to feel up your muscles and/or “ohh” and “ahh” as they see a transformation. Of course, if you’re wearing baggy shirts that cover up your muscles that’s a net negative. Fitted shirts that emphasize transformations are generally the most helpful.
For men, visually emphasizing femininity and a woman’s waist to hip ratio (.6-.8 seems to be the good range to really get a man going) is what tends to be most attractive which is why women are (or should be?) encouraged to wear skirts and dresses. Likewise, the things that tend to emphasize a fit man to women seems to be something along the lines of the ‘greek god’ type of physique where you have the illusion of wider shoulders and smaller waist (V-taper) as well as at least some muscle definition in most of the muscles of the upper body.
Your average American man >20 y/o is 5’9″ at 200 lbs (199.8 lbs). This is approximately 29.5ish BMI (overweight is 25-29.9 and obese is >30 range). So your average man is overweight bordering on the line between overweight and obese. For reference, this is approximately what that looks like. (Image is owned by them, obviously).
Now, here are some transformations from reddit’s progress pics sub.
Overall, both men and women who have weight to lose — as a 5’9″ 200 lbs man does — can generally reliably drop about 1 lbs per week with a disciplined diet. This is why you see so many transformations in the 6-12 month range dropping 30-50 lbs or so. Some of the very heavy men and women (200-300+ lbs range) reliably will lose 2 lbs per week, so they can lose upwards of 80-120 lbs in a year. Not all of this is dropping fat but also some non-muscle lean body mass (e.g. non-muscle other stuff to support the weight gain like water weight, connective tissue, blood vessels, etc.).
How much muscle mass can you gain in a year? The articles generally vary, but most of them suggest reliably 10-15 lbs per year with possible upper limits of about 15-25 depending on genetics and other optimizations such as diet and sleep. Bulking and cutting cycles are more efficient than trying to stay the same weight and add muscle (strict same weight body recomposition).
In my own case, when I got into strength training and didn’t even care about adding muscle, I added approximately 10 lbs my first year, 10 lbs my second year, and 7 lbs my third year, and 5 lbs my 4th year. If I had reliably ate for and trained for hypertrophy (slightly different than pure strength training), it would be likely to add probably about 15-20 the first year, and 10-15 the second year.
So let’s say your average dude at 5’9″ and 200 lbs decides to lose weight and gain muscle in the first year. Since he’s losing weight, the amount of muscle won’t be added as optimal (as it’s not a bulk) but with newbie gains he’ll still probably add around 10-15ish lbs of muscle of reliable gains. Thus, he can drop down from 5’9″ 200 lbs to approximately 160 lbs but add say 10-15 lbs of muscles to be at 170-175 lbs.
Now, going off some of the pictures from attraction to men’s musculature,
Your average man is dropping from about the 30% BF range and losing about 40 lbs to get to 160 lbs and adding 10-15 lbs of muscle. If all of that was fat loss, it would be like dropping from 30% to 10% body fat. So what likely happens is you lose about 30-25 lbs of fat and 5-10 lbs of LBM but add about 10-15 lbs of muscle on top of that. That gets you approximately into the 13-18% body fat range of these photos after 1 year.
Add in 6-12 months of disciplined diet and lifting will easily get you into the 10-13% range as exemplified on the photos. Most women from what I’ve seen don’t really prefer the < 10% photos anyway. That’s more along the lines of Hugh Jackman, whereas most women tend to prefer Chris Hemsworth or Chris Adams musculature:
As you can see, these physiques are fairly comparable to the 10-13% range from the photos above.
If you use google search (or duck duck go if you prefer) for 1 year lifting transformations and look at the images, you typically see most of the “skinnier guys” get similar to the 10-13% range after 1 year. It’s a bit slower if you’re overweight and close to obese to start, but you can still get there within a 1-2 year time frame.
I stick by my assertion that your average man can get a top 10-20% body in 1-2 years. Faster if you’re skinnier and < 27-30% BF to start. Possibly slower if you’re more obese. Most people would classify the bodies above as probably top 5-10% and not top 10-20%, so maybe you could get there quicker if you were just aiming for top 20%.
If you have even a semblance of said body above, you’ll easily stand out in Church with all of the feminized men.
Is it hard? Well, I suppose that’s relative of what you think is “hard.” The information it out there. Often for free. You have to be disciplined with training and nutrition though. For most people they just don’t want to do it or don’t care to.
Apparently, this post needs some caveats:
- No, you shouldn’t be aiming to improve your physique for women. It makes you more effective for mission especially in people-person things like leadership, evangelism, and discipleship. For instance, it is more attractive and credible — think of a slobby vs fit fitness trainer or a slobby vs fit pastor. Who would seemingly give more credible advice even if they were saying the same thing? Yeah, the fit muscular man. It has the nice side effect of being attractive to women.
- Most points are based on general statements about preferences. For instance, attraction likely works on a bell curve distribution. A majority of women would like a ‘greek god’ physique, while some would like a bear (muscle + some fat) or swimmer (lean, some muscle) physique. Fewer women than those would like a thin or fat man. When talking about the dating market a wide net is better than a narrow one.
- Use your brains people. I’m not here to make absolute statements. Take things with a grain of salt. Yes, it’s “harder” for some men and “easier” for others depending on your starting point. There’s variation just like some men prefer fit/athletic women and some prefer more curvy and softer women.