I have to go to a wedding in a little over three weeks. It’s with family I never get to see, so I like to look my best when I do. This means that the next three weeks of my life are predominantly occupied with getting tan and getting fit. It’s been a sad winter and I’ve been slacking pretty bad. I haven’t exercised this year, is what I’m saying.
That having been said, I am not in awful shape. But I only discovered this upon coming to learn what makes a Perfect Male Form. Turns out, it’s all about math and, specifically, about φ. For those who don’t know φ, φ is said “phi,” and is a Greek representation of a ratio, commonly called The Golden Ratio or The Divine Ratio.
Now, to relate an idea to you, φ is a lot like π (pi), in that they are both infinite. So there is no perfection – it’s like trying to reach zero through division – as close as you get, you can’t quite get there. And whether we look at a flower, a body, a whirlpool, or what we see as “beautiful” in art or architecture, it often comes down to φ. For our purposes today, we’re focusing on the male body.
It starts like this – measure the circumference of your wrist. Then apply the following simple arithmetic:
650% of the wrist = chest
114% of the chest = shoulders
70% of the chest = waist
37% of the chest = neck
36% of the chest = upper arm
29% of the chest = forearms
85% of the chest = hips
53% of the chest = thigh
34% of the chest = calves
Once you have those numbers, measure yourself and see how you stack up against your body’s Perfect Form. My worst matchup is my waist – it is 92% of my chest – I’m fat. But 2/3 of my numbers match or are close-enough-to the ideal for me to be pretty comfortable with them. Here’s how I stack up (against Perfection in Parentheses):
Height = 71.5in
Weight = 185lbs
Wrist = 7in
Neck = 15in (15in)
Shoulders = 46in (48in)
Upper Arm = 13in (16in)
Forearm = 11in (12in)
Chest = 39in (42in)
Waist = 36in (30in)
Hips = 38in (36in)
Thigh = 21in (22in)
Calves = 16in (14in)
Now, don’t ask me why I have such freakishly large calves, but I do. The rest of me, for a 29 year old who hasn’t exercised at all since last year, isn’t in the worst shape in the world. My main goals focus on lowering my weight to 180lbs (or less), increasing my chest/upper arm size, and decreasing my waist size.
But I have no delusions about reality. I will not have a 30in waist, ever. I’d be fighting genetics and I just don’t have the discipline. My goal is 48in shoulders, 40in chest, 14in arms, and a 32in waist, by June 20. We’ll see how close I can get to that.
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