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About Proportions in BodyBuilding
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cadav
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Join date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1945

Hi to all,
i'm just curious to know the Alpha thought about the "best" proportions among body parts in a male and female bodybuilder.

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LankyMofo
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Join date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7649

Are you asking for measurements, examples, or ratios?

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MaximusB
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Join date: Apr 2006
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I recall back in the 80's, that your biceps and calves should have the same size. Not sure if I believe that, because that would mean having some exceptionally large calves. This question is difficult to answer because of genetic differences among bodybuilders. Tom Platz had unbelievable quads compared to the rest of his body, as well as Larry Scott's arms. Some bodyparts will either grow easily or struggle compared to others. Some of my favorite BB'ers who had amazing proportion were Flex Wheeler, Danny Hester, and Frank Zane.

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Caveman
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Old greeks thought that the neck, calf and flexed bcp should be the same to beggin with. Liederman twisted this a bit in his book, specially the waist/chest ratio, looking for a stonger look rather than a extremely slim waist.
To quote,
"My ideal is not the man with the huge, abnormal muscles of a Hercules; nor is it the lithe, slender form of an Apollo; nor the somewhat better-muscled Mercury. I like to see big, firm muscles combined with speed and flexibility. The question goes deeper than this. When holding up an ideal for scores of thousands to copy after, we set the following requisites...
A man should look good from every angle. He should have curves, rather than great, disfiguring ridges of muscle. He should have a development which is possible for attainment by almost any average boy or young man, who will apply himself to development and cultivate strength, speed and perfect health.."

I have to disagree with "almost any average boy"...ideal cant be average, even if someone put his mind into it, not everybody is built for success (thats in various aspects of life). We are looking for something more than that I guess.

So, for an average height: 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches - neck 17" - biceps 16" - calf 15" - chest (normal) 44" - waist 32" - thigh 23.5"

Im about 5'10" (218 LBS), and using the wrist as a calculation basis, I should be (notice weight is not accounted in this formula)
CHEST 45,5
WAIST 31,85
HIP 38,67
BCP 16,38
FOREARM 13,19
THIGH 24,11
CALF 15,47
NECK 16,84

Im a little over in most this measures but the good things is Ive been able to keep the proportions (and chest/waist, bop/neck/calf ratios) Some of you know what I look like, Ive posted pics in some threads. Anyway, I will try and get a more accurate measure.

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cadav
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LankyMofo wrote:
Are you asking for measurements, examples, or ratios?


I think ratio should be the better "system" to define a "standard". Ratio based on height can give a nice reference point.

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cadav
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Caveman wrote:

Im about 5'10" (218 LBS), and using the wrist as a calculation basis, I should be (notice weight is not accounted in this formula)


very intrestring post, thank you.
Can you give me some reference to the formula you are using?

thank you!

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Caveman
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cadav wrote:
Caveman wrote:

Im about 5'10" (218 LBS), and using the wrist as a calculation basis, I should be (notice weight is not accounted in this formula)


very intrestring post, thank you.
Can you give me some reference to the formula you are using?

thank you!


I downloaded a formula about 2 years ago. But this guy, Liederman, made a whole study and book about greek proportions, and the contrast between total "beauty" and "funcionality" of the male body. Funny thing is that wrists usually go hand by hand with the perimeter of your other joints, which we all know make a big difference when looking at muscle development, they can kill you or make you look even better than a guy with the same muscle proportions but thicker joints.
Many sites use his formula, just google "liederman man proportions" and you will get it it for sure.

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Qaash
Level 3

Join date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1613

The link below talks about the Greek ideal and also the Steve Reeves proportions measurements with calculators.The calculators are at the bottom of the article.


www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson207.htm

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Dirty Gerdy
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Not to be a downer, but have many of you noticed that "proportions" and "aesthetics" in bodybuilding is often genetics?

I know that we can all build here and subtract there to build a more proportioned physique (Branch Warren's recent pics .vs. old shows this well) but the most proportioned or aesthetic physiques in bodybuilder (flex wheeler, etc) where probably mostly genetics. I don't think a bodybuilder like paco bautista can ever be very proportionate...

all imo...

Gerdy

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
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cadav wrote:
Hi to all,
i'm just curious to know the Alpha thought about the "best" proportions among body parts in a male and female bodybuilder.



There are no "best proportions", especially now. The mass monsters put an end to that thought process. In pro ranks, arms much under 20" won't do it...but I would not believe all of the measurements you read.

Legs much under 29-30" in contest shape would also not be very impressive today.

A chest much under 52" won't get much notice.

The actual measurement, however, is IRRELEVANT for the most part. Just know that in professional ranks, no one is going to be winning much of anything with arms smaller than 18" in contest shape or 16" calves.

No one cares about the Golden Proportion anymore.

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
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Dirty Gerdy wrote:
Not to be a downer, but have many of you noticed that "proportions" and "aesthetics" in bodybuilding is often genetics?

I know that we can all build here and subtract there to build a more proportioned physique (Branch Warren's recent pics .vs. old shows this well) but the most proportioned or aesthetic physiques in bodybuilder (flex wheeler, etc) where probably mostly genetics. I don't think a bodybuilder like paco bautista can ever be very proportionate...

all imo...

Gerdy



Agreed. You have to work with what you are given. If you have a wide waist, you will have to make your shoulders and legs much bigger than someone your size with a smaller waist/hips.

The bottom line is, play up your strong points and work hard to make everything else match.

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LankyMofo
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Join date: Nov 2007
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Professor X wrote:


No one cares about the Golden Proportion anymore.


The small waist and X-frame is making a comeback though. The Olympia still gives way to mass monsters (for now) but a lot of other shows are starting to reward aesthetics more and more I think. Most of the up and coming bodybuilders seem to have the symmetry, the lines, and the proportions that Jay and Ronnie don't have.

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Professor X
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LankyMofo wrote:
Professor X wrote:


No one cares about the Golden Proportion anymore.

The small waist and X-frame is making a comeback though. The Olympia still gives way to mass monsters (for now) but a lot of other shows are starting to reward aesthetics more and more I think. Most of the up and coming bodybuilders seem to have the symmetry, the lines, and the proportions that Jay and Ronnie don't have.


I definitely agree with that, but there is a big difference between today's "X-Frame" that is winning contests lately (which has changed bodybuilding in spite of those who refuse to acknowledge it)....and the obsession that Sandow had with looking like a Greek Sculpture. Tony Freeman has a great X-Frame and no Gh Gut, but he's fucking huge and clearly doesn't give a shit about meeting that particular ratio.

I think it had a place in the 50's-70's. I think it is outdated now.

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LankyMofo
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Join date: Nov 2007
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Professor X wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
Professor X wrote:


No one cares about the Golden Proportion anymore.

The small waist and X-frame is making a comeback though. The Olympia still gives way to mass monsters (for now) but a lot of other shows are starting to reward aesthetics more and more I think. Most of the up and coming bodybuilders seem to have the symmetry, the lines, and the proportions that Jay and Ronnie don't have.

I definitely agree with that, but there is a big difference between today's "X-Frame" that is winning contests lately (which has changed bodybuilding in spite of those who refuse to acknowledge it)....and the obsession that Sandow had with looking like a Greek Sculpture. Tony Freeman has a great X-Frame and no Gh Gut, but he's fucking huge and clearly doesn't give a shit about meeting that particular ratio.

I think it had a place in the 50's-70's. I think it is outdated now.


Agreed. The greek ideals probably wouldn't win some natty contests of today.

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Dirty Gerdy
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Professor X wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
Professor X wrote:


No one cares about the Golden Proportion anymore.

The small waist and X-frame is making a comeback though. The Olympia still gives way to mass monsters (for now) but a lot of other shows are starting to reward aesthetics more and more I think. Most of the up and coming bodybuilders seem to have the symmetry, the lines, and the proportions that Jay and Ronnie don't have.

I definitely agree with that, but there is a big difference between today's "X-Frame" that is winning contests lately (which has changed bodybuilding in spite of those who refuse to acknowledge it)....and the obsession that Sandow had with looking like a Greek Sculpture. Tony Freeman has a great X-Frame and no Gh Gut, but he's fucking huge and clearly doesn't give a shit about meeting that particular ratio.

I think it had a place in the 50's-70's. I think it is outdated now.


I am happy that bodybuilding might be taking a turn back towards aesthetics, even mass aesthetics.

I'd rather have a bunch of guys walking around looking like freeman, wolf, heath, dexter, etc then people like jay, ronnie, paco, etc. Not that I don't have MAD RESPECT for jay, ronnie, or paco it's just that the wow factor of how much muscle somebody can put on got old, I am more of a fan of the levrone, flex wheeler, shawn ray, good lined physiques if you know what I mean. New guys like centopani, curry, even liberatore, branden ray...I like all of their physiques. So that is a good sign.


I want to be a pro bodybuilder someday. Hopefully that dream comes true, if I have the ability to be 300lbs of ripped shredded muscle then so be it, but I guarantee I do not want a freak look 300lb frame, but an aesthetic 300lbs. Get what imma sayin? lol

DG

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Tiribulus
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Join date: Aug 2006
Posts: 16196

LankyMofo wrote:
Professor X wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
Professor X wrote:


No one cares about the Golden Proportion anymore.

The small waist and X-frame is making a comeback though. The Olympia still gives way to mass monsters (for now) but a lot of other shows are starting to reward aesthetics more and more I think. Most of the up and coming bodybuilders seem to have the symmetry, the lines, and the proportions that Jay and Ronnie don't have.

I definitely agree with that, but there is a big difference between today's "X-Frame" that is winning contests lately (which has changed bodybuilding in spite of those who refuse to acknowledge it)....and the obsession that Sandow had with looking like a Greek Sculpture. Tony Freeman has a great X-Frame and no Gh Gut, but he's fucking huge and clearly doesn't give a shit about meeting that particular ratio.

I think it had a place in the 50's-70's. I think it is outdated now.

Agreed. The greek ideals probably wouldn't win some natty contests of today.


I think if the Greeks knew then what we know now the "Greek Ideal" would have wound up very different than it did.

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cadav
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Professor X wrote:

There are no "best proportions", especially now. The mass monsters put an end to that thought process.


yes you are right. But i see a, weak but constant, "movement" in the BB arena that seems to put on stage different kind of athlete (not soon for sure...). Btw I know that "here" there are wise mind and intrestring point of view that i like to share.

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Caveman
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cadav wrote:
Professor X wrote:

There are no "best proportions", especially now. The mass monsters put an end to that thought process.


yes you are right. But i see a, weak but constant, "movement" in the BB arena that seems to put on stage different kind of athlete (not soon for sure...). Btw I know that "here" there are wise mind and intrestring point of view that i like to share.



If BB was only about proportions then you wouldnt have judges, you would have a guy with a measurement tape and a calculator. A few minutes later you would get the scores and have an absolute winner, math doesnt lie.

But its not merely about that, just a part of it is about proportions, the other part is taking a crowds breath away, being so impressively that you actually look like something nobody has seen before. For that my friend, you have to be really "unproportioned" in some aspects.

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cadav
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yes, i know. but i like to understand the "numbers" :)

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Tiribulus
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Caveman wrote:
<<< If BB was only about proportions then you wouldnt have judges, you would have a guy with a measurement tape and a calculator. A few minutes later you would get the scores and have an absolute winner, math doesnt lie.

But its not merely about that, just a part of it is about proportions, the other part is taking a crowds breath away, being so impressively that you actually look like something nobody has seen before. For that my friend, you have to be really "unproportioned" in some aspects.


Great point

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Short Hoss
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Don't forget the Chest/Waist ratio. They say women find a taper of 1.4 attractive.

For comparison, Sergio Oliva had a 2.0 ratio. Fuckin' crazy.

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greekdawg
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Join date: Feb 2003
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Short Hoss wrote:
Don't forget the Chest/Waist ratio. They say women find a taper of 1.4 attractive.

For comparison, Sergio Oliva had a 2.0 ratio. Fuckin' crazy.


Nubret had 2 to 1 chest/waist ratio as well. Nubret also had a 1:1 waist/thigh ratio meaning each of thighs was the same size of his waist. Fucking insane.

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Bill Roberts
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The calculator and webpages based on the "Greek ideal" which apparently is derived from studying classical art has absolutely zero relevance to professional or high-level amateur bodybuilding but does have a lot of relevance to the average person thinking that one looks really good.

The one thing I recommend in doing it a little differently than these sites say is that it makes little sense to base the calculations off the wrist, particularly if the wrist is small. And also if just starting out with weightlifting, as contrary to common opinion wrist size is NOT fixed. (For example, my wrists were 6 1/4" at age 30 prior to beginning training, but are 7 1/2" now while in much leaner condition.)

The eye simply does not judge a physique relative to the wrists. Instead it picks up things like waist/hip ratio; shoulder width vs waist width; size of thighs relative to waist and hips; everything relative to the head (which really is fixed in size); and so forth.

Hip size being fairly constant when in lean condition, and not getting smaller as getting stronger, can be a good figure to use as the baseline off which everything else is calculated.

So the alternate method is to plug in various wrist sizes until you hit the wrist size for which the calculator gives your lean-condition hip size.

Then if everything else is proportionate to that, and you're lean enough that the hips are that size, the eye will pick you up as being aesthetically proportionate but in more of a well-muscled-fitness-model or good-looking-athlete sort of way than a competitive bodybuilder sort of way.

Though in a local amateur contest such proportions could probably be successful. A lot of local-type successful competitors outside of the big cities are smaller than the calculator would say, not bigger.

But for higher-level competition, nope, what is viewed as "symmetrical" is way more extreme than the calculator says to be ideal.

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The Mage
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I looked into these calculators years ago and figured out the ratios, so you could extrapolate everything based on whatever part you wanted to.

Unfortunately that was a few years back, and I lost all that info due to a little computer crash. (Lost a lot of shit.)

***Time Passes***

Ok, after doing a little math, take your hip measurement, and multiply it by each number of the following for the proper measurement based off of the hip.

Chest - 1.176
Waist - 0.824
Bicep - 0.424
Forearm - 0.341
Thigh - 0.624
Calf - 0.4
Neck - 0.435

Or if your to lazy to do all the math, just take your hip, multiply it by 0.181, and enter that into the Sandow link:

http://www.sandowmuseum.com/id...

The numbers will not match exactly though, they seem to be off by a couple hundredths of an inch. But I doubt any of you are interested in that minute of measurements.

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cadav
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and what about female figure athletes?

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