The Top 7 Most Attractive Male Body Types [and Ratios!]

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While answering what the most attractive male body type should be an easy quick response, unfortunately for me, it isn't...

Let's have a discussion:

There are a large number of scientific studies on female preferences to male muscularity so naturally there will be conflicting results about the ideal male body type!

Specifically, about what girls want: men with moderate muscularity or men with high muscularity.

moderately vs highly muscular male body type- which is more attractive

What do you think?

Well first, let's check out two studies that say women prefer prefer men with moderate muscularity:

  1. In a study titled Why Is Muscularity Sexy, the authors found that women rated men with moderate muscularity as more attractive than men with low or high muscularity (although it varied depending on their own attractiveness, relationship status, and hormonal cycle).
  2. In a study titled The Evolutionary Psychology Of Physical Attractiveness, the authors found that women perceive a moderately developed torso as most attractive suggesting that women prefer men with a moderate amount of upper body musculature, rather than extremely muscular physiques.

So, it seems like women aren't really into those super jacked guys after all…

But now, let's look at the flip side—two studies that show women actually like guys with high muscularity over low or moderate muscle levels:

  1. In the study called "Cues Of Upper Body Strength Account For Most Of The Variance In Men's Bodily Attractiveness," the authors discovered that signs of strength and formidability make up 70% of what makes a guy attractive, and there's no drop in attractiveness when it comes to really muscular men.
  2. Next up, we've got "Studies Of Human Physique And Sexual Attractiveness: Sexual Preferences Of Men And Women In China." This study had 631 people (311 guys and 320 gals), and guess what? The women found super strong guys more attractive than those with low or moderate muscle levels. And this isn't just a China thing—it lines up with research done in Western countries too.

So, at first glance, it looks like there's no real agreement on what makes the perfect male body when it comes to female attraction. After all, Different studies have found different preferences and effects!

Regardless of whether you achieve a moderate or highly muscular physique, what truly matters is that you have the ability to effortlessly lift and passionately make out with your girl as pictured

Regardless of whether you achieve a moderate or highly muscular physique, what truly matters is that you have the ability to effortlessly lift and passionately make out with your girl 

However, I disagree with this inconclusive view. 

Here's my opinion:

Women have evolved to chase two different types of guys, i.e. the dual mating strategy, and these two types have different ideal body types:

  1. 1
    The Ideal Male Body Type for Short-Term Partners Who Signal High Genetic Fitness, i.e., The Sexy Guy for a One Night Stand.
  2. 2
    The Ideal Male Body Type for Long-Term Partners Who Signal High Resource Potential, i.e., The Hard Working, Loyal Father Figure.
Diagram about What women want The Dual Mating Strategy by dating_armory_com

Here's a simple visual of the dual mating strategy. If you'd like to learn more, read my core article on this topic: Why Girls Like Muscles: Unveiling 41 Secrets [Science Based]

Let’s discuss: 

most attractive male body type thumbnail

1. The Attractive Alpha: The Ideal Male Body Type For Short-Term Partners

Picture yourself as a woman, scanning the club for a striking guy who seems to ooze excellent genetic material.

Without fail, you'll find your attention drawn to men boasting a muscular build, a draw that exceeds those with low or moderate muscle tone. 

an example of a very attractive physique

But why?

Well, it's because these muscular forms often embody traits such as aggression, lower social standing, potential health risks, unpredictability, and an alluring 'bad boy' aura (especially if steroids come into play). These characteristics often signal high genetic fitness.

Yet, there's a twist:

As you’ll soon see, these traits aren't usually the ones you'd seek in a long-term partner, where values which signal high resource potential such as loyalty, emotional intimacy, and stability take the spotlight.

And here's the cool part - studies back this up, too:

  1. In "Body Image and Body Type Preferences in St. Kitts, Caribbean: A Cross-Cultural Comparison with U.S. Samples regarding Attitudes towards Muscularity, Body Fat, and Breast Size," women consistently preferred muscular men for short-term relationships.
  2. Another study, "Heterosexual Women Rate Perceived Anabolic Steroid-Using Men as Less Attractive for Long-Term Romantic Relationships," found that women perceived muscular men who use anabolic steroids as less attractive for long-term relationships. However, there wasn't a clear preference for short-term partners.

2. The Committed Companion: The Ideal Male Body Type For Long-Term Partnerships

However, when women are searching for a long-term partner who can provide resources and protection, they tend to prefer a guy with moderate muscularity. This moderate body type signals high-resource potential traits such as the strength to gather resources, protect their offspring, etc. 

I know this may seem a little complicated at first, but I'm sure this infographic will help you understand further:

Feel free to share any of my infographics, just use the HD version 😉

So, in the end, it turns out that women might be attracted to different male body types depending on whether they're looking for a fun, short-term fling or a more serious, long-lasting relationship.

Mystery solved!


Want to why girls like muscles in a 16,000 word rant, uh, I mean, post?

Click the thumbnail to read it! 

3. The Adonis index A.K.A. 'The Golden Ratio'

So, get this:

Research has found that guys with a high shoulder to hip ratio tend to report earlier masturbation, having sex at an earlier age, more sexual partners, and more flings. [1

Crazy, huh? 

But, just telling you to aim for a high shoulder to hip ratio isn't enough for me. 

I want to dive deeper and find out what the ideal ratio is by exploring the universal "golden ratio":

The Golden Ratio, approximately equal to 1.6, is a mathematical constant that has fascinated people for centuries due to its unique properties and its perceived aesthetic appeal. 

Aligning your body to the universal golden ratio

It is believed to appear in various contexts, such as art (in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo), architecture (in ancient structures, such as Parthenon in Greece, Great Pyramid of Giza), geometry (such as the golden rectangle, golden triangle), and nature (in growth patterns of certain mollusk shells, shape of galaxies). 

There are many debates about the golden ratio’s validity, however, some have taken the golden ratio and applied it to the male physique calling it The Adonis Golden Ratio or The Adonis Index (naming it after Adonis, the Greek God of beauty and attraction).

And it’s actually quite simple: have your shoulders 1.6 times wider than your waist or 1:1.6.

diagram of The ideal shoulder to waist ratio and golden ratio

Use the following tool to calculate your Adonis index. The closer to 1:1.6, the better.

Here's another sweet article I'm sure you'll love:

4. The Steve Reeves Full Body Ratio

In my opinion, Steve Reeves had one of best male physiques in bodybuilding and acting of all time. 

And in his book, Building the Classic Physique: The Natural Way, he laid out what he believed were the most attractive, ideal male physique proportions: 

  1. 1
    Arm size = 252% of wrist size
  2. 2
    Calf size = 192% of ankle size
  3. 3
    Neck Size = 79% of head size
  4. 4
    Chest Size = 148% of hips size
  5. 5
    Waist size = 86% of hips size
  6. 6
    Thigh size = 175% of knee size

5. The Ideal Waist-To-Chest Ratio 

Studies show that in relation to body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio, the most important factor for a guy's attractiveness is the waist-to-chest ratio - accounting for up to 56%! [23]

Now, whether the waist to chest ratio or waist to shoulders ratio (or The Adonis Golden Ratio) is more important, I don’t know!

However, according to Viren Swami PhD, you should aim for a waist-to-chest ratio of about 1:1.4 and according to BroScience™, your chest should be 10 - 12 inches larger than your waist.


Here's a short, but interesting post you'll want to check out after:

6. The Ideal Height-To-Waist Ratio

Without getting too geeky, it seems like the healthiest, most attractive height-to-waist ratio is less than half or around 45%. [4]

Use the following calculator to find your height-to-waist ratio:

Waist to Height Ratio Calculator

7. The Ideal Waist-To-Hip Ratio

There’s some discussion about what the ideal male waist-to-hip ratio should be: 0.80, 0.90 or even 0.90-0.95! [256]

Diagram The Ideal Waist-To-Hip Ratio by DatingArmory_com

Use this calculator to get your waist-to-hip ratio and choose whatever looks best on you:

Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator

I will add that I don’t think about these ratios at all and frankly, trusting in crap like this is like a recipe for depression, anxiety, and hating your body…

Plus, we already know the only true ideal ratio is 😉 

10% luck
20% skill
15% concentrated power of will
5% pleasure
50% pain
And a 100% reason to remember the name

8. Most Unattractive Male Body Types

While keeping everything in mind, it’s unsurprising that the most unattractive body types are: overly muscular and skinny. Let’s go through each:

A) The Unattractive Overly Muscular Male Body Type 

Look at this body builder:

Unattractive Overly Muscular Male Body Type

Credit: Moirangthem Robi Meitei, CC BY-SA 4.0,, via Wikimedia Commons

Or this:

Credit: Joe Weider, CC BY-SA 4.0,, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s totally unattractive. Bigger does not always equal better!

And multiple studies support this: as you become more and more muscular, you end up with an inverted U-effect. [78]

Feel free to share this chart wherever you like!

But forget the attraction aspect. If you overtrain, you're in for a world of hurt! 

Here are some of the not-so-great things that can happen:

  1. Messed-up hormones: Overtraining can mess with stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, making you feel all out of whack. You might get emotional, have trouble focusing, feel super cranky, get depressed, and even have trouble sleeping.
  2. No appetite: Normally, exercise makes you hungry, but too much can have the opposite effect. You might lose your appetite and struggle to keep weight on.
  3. Rhabdomyolysis: Overdoing it can cause rhabdomyolysis, where your muscles break down and release harmful stuff like myoglobin into your bloodstream. This can damage your organs, especially your kidneys.
  4. Shorter life: Believe it or not, having too much muscle can actually shorten your life! Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) have a lot to do with this. If you have lower levels of these hormones, you might actually live longer.
  5. More injuries: Overtraining can make your muscles imbalanced and stiff, which makes injuries more likely. Watch out for sore muscles, heavy arms and legs, and a higher resting heart rate - they're all signs that you're pushing yourself too hard. [91011]

B) The Unattractive Skinny Male Body Type 

And I don’t think I’ll need to explain why either of the following skinny body types are unattractive:

Credit: wayhomestudio on Freepik

After considering all the available information, the consensus is that muscular men are deemed the most attractive, followed by slim men, and lastly, super muscular men are perceived as the least attractive.

To learn more about why girls go crazy after muscles, read my mega post: Why Girls Like Muscles: Unveiling 41 Secrets [Science Based]

Anyways, thanks for reading and make sure you leave a comment!


Coach Colt


[1] Hughes, Susan M. and Gordon G. Jr. Gallup. “Sex differences in morphological predictors of sexual behavior: Shoulder to hip and waist to hip ratios.” Evolution and Human Behavior 24 (2003): 173-178.

[2] Fan J, Dai W, Liu F, Wu J. Visual perception of male body attractiveness. Proc Biol Sci. 2005 Feb 7;272(1560):219-26. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2922. PMID: 15705545; PMCID: PMC1634963.

[3] Maisey, D & Vale, E. & Cornelissen, Piers & Tovée, Martin. (1999). Characteristics of male attractiveness for women. Lancet. 353. 1500. 10.1016/S0140-6736(99)00438-9.

[4] Schneider HJ, Glaesmer H, Klotsche J, Böhler S, Lehnert H, Zeiher AM, März W, Pittrow D, Stalla GK, Wittchen HU; DETECT Study Group. Accuracy of anthropometric indicators of obesity to predict cardiovascular risk. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Feb;92(2):589-94. doi: 10.1210/jc.2006-0254. Epub 2006 Nov 14. PMID: 17105840.

[5] Singh, D. (1995). Female judgment of male attractiveness and desirability for relationships: Role of waist-to-hip ratio and financial status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(6), 1089–1101.

[6] Swami V, Tovée MJ. Male physical attractiveness in Britain and Malaysia: A cross-cultural study. Body Image. 2005 Dec;2(4):383-93. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.08.001. Epub 2005 Nov 21. PMID: 18089203.

[7] Frederick DA, Haselton MG. Why is muscularity sexy? Tests of the fitness indicator hypothesis. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2007 Aug;33(8):1167-83. doi: 10.1177/0146167207303022. Epub 2007 Jun 19. PMID: 17578932.

[8] Sell A, Lukazsweski AW, Townsley M. Cues of upper body strength account for most of the variance in men's bodily attractiveness. Proc Biol Sci. 2017 Dec 20;284(1869):20171819. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1819. PMID: 29237852; PMCID: PMC5745404.

[9] Carfagno, David & Hendrix, Joshua. (2014). Overtraining Syndrome in the Athlete: Current Clinical Practice. Current sports medicine reports. 13. 45-51. 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000027.



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About the author 

Coach Colt here, the founder of Dating Armory, your go-to source for no-nonsense, practical relationship advice. I'm a bisexual male in a same-sex open relationship and a researcher in sex, love, and relationships with 7+ years of experience. I specialize in helping both men and women navigate the crazy world of dating.

Don't miss my other guides packed with practical dating advice (no bullshit repeated Platitudes) and tons of real life examples:

My Top 57 First Date Ideas That Always Work (As a Dating Coach)

Are Coffee Dates Good? It (Kinda) Depends

17 Basic Coffee Date Tips (From a Dating Coach)

How to Get a Gay Boyfriend: 25 Tips That Work