The Ideal Male Physique — What girls want & what guys want to be

Posted by W. Shane Duquette

Not surprisingly, the male and female perspectives differ — a lot! Turns out a typical athlete or amateur gym-goer wants a body that women don’t even find attractive, let alone ideal. If we want to be hotties, and honestly on some level most of us do, we’re totally clueless. Should that matter? I don’t know. Is it interesting? Definitely.

There are some surprises for women, too. Ryan Reynolds was one of the top picks when they were asked to write in the most ideal celebrity body… but even the girls that wrote in his name more often than not didn’t select his body (no heads were present) in the line-up. The body they selected in the line-up wasn’t even all that similar. So all of you guys thinking that you’ve got to have Ryan Reynolds’ body to be the handsomest hunk at the bar, or studliest stud on the beach… we’ve got some good news. What girls want is actually much easier to achieve. Brad Pitt ‘s headless body (as Tyler Durden in Fight Club), on the other hand, kicked some serious aesthetic ass in the line-ups.

And this isn’t all about aesthetics — don’t worry. We’ve tried to find out what girls want when it comes to looks, fitness, health and attitude in general. Don’t care what girls think? We’ve also found out what guys find the most impressive, and what guys aspire to achieve.

Lesson #1: Fit beats Freaky

We’ve got Brad Pitt in first place with 72.5% of women finding his body the MOST attractive and 86.7% of women being attracted to his body. In second place we’ve got the musician Henry Rollins (at his smallest) with 11.8% of women finding him the most attractive, and 41.8% of women attracted to his torso. The MMA heavyweight comes next with 9.8% liking him the best and 37% finding him attractive. In last place with 1% we have three time Mr. Olympia winner Frank Zane — famous for shifting the bodybuilding world away from mass and towards aesthetics. Evidently there’s still some shifting to do before he lines up with what women find aesthetically pleasing!

No big surprise that the Fight Club sex icon took #1. What DID surprise me is that the healthy looking musician took #2 — outperforming the athletes and bodybuilders. And even the starving sex icon Ville Valo beat out Frank Zane, the king of bodybuilding aesthetics. Looks like a life devoted to achieving the “perfect” physique gives you the worst body according to women. Yikes.

To make matters worse, 50% of the men that completed the survey (keep in mind these men are interested in physiques, or they wouldn’t have taken the survey) want to look like Frank Zane (last place), vs the 40% that want to look like Brad Pitt. Woah.

*Notes
If we filter the data by girls that self-identify as athletes, Brad Pitt drops to 53.8%, the heavyweight jumps to 31%, and Frank Zane the bodybuilder jumps to 15%.
If we filter the data by girls that self-identify as creatives, artists or musicians the opposite happens. Brad Pitt goes up to 73.3%, Henry Rollins goes up to 16.7% and the heavyweight build only gets 6.7%

If we filter by girls that self-identify as fashionable, Brad Pitt drops to 66.7%, the healthy looking Henry Rollins goes up to 22.2% and the emaciated Ville Valo goes up to 11%.

Lesson #2: Flabs aren’t Fab…. But Neither is Skin ‘n Bone

Anthony Ketis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers takes home the prize here with 58.3% of women preferring his bodyfat levels and 81% of women finding his body attractive. Gerard Butler Came in third, albeit on an off-day, with only 15% of women preferring his bodyfat levels.  Poor Christian Bale, emaciated for his role in the Machinist, came in dead last with 0 votes.

Lesson #3: Healthy Trumps Hulking

We asked women to check off, based on words this time, what what was important to them about their man when it comes to fitness/health/physique (multiple checks allowed). Here are the significant results:

89.2% of women say that a man taking care of his health is important to them
74.5% of women want a man that’s stronger than they are
61.8% of women want a man that can protect them
60.8% want their man to look his best
58.8% think it’s important for their man to have bigger arms than them
38% want him to be strong and muscular.
38% are cool with average
2.9% want him ripped ‘n muscular like 50 cent

Lesson #4: Get the Results but not Obsessively — And Enjoy it.

There’s no doubt that women want a healthy man that’s strong and able to protect them. Aesthetics aside, girls want a guy that can effortlessly carry them around and make them feel safe on the streets at night. Who wants the fat guy with no energy that’s a slave to his cravings or the sickly scrawny guy that’d break like a twig? So let’s say you’ve somehow ended up either chubby or scrawny… well you’ve got to change your lifestyle and attitude, not just your body. Women want a guy who’s lifestyle and choices result in a great body — not the guy who stares at himself in the mirror all day while doing bicep curls and sipping protein shakes:

56.9% of women want him to enjoy doing physical things and naturally look that way
37.3% think that men should look good naturally without any effort

When it comes to health:
49% of women want absolute health, but not obsession
42.2% want him to be naturally healthy
5.9% just don’t want him to be sickly
and only 2.9% think being a health nut is okay

Hmmm. Looks like hitting the gym is out unless you enjoy it? But they do want the health/strength/protection/body… so you’d better enjoy it or you’re in trouble. Luckily, Jared and I have discovered, once you start heading down the healthy path it really does become enjoyable. And once you stop obsessing over the muscles that sprout up it really does transition well into effortless maintenance. It’s only the changing that’s hard.

Lesson #4: Don’t love your body — have a great body, but save the loving for her’s

When asked to pick how much confidence, shame, indifference or narcissism a man should feel about his body, here’s what girls answered:

61.8% believe in modest confidence
27.5% want him to like his body
7% want him to love his body
3% expect indifference
1 girl voted for insecurity (but I wouldn’t want to date that girl)

Lesson #5: If you’re chubby and they love you… they’d still like your body better if it were fitter

We said “Let’s say you have a boyfriend that is naturally chubby, like the photo of Gerard Butler on the left. All else the same, would you prefer if he were fit, like on the right?”

78.4% of women answered yes. They would want him to look fit.
20.6% of women said they didn’t care.
1% liked the chubby version.

Here‘s an article on how to lean up the healthy way.

Lesson #6: If you’re skinny and they love you — even if they tell you they like skinny dudes — they’d still like your body better if you at least upgraded from skinny to slim/fit/svelte.

We said “imagine you had a boyfriend that was naturally skinny, like Christian Bale on the left. All else the same, would you prefer if he became fit, like on the right?”

82.4% of women said yeah, they’d prefer him fit.
8.8% of women were indifferent
8.8% of women said if he’s naturally skinny they’d prefer he stay that way

Another no-brainer. If you’re scrawny 82.4% of women, as a girlfriend/wife, would want you to bulk up. I’m guessing that percentage would be even higher if you’re looking to date and haven’t already ensnared a vixen.

Here‘s how to add muscle to your too-skinny frame.

Lesson #7: A healthy appearance and a great physique won’t ever hurt your chances. A bad one will hurt your chances (although perhaps only incrementally) 96% of the time

When looking at a suitor or date here’s what the girls said:

34.3% of women answered that they prefer active healthy guys, but personality is key as well.
18.6% would love to date a really fit guy, but only if he isn’t narcissistic
12.7% are okay with an okay body… but it can’t be obese or emaciated
8.8% think it shouldn’t matter… but they want him to look naturally strong
6% think aesthetics trump all
2% think it shouldn’t matter but want a naturally slim guy
1% say it shouldn’t matter but want a naturally chubby guy
1.1% think it shouldn’t matter and don’t mind a fat or emaciated guy

So, 96% of women want a good body. Only 1.1% of women claim that they really don’t care. If you’re fat or emaciated you can certainly win a girl over based on a myriad of other attributes and have a wonderful relationship despite of it… but only 1.1-3% of women won’t have cared at all about it when selecting you.

Lesson #8: You don’t need to be THAT big or THAT lean. In fact, if you get too muscular or too ripped girls don’t like it as much

When presented with these four “sex icons” 63.2% of women chose Bob Harper, the personal trainer from The Biggest Loser. Up next, with only 24.2% of votes is the coveted Ryan Reynolds body. Up third is Men’s Health / underwear model Scott Herman. Even with the “best abs on the East Coast” title under his belt he still can’t hold his own against the far smaller and far less defined Bob Harper. Why? Because Scott Herman looks like a model with a contrived body, and Harper looks like a fit man with modest confidence. Adrien Brody didn’t do so well either. I suppose he’s a little too small and defined, giving him that too-much-effort unnatural look.

We asked girls why they made their choice. Here’re some of their answers:

  • Because it’s at once lean and muscular. Not too muscular.
  • Fit but not overdone.
  • Greatly fit, but not overly muscular.
  • I don’t find particularly defined abnominal muscles nice looking.
  • I don’t like overly defined abs, its less natural looking,
  • He isn’t disgustingly ripped.
  • It looks the most natural/normal.
  • It seems most proportional.
  • It’s not.. too much…
  • Not excessively ripped!
  • Not too overboard in fitness
  • health, tonned but not too much… the others are a little too intense
  • it looks healthy, and not overdone!
  • looks healthy, young, and not overly defined
  • muscles well-proportioned
  • not as defined – i don’t like too much muscle, but i dont like skinny either
  • not obsessively or overly muscular
  • not over the top muscular
  • not too buff not too slim, jussstt right 😉
  • The abs don’t pop out as much, it looks more like a body of someone who is fit because of a sport as opposed to someone who does it for looks.

All of the answers say basically the same thing. Girls like fit looking guys. If your super-chiseled abs looks like you eat low sodium plain boiled chicken breasts and unseasoned broccoli all day… well… that just isn’t as sexy.

Ironically, of course, the body that girls selected is famous for being a fitness guru. His body/health is obviously a huge priority to him.

We asked the guys the same question (which body do you think WOMEN find the most attractive). 60% guessed Ryan Reynolds, 22% guessed Scott Herman, and only 14% guessed correctly with Bob Harper. Guys have no idea that women don’t want to be dating a Men’s Health model.

Lesson #9 — If you really want to go overboard and get the Arnold physique you won’t have a problem with the babes

There’s a subset of girls out there that adore bodybuilder bodies. There aren’t many, but since there are so few bodybuilders out there, those guys have plenty of girls to choose from. In order to get that effect though, you really need to be absolutely freakin’ enormous. If only 1% of girls (as our bodybuiler question indicates) want a freaky huge man… you’ve got to be bigger and freaker than 99% of guys. And if you’re bigger than 99.9% of  dudes, well then you’ve got 10 girls competing for you.

Bonus Lesson (because we were curious) — Here’s what women think about grooming and manscaping:

Girls like guys that wear their hair medium and messy (39.2%) or short and carefree (39%). Sadly, it looks like only 7.8% of women dig my “long and wild!” haircut. I like to tell myself that girls like that I don’t care what they think about my haircut though.

Chest hair? 45% of women say keep it natural unless you’re a werewolf, and 36% say tame it. 4% like super hairy men. 15% like guys with shaved chests. I’m not sure how my naturally rather hairless chest fits into the mix here. Do I get points for being natural, tame AND shaven? That’d be pretty rad.

When it comes to facial hair 60% of women say scruffy and manly. Right on.  29% prefer ‘em smooth. 6% dig beards… but less than 1% dig the massive Hell’s Angels style beards… so don’t go too crazy! And mustaches and goatees collectively got 0%. Looks like we didn’t poll enough hipsters.

The hair down under? Manscaping? What do girls want? 85% say tame it — the 70’s are gone. 7% don’t like pubes and want ‘em shaved. Hopefully they don’t also prefer children. Yikes. And 8% think the 70’s are still on. So you’re allowed to have hair… just keep it, you know, clean.

Lesson #10 — Summer’s here. The Ultimate beach bod:

Once again the fit-but-not-freaky looking one takes the lead.

And the ultimate ideal perfect sexiest male body?

When shown all of the photos at once 23% of women chose Brad Pitt’s torso, 19% chose fitness guru Bob Harper, and 15% chose the bangin’ beach bod from up above. There’s a pretty well-defined “range of perfection”. You need to be muscular, but not too muscular. Being slim and well muscled is perfect, and so is being a little muscle-bound, so long as it looks natural and healthy. You can be lean like Brad, or muscular but with no abs like Mr. Speedo and girls love both. You’ve just got to be and look healthy. That’s harder for some than others of course. Some people find themselves “naturally” overweight or underweight (like Jared and I were) and it takes some work to get into that healthy and fit range (our transformation). Once there though, it’s a blast, and pretty easy to maintain without getting all obsessive about it.

What do men think? They preferred Zyzz’s body (right) — the body that didn’t even register on the females’ radar because of its too-swollen muscles and too-chiseled abs.

I like the survey results. Looks like the ideal male body is the one that visually exudes health and energy. Does it suck that emaciators, chubsters and steroid monkeys aren’t on an equal playing field? Not really. Perhaps it’ll encourage the unhealthy to become healthy. Many girls face the pressures of trying to get the underfed model look that runs rampant in the high fashion circles and pop culture magazine covers. Do guys really want a scrawny woman? I don’t. Similarly, it looks like girls don’t want the juicing giants on the covers of Men’s Health and bodybuilding magazines. Luckily, it seems, if guys act based on what the girls pressure them to be, they’ll end up healthy and active — and have a body that reflects that.

Have an opinion? Drop us a line in the comments below!

And if you’re on the scrawny side of things and thinking “man—I need to build some muscle!”, check Bony to Beastly out.

Update: inspired by the results of our survey, and intrigued by the comments demanding a more science-based approach … we’ve written up a new article based on dozens of studies. Check this article on aesthetics out.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
242 Responses to “The Ideal Male Physique — What girls want & what guys want to be”
  1. Laughing
    May 29th, 2014
    12:41 pm

    Hehehe, I’m laughing at all the juicy goons raging here about how women really love oversized gorillas who look like they have watermelons under their armpits.

    You can try and convince yourself it’s so, but that just speaks for low self esteem and living in denial =)

    Time and time again it’s been proven that women love confident men who look lively and healthy, they don’t need to be muscular and it’s OK if they have a bit of a belly aswell.

    The only kind of women who truly adore exaggerated muscles and form are stupid diva bitches like those in Jersey Shore and such, who I’d stay away from to begin with.

    Oh, and to prove a point I’m a guy you meat heads would call scrawny, my arms are like frozen sled ropes during winter, and I’ve had more ass than King Solomon. And no, they were not ugly and fat scarecrows, there’s been models, caucasian, asian, young, older, well trained, even a couple of reserved women (which I’m not too proud of, but shit happens).

    Get out of the gym and meet people, you might actually learn that you’re wrong and delusional. Only people you’re gonna meet at the gym are other men who are just as delirious as you are. In case you’re not a homo, that’s the wrong place to search company at 😀


  2. mark
    June 4th, 2014
    10:36 am

    Why cant some of you accept the survey?

    Most women dont like over muscled guys. Come on! Since when
    has the gorilla lookj been a good one?

    I always said Brad Pitt| Tom Cruise have the ideal physiques

    And if asked me for the sexiest womens physique its the lean
    Fit looking tennis players and vollyball. Beautiful. I find wonen
    Bodybuilders awful. So i guess it works both ways.

    Look at themovie stars top men. None have the bulked up
    Bodybuilders physique. Not fat some are fit some not so
    Clooney, Depp, Brosnan, Gere. .not exactly bodybuulders .

    I always thought the Arnie- Stallone physiques looked awful
    They are basically trying to compensate for being “plain looking”


  3. mark
    June 4th, 2014
    10:38 am

    As someone said…with women it is the face which
    Is much more imoortant.

    Just dont be fat|unfit…..


  4. Xyzzy
    June 19th, 2014
    9:13 pm

    Look m8 women care about personality social status confidence and humor. If you have muscles they’ll run hands on them. If you have belly fat they’ll pinch it. If your skinny they’ll pick you up and hug you. That said zyzz has the best body known to man. And frank Zane has the best aesthetic mass body ever. Want a normal chick have a normal body. I’ll be in the 9% range where the hotties are. Peaceout bye.


  5. david
    June 20th, 2014
    10:42 am

    The bigger the man the more respect and deference he gets from other men, thus the more status he tends to have. Women may be more attracted to brad pitt, but they are far more attracted to status than to physical attractiveness. Thus the intimidatingly large dude will be swimming in vag, while the little ottermode twink will be sitting in the corner wondering why no females are hitting on him.


  6. S.M.
    June 20th, 2014
    11:09 am

    Sure are a lot of sour grapes in this survey.


  7. Art
    June 21st, 2014
    1:13 am

    @S.M. Haha! I know right? Just read the article and before I even got to the comments I already knew it was going to be filled with posts from angry and butthurt Zyzz disciples using miscer lingo. Although I agree the survey could have been done better, the conclusion is mostly right on. Shane’s biggest mistake was using Zyzz in his article. Swole acceptance brah!


  8. Karen
    June 26th, 2014
    6:37 am

    Having just read this article, it’s fascinating. Yes, there are methodological flaws, yet it’s very much in line with what I and all the straight and bi women I know think, regardless of our widely varying ages, shapes, ethnicities or levels of fitness: Given that a man has the right personality for us, we prefer him to be reasonably fit and healthy – and we’ll take a bit over- or underweight over ripped bodybuilder physiques any day.

    While “fit and healthy” looks different according to body type, there is a certain… something that lets you know that this person is in that range. A man might be whip thin or heavier naturally, but because it’s his naturally healthy state it’s attractive.

    In the end, of course, we fall for a range of guys, and there’s no such thing as a guarantee that a certain kind of body will attract a particular woman. Biochemistry determines who we are attracted to in real life, and the way we treat each other determines whether that initial attraction blossoms.

    The comments are equally fascinating: A few men who recognise the trend, note that this is what the women in their lives tell them, and point out that there’s no need to slag off the unknown women who participated in this study for having the temerity to voice their own preferences; and a slew of bodybuilders who are furious with women for not fancying their bodies, and react to this with intensely misogynistic slurs and bizarre homophobic comments (if a man is lifting in order to get women to fancy him, he’s gay? does not compute. Also, being gay is perfectly natural; it’s like shouting, “Hey! You’re blond!”).

    The majority of self-identified lifters and bodybuilders commenting in this thread are not covering themselves with glory here regarding women or gay men. They do appear to confirm the widespread stereotype of bodybuilders as either so insecure and/or deeply closeted that they’re a bit unstable and not good people to have in your life. It gives the impression that performing hyper-masculinity through bodybuilding is all about feeling terrible about yourself. It’d be interesting to hear from bodybuilders who don’t conform to that stereotype.


  9. Michael
    July 1st, 2014
    2:50 pm

    I think a lot of guys are frustrated with the results because they have worked so hard to achieve an aesthetically improved body type, but a woman doesn’t seem to care. I can vouch myself that a lean guy with a nice haircut and quiet confidence is more appeasing to a woman than a burly built man and shaved head. All the guys must also realize that their father was not a bodybuilder, but your mom still had him. Woman tastes haven’t really changed.


  10. Lisa's Truth Teller
    July 16th, 2014
    6:30 am

    …this article is so far off I wonder if they have actually asked 1000 girls, or 2000 guys making up 2000 x-chromosomes :/
    This is portraying the female view that they want macho, beefcake, confident, overbearing, neanderthal types… the reason this is obviously actually written by a man is because…WOMEN ARE NOT THAT VAIN! ¬.¬

    This is just a summation of what men think women want, not an actual survey…probably. Otherwise this is a survey comprised of a very selective group of women…I am guessing you pulled together a load of gym bunnies and promised them a free kale smoothie if they chose the right answers.

    Shame on you for confirming an incorrect stereotype.


  11. Anthony
    July 16th, 2014
    1:16 pm

    It seems a lot of men are upset with this study. If you are, I do think there’s one thing you can pull from this. Most men trying to get a body that women love turn to weights first and hit them hard, leaving the torso out… or neglected relative to upper body.

    Men don’t always have there shirts off.. So so so… When you have a shirt on, studies suggest shoulders are the first thing to work on followed by bi’s and tri’s for men. A mans chest can become to bulky often, but if you follow a simple push up routine your chest, shoulders, bi’s and tri’s will benefit.

    Shirtless, it’s all about torso.. So be sure to do your situps, always engage your abs when doing most activities. A healthy diet is the best way to get that lean look. Don’t neglect your lower, mid and upper back as that will help you break through PLATEAUS in your routine. HOPE THAT HELPS


  12. Sarah
    July 18th, 2014
    7:53 pm

    Isn’t it funny that all the guys are getting butthurt about Zyzz not being the women’s choice? They’re the only ones defending him, and their argument is that “haha all the girls who don’t think he is the KING are big fucking whales haha”. You all deeefinitely don’t sound like sad gym rats. Zyzz, while muscular, is far from my first choice. All of these idiot comments sound like they could come from a guy with Zyzz’s body. Sounds like they’re little boys in denial. Ah well.


  13. Matt
    August 3rd, 2014
    7:32 pm

    You Forgot To mention taylor lautner ll cool j bi rain the korean singer ((megan fox had a crush on him :D)) david gandy joe manganiello jason statham i am sure that those names would make difference in the survey


  14. Jim Smith
    August 21st, 2014
    11:46 am

    Imagine you spend 10 years of your life hitting weights, taking steroids, hanging around with other pumped up steroid abusers to look super buffed. You then take your shirt off expecting women to drool over your muscles, instead they look disgusted.Even mocking you.

    “I guess they are angry. It wasn’t supposed to be like this”

    Be strong, be lean, be fit, keep it natural and don’t be obsessed with it. Much better all around.

    I would love to ask a body builder, especially a drug induced, over cooked, steroid abuser…”what the f*** are you doing?”


  15. Jim Smith
    August 21st, 2014
    11:48 am

    No Anthony you have no idea what you are talking about.

    ——————————————————
    It seems a lot of men are upset with this study. If you are, I do think there’s one thing you can pull from this. Most men trying to get a body that women love turn to weights first and hit them hard, leaving the torso out… or neglected relative to upper body.
    Men don’t always have there shirts off.. So so so… When you have a shirt on, studies suggest shoulders are the first thing to work on followed by bi’s and tri’s for men. A mans chest can become to bulky often, but if you follow a simple push up routine your chest, shoulders, bi’s and tri’s will benefit.
    Shirtless, it’s all about torso.. So be sure to do your situps, always engage your abs when doing most activities. A healthy diet is the best way to get that lean look. Don’t neglect your lower, mid and upper back as that will help you break through PLATEAUS in your routine. HOPE THAT HELPS


  16. Jim Smith
    August 21st, 2014
    11:54 am

    Rember for guys try to achieve this…no more

    <12% b.f. <12% you aren't fat. No spare tyer, no flab…sport fit. Look good in clothes and you can see definition. Trying to achieve anything less than 10% isn't necessary…and it is also very hard to achieve for people that have real lives.

    V=shape shape. – Strong wide shoulders, aim for 31-34 inch waist with the golden ratio of waist – chest- shoulders of 1:1.33:1.6 Strong muscle legs but not so big they stop you wearing trousers. Again it's all about proportion. It's ridiculous to have a 32" waist and a 48in chest. But if you keep in natural you should keep your looks natural. The blue print should be movie stars, modules and sports stars (not fat or steroid induced ones)

    Avoid steroids,synthol e.t.c. unless you have lost your mind and want to die looking like an alien.


  17. Nah
    September 9th, 2014
    4:26 pm

    Some pictures cant be compared….women look at the whole body,the bigger picture and since women like tattoos its an unfair advantage and the survey’s results would probably have been a bit different if none of the pics had guys with tattoos so they would only judge the bodies…I mean im a guy and the tattoos kinda caught my attention for a sec so imagine what it does to women(lets be honest they get distracted soooo easily).Thats all I wanted to say.Why are u still reading this I got nothing else to say so move on.


  18. Kursad
    September 24th, 2014
    5:48 pm

    Interesting topic…
    But according to this topic, Billy Zane is really a loser. Heheh…

    Ofcourse not. Why do we think about one hundred random selected woman?

    If we have 72 Brad Pitt and 12 Henry Rollins like men…
    Yes maybe, only one of these average women actually likes Billy Zane… Poor Billy…

    However we haven’t much that type of fit men. Maybe %5 of all mankind actually looks like these buddies…
    So for 100 random selected women, we have just 4-5 of these men available… Other %95 of these women have to try thin, average or really fat buddies:)

    So all of these men are it’s hard to find and that’s why they are so popular, at least in their communities…

    And we have just one Mr. Olympia every year.. For every 10000 Brad Pitt like man, we have just one Billy Zane available:)

    I bet,significiant number of women wants to try that experience no matter what they said:)


  19. Kursad
    September 24th, 2014
    5:52 pm

    I made a big mistake sorry. I am talking about Frank Zane of course not Billy Zane:)


  20. shad
    September 26th, 2014
    3:47 am

    It seems like alot of woman are making judgements of character when looking at a picture. An inanimate object (photograph) doesn’t have a personality and you should therefore leave your judgements of what you “think” the individual is like at the door.
    With that being said I have been training for around 10 years with a few month breaks due to sickness etc and i can tell you from firsthand experience that once i started to pack on some serious muscle and definition in my physique the woman came a flockin’. I’d like to think i am a pretty charismatic man and i’d say alot of that had to do with my personality but the body made them curious. Sometimes curious enough to start chit chatting and within minutes of not being a typical “meathead” i had their undivided attention.
    I can only speak from my own personal experience. Hopefully i didn’t offend anybody


  21. Dan
    November 5th, 2014
    9:15 am

    I love women . . . yet, I am a bodybuilder(minus the steroids) so I guess many of them may think that I am too in to my body but I’m not, I just love training (though I do love the results I guess), but hey . . . other guys liking my look is flattering as well!!!


  22. Mario
    November 9th, 2014
    1:15 pm

    It is very true. Many guys at the gymn tend to think that a big muscular body attracts women. The reality is only women that are muscular body builders. Most women like the Brad Pitt’s look. lean and mean, rather than big and bulky.
    Bulkiness and size impress other guys, not girls. That explain why cute girls at the gymn hang out with the skinny guys.

    of course, all of this equation changes if MONEY is involved. Then body doesn’t matter.


  23. Lucifer
    December 10th, 2014
    8:55 pm

    This site is geared more what girls want in guys. It is not for egotistical guys who “know” what girls want. This study is one of the best conducted that I’ve ever seen. I think there should be one about females as well.


  24. chris harrison
    March 30th, 2015
    10:22 am

    How many girls were interviewed for this study?


  25. Dave
    April 13th, 2015
    3:05 pm

    I have to say enjoyed reading the study, you asked quite a lot of questions. I’ve seen similar studies indicating similar results. What does make me laugh Is the amount of enraged guys in the comments, I know a lot of us workout to look good and its great to take pride in your body, but striving to look good just so you can be good with the ladies is a total waste, do it because you enjoy it! Body aesthetics have their place, but the other myriad of factors that contribute to female attraction make it pretty foolhardy to believe a freaky huge body will be the single largest factor in getting a women anyway, regardless of results shown in this study.


  26. John
    April 15th, 2015
    9:19 pm

    Wow! Great article and great findings! Very interesting! Seems like the more “in the middle” you are between extremes as a guy, the better.


  27. 1
    April 23rd, 2015
    12:03 pm

    1 pic of zyzz 1 pic of brad pitt from fight club

    zyzz will win most of the time. stop lying.


  28. Doug
    April 25th, 2015
    3:50 pm

    This is just a terrible study. The sample size is ridiculously small.
    If you were to up the sample size and survey girls who are into the fitness lifestyle, or upped the sample size by a lot with equal representation of different types of women, I guarantee the results would be dramatically different. Of course girls who don’t live the fitness lifestyle aren’t going to be into ripped, fit guy. They don’t understand the value of hard work, self satisfaction, accomplishing really hard goals and what it takes to be really fit. The girls that these types of guys want are more than likely, like minded girls anyways.
    Besides, people who are truly into the fitness lifestyle shouldn’t be doing it for members of the opposite sex. They should only be doing it for themselves and not giving a crap about what people think.
    I can’t believe people read this garbage. I can’t believe I read this garbage. Perfect example of how stupid people are.
    I feel stupid for reading and commenting but I felt compelled.

    Naturally fit and athletic?? Always looking for the diamond in the rough who doesn’t need to work hard. Sickening and extremely rare.. People just want it easy, and don’t have the heart to appreciate extreme dedication and hard work.

    To me this is discouraging people who want to be their absolute best self.


  29. Eva
    April 28th, 2015
    1:48 pm

    I have to laugh at all the men assuming that the larger they are, the more women will be attracted to them. Yes, just like the thinner a woman is or the larger her breasts are, the more attracted to her men are. Oh, what’s that, are you a man and aren’t more attracted to a 48J cup than a 34C one? Imagine that! Impossible!!1 You’re obviously only saying that because you’re ugly/lazy/insecure/…!!11!1


  30. flamingEagle
    May 10th, 2015
    1:48 pm

    Where i live (Trinidad),the women don’t give a shit about looks cause all the ugly out of shape pot bellied dudes have all the pretty hottest chicks because their wallet is fat and they drive expensive cars. Looks do not matter where i come from


  31. flamingEagle
    May 10th, 2015
    1:53 pm

    In case any of you were wondering,Trinidad is a caribbean country where standards and self respect are non-existent. You can get the hottest girl over here without a 6 pack an chiseled body cause money>everything here


  32. Frederick
    May 18th, 2015
    1:27 am

    A confound/flaw to this study is the fact that not all pictures are standardized in terms of the background, the pose, lighting, tattoos on the body etc. One for example could rightly ask, what if tattoos make the men appear more attractive??


  33. Loathomar
    May 18th, 2015
    6:13 pm

    I think one notable thing the level at which women associate looks and personalities. Is it really that women are more physically attracted to Brad’s body then Zyzz, or have most women learned that men who have bodies like Zyzz are just so often raging assholes. Is the answer different if the question is “If you could have a kind, caring, loving men who would be forever loyal, and you could select any type of body for him, what type of body would you choose?” Just a thought.


  34. MrCanada
    May 19th, 2015
    8:42 am

    What’s funny is the bodybuilder you used, Frank Zane, is considered one of the smallest Mr. Olympias. By today’s standards he is actually very small.

    I also don’t get why you did not use offseason bodybuilder pictures…because bodybuilders are not in contest shape all the time.


  35. asthetics>everything
    May 25th, 2015
    10:54 am

    I think that ripped guys are more likely for one night stands, whereas normal looking guys are for relationships.

    Just look at Zyzz Roulette videos on youtube. Watch the facial expressions of each girl that connects…

    But I think if you are ripped, intelligence is an important factor as opposed to being some thick meathead retard.


  36. Jim
    June 10th, 2015
    7:56 am

    so are these ugly?

    No roids, just healthy lifestyle and heavy lifting…but we shouldn’t do this as womnen only want skinny/fat guys?

    It’s not what I see in real life.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=old+time+strongmen&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CCQQsARqFQoTCLXY7JmIhcYCFeqZ2wod85YAyA&biw=1366&bih=643#imgrc=RF_yPyZrpPE1-M%253A%3BJV3q2tU9fl9l5M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Ftnation.t-nation.com%252Fforum_images%252F5%252Fe%252F5e403-ot.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Ftnation.t-nation.com%252Ffree_online_forum%252Fpictures_pics_photo_body_image_performance%252Fbiggest_natural_bodybuilder%253Fid%253D1453034%2526pageNo%253D4%3B299%3B241

    If you keep in natural, live healthy you don’t have to worry about “what women like” you’ll find out from the looks, glances, what they like.

    HINT: waist/shoulder ratio


  37. ToiletPaperBodyArmor
    June 29th, 2015
    5:27 am

    Yeah, ten years on the club/party scene and this study pretty much sums up all my experiences. Being “skinny-jacked” is magnitudes better than looking like Zyzz. Most girls simply prefer muscle tone, not muscle mass.


  38. handsomerandyblackladdiebrad1953
    July 10th, 2015
    2:20 pm

    Guess these broads don’t want us lifesize Brads-from 1968′-’72,Brad was Barbie’s then-boyfriend Ken’s handsome black buddy;Yours Truly is a black Canadian lad,62,regarded cover boy handsome,muscular,a bit beefy-I’m 5’9″,200-205 lb.,boasting 18-inch arms,though like a LOT of older chaps,I’m attempting to lose about 20 lb.I guess these gals fly the Confederate treachery/slavery/rape rag on their trailers and have ugly goober boyfriends/fathers/husbands.


  39. HangingIndent
    July 30th, 2015
    2:35 am

    Wow, lots of butthurt going around in here.

    I’ve been in and out of the bodybuilding culture for awhile now, and it still shocks me how much my fellow weightlifters don’t understand muscles don’t necessarily mean chicks. It’s similar to how girls think men want Victoria Secret levels of skinny (most of us don’t).

    My old man wisdom (been around the world, been to all the social scenes and bars, seen it all, love to watch people and behaviour) is that handsomeness trumps muscles 95% of the time, and you don’t want to be too muscular, either, because that really does turn a lot of them off. Most chicks don’t want 200 lbs of that on top of them. (My best friend’s quote about my other friend’s rise from slightly ripped to huge: “He used to look cute, but now he looks like a monster!”)

    But it kinda depends on the culture. American girls go for muscles more, not so much in Europe.

    Then, of course, there are other important things such as the way you dress, height, posture/movements, etc. And don’t get me started on attitude/game/personality (but I’m talking about physical stuff).

    Then again, if you wanna get super jacked, then go right ahead. Some chicks will love you for it.

    Also, much as I love watching Zyzz on Chatroulette, it isn’t often you see a girl who is legit impressed with him. Most just laugh or dance along (who wouldn’t?), others just sit there bored, and some borderline mock him by mimicking his poses. I’ve had better success playing my guitar shirtless with my long hair breezing in the wind of my desk fan.

    Anyway, lift on, brothers!


  40. Richard
    August 1st, 2015
    3:23 am

    In test 8.
    If Adrien Brody had his hands on his hips he would would look almost identical to Bob Harper.
    Yet Bob gets 63% and Adrien gets 1% so either women have issues with their vision or more likely they have no idea what they want.


  41. Charles Vella
    August 4th, 2015
    9:02 pm

    MOST OF THIS SO-CALLED WHAT A WOWAN FINDS ATTRACTIVE IN A MANS BODY IS BULLSHIT. The real reason women are not attracted to a very athletic and chiseled male body is because they are embarrassed about taking their clothes off with that man ….so its their own insecurities that are causing them to judge this way…my advice to them is take better care of your body and you will judge differently and honestly!!!


  42. Diane
    August 20th, 2015
    2:16 am

    Great job! A very interesting, entertaining, well-written and sensible (albeit predictable) study. As many point out in the comments, there are countless psychological reasons why most women don’t prefer men who spend too much time in the gym (their own insecurity being just one aspect of it – they might be put off by a thought of being less important to the man or having to bear the brunt of housework and taking care of the kids all the time, etc.) There are also studies that evaluate male physique according to different types of sports, and – no surprise there – women preferred runners the most (or men that look like runners), since from the evolutionary standpoint those would have had the best chance of survival in a hostile environment – and so would be the best gene pool and protectors for having children with.


  43. Rob
    October 28th, 2015
    12:24 pm

    I just found this and thought it was a very interesting study, albeit with some flaws. I think it has been proven time and time again that women like a healthy and fit body, not a steroid freak, but the jizz dick sucking fanboys here don’t seem to want to accept that. To the guys that put the steroid look on a pedestal, if that’s what you like then great, but this is about what women like, not you.


  44. EmmaH
    November 18th, 2015
    9:47 am

    Looks like I’m in the 9.8% in the beefcake Brad lol. I’m lucky my BF takes care of his body!


  45. JessicaA
    January 9th, 2016
    7:11 pm

    Impressive article. As a single girl I find skinny men less attractive. I mean, of course I do? I don’t want to end up sharing pants because we have the same size lol 🙂 Men with meat are much more attractive, that’s for sure.


  46. Johnl
    January 11th, 2016
    6:38 pm

    Something to keep in mind is that how someone looks in photographs and how they look in the flesh can be quite different. People don’t realize how small and skinny Brad Pitt was in Fight Club (the most popular choice in pictures here). He is listed as 6′ tall and was only about 160lbs. then.

    I’m just under 6′ tall and when I was training heavy in mma I was 165lbs. and had a physique similar to Pitt’s fight club pictures. The problem was that you aren’t walking around all day with your shirt off and whenever I ran into someone that I hadn’t seen in a long time I was always asked the same question, “You look really skinny, have you lost weight?”

    These days I’m no longer training mma and have been lifting quite a bit more and weigh 187lbs. I’m not anywhere near as lean but can still fit into size 32″ jeans so it’s not like I put on a ton of fat. Instead of hearing how skinny I look people now usually tell me that I look look I’ve been working out.

    Anyway the point is that I would take these results with a grain of salt. If you had these guys standing there in the flesh with a bag over their heads or if you were evaluating people with similar physiques that you met or passed in the street on a daily basis I suspect that the results could turn out somewhat differently.


  47. DizzyBoyDizzy
    January 19th, 2016
    11:39 pm

    If you think about it the reason the naturally fit looking physique is more sexually attractive than the super jacked gym one just makes sense from a evolutionary perspective. The primitive man maintained his muscles and low body fat from hunting, fighting / protecting and physical labor. Not from doing dozens of reps isolating each muscle group 5 times a week and eating crazy lean or low carb diets and supps. He ate animals (fat and all), nuts & fruits and such — just what he had access to in nature as it was.


  48. sparklegirl
    January 30th, 2016
    3:13 pm

    Wow. Its fascinating how the comments proved the survey was right.
    Men think women prefer the zyzz look and if girls say otherwise its because they’re too insecure to like a man like that or they’re lying or they’re judement is skewed by tattoos….haha. That’s completely untrue. I didn’t even know men thought that look was attractive to women.

    Most women think the bodybuilder look eg Arnold Schwarznegger is gross. You know the way men feel when they look at pictures of female body builders?? That’s exactly how women feel about male body builders. They don’t consider that attractive at all. Arnie is attractive to women because he has a beautiful face and golden blonde hair, a smooth voice and he plays nice charming characters. He looks good with clothes on but any pictures of him topless – yuk!

    I just googled pictures of zyzz and he looks gross, sorry. Not as gross as bigger bodybuilders I’ve seen but still – yuk.

    Girls stare at bodybuilders bodys because they’re unusual and they rarely see a body like that – it doesn’t mean they are checkin them out, it doesn’t mean they find them attractive. Its like staring at someone with rainbow coloured hair or Siamese twins or a giant.

    Having said that gay men seem to like bodybuilders….gay men think He-Man is hot. Girls don’t.

    None of the above photos were the ideal male physique. Girls do like a ripped physique – where you can see all the muscles but only just. Once they reach a certain size, or low bodyfat, its gross. Visible veins are gross.

    For men who still don’t believe women don’t prefer that look – do you find https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=female+bodybuilders&biw=1366&bih=690&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjS9vfxq9LKAhVFRhQKHXKACK0Q_AUIBygB#imgrc=c8jGgHhdzFIARM%3A this attractive?


  49. Guy
    February 3rd, 2016
    11:30 pm

    Girls love Daryl from Walking Dead. They think his arms are great. “But, my arms are WAY bigger than his..”, I would think to myself. So I agree with this study, in general. Daryl is similar to Pitt. Also in general, men who get buff ONLY to try to pick up chicks are douches. Girls in my gym have an “off” switch when it comes to those guys. And they look so silly, walking around like peacocks, they are just showing how clueless they really are. Girls like a guy who is fit enough to be confident, healthy, and has fun. If a skinny guy can exude confidence, then it’s attractive. Sorry meatheads, but you are severely misguided (as I used to be).


  50. AG
    February 13th, 2016
    8:35 pm

    Bob Harper’s body looks almost identical to Adrien Brody’s in those pictures…. minus the tats.


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