The ideal male body—is it possible to be too muscular?

Do women find the most muscular men the most attractive? Is it possible to gain so much muscle that you start to become less attractive?

A few years ago, we ran a survey where we asked women to rate photos of male bodies to see which physiques they found the most attractive. Our results showed that the vast majority of women preferred men who looked strong but not overly musclebound.

However, a new study titled Cues of Upper Body Strength Account for Most of the Variance in Men’s Bodily Attractiveness, authored by Aaron Sell, PhD, found that the more muscular a man’s body was, the more attractive women found it. None of the male bodies were rated as being overly muscular. In fact, the most muscular body in the study was rated as being the most attractive.

I think this new study, combined with all of the other research published since 2011, show that we need to adjust our description of the ideal male body… although maybe not in the way you’d expect.

Let’s dive in.

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