The Ideal Body

By: Ben Basos


You need to lose fat and build muscle. You know this, it makes sense, and is a goal you undoubtedly had at the outset. But what do you aim for in body composition? A belief exists that professional body builders know what makes the ideal body. They take measurements and use strategies to build a physique. So how do you fit into the picture and what do you aim for in size for your own body?

If Tom Venuto has taught me anything on the subject, it's not about getting out tape measure or pushing for 20 inch arms. It's all about visualisation of what I think is the perfect body suited for me. There are a range of different body building types and professional athletes and I find emulation is one key to achieving a fantastic body.

You may look at a body builder and believe that is the ideal body to strive for. There are several items to consider however when following this train of thought. Body building is a visual sport, and measurements in the end are never officially taken into consideration. Furthermore, due to the nature of competition, it's not uncommon for competitors to bulk up before a show which can provide a skewed perception to the physique you watch on display.

So what do I do? I work on the principle of symmetry. Venuto himself has gone through the rigorous nature of different 'measurement formulas' but focuses now on working towards muscle symmetry. You definitely do not want any part of your body out of proportion. It would just look silly. So I visualise a muscular lean, equally toned body by making sure I embrace exercises that work all muscles.

One person of note who who was known for his aesthetically, symmetrical body was Steve Reeves. He endeavoured to create the perfect body, with a criteria ensuring all his muscle ratio equally measured the same. It followed as:

Steve Reeves Measurements: Arms: 18.5 inches Calves: 18.5 inches Neck: 18.5 inches Thighs: 27 inches
Chest: 54 inches Waist: 30 inches

Reeves even provided what he believed were ideal proportions for muscle to bone ratio, giving greater insight for his classic physique.

Muscle to bone ratios: Arm size= 252% of wrist size Calf size= 192% of ankle size Neck Size= 79% of head size Chest Size= 148% of pelvis size Waist size= 86% of pelvis size Thigh size= 175% of knee size

This is just one example of a formula used by a body builder. And while he certainly had the correct methodology of working towards muscle symmetry, it's important that you pursue your own goal. Size matters, but make you don't get hung up about it. I cannot put it more simply by saying the ideal body comes with making the sure you work your entire body. Plan, visualise and look to an aesthetic body from a magazine or video as motivation. That truly is what the ideal body is about.

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Ben Basos is the writer of the extremely popular Mission to Muscle blog which documented his 12 week transformation from flabby to fit. Ben also holds a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Human Movement studies and dedicates his time to keeping lean, fit and healthy. Read the full article on The Ideal Body.

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