It’s All About Proportions

Pleasing proportions invoke primal reactions

J.P. Morgan said, “A [person] always has two reasons for doing things: a good reason and the real reason.”

Likewise, despite claims to the contrary, I’m confident that more than 90% of people work out to look better.

I’ll also make the bold generality (but not guarantee) that women often want to be smaller and men usually want to be bigger. In fact, many women who start a training program are afraid of getting “big”, and men who diet to get lean are afraid of getting “small”. This typically translates as women not wanting to be overly muscular and men not wanting to appear under-muscled.

I will argue that’s it’s not primarily size that creates a visual impact, but proportions. Think of a Ferrari: if you’re wowed by its visual appeal, do you really wonder how much it weighs or what its dimensions are? Or when getting  a new hairstyle, do you measure how much hair is cut away?

Imagine having wide shoulders but an even wider waist. Your shoulders would appear narrow no matter how wide your shoulders are. In contrast, a person with an average shoulder width may appear wider if they have a small waist. It’s an optical illusion.

What’s the point of gaining 20 pounds if it all goes to your belly and backside? Likewise, what’s the point of fitting into the smallest size if there are no curves to the body?

Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and proportions. If you have genetically large, muscular calves for example, consider yourself blessed. Once you get lean enough to reveal them fully, you will get the”diamond” shape that people envy (consequently, the inner calf curve is one of the most visually appealing curves of the body).

Take home point: for maximum aesthetic appeal, train to maximize your muscular development. Structure your caloric intake to stay reasonably lean. Let your genetics determine the rest. The most pleasing look will be you at your best!


One response to “It’s All About Proportions

  1. Jason,
    thanks for that.
    Possible future topic suggestions:
    -Dealing with friends/family having issues with your fitness-lifestyle
    -Maximum Muscular Potential (your take on this! though I assume Casey Butt has already written a good book about that,but I would like to see your perspective on the issue)
    -Tactics to get your overall activity up ( I began using a standing desk for writing essays, because too much sitting caused me to have chronic backpain)
    -Are dedicated layoffs from heavy training helpful on top of regular periodization(cycling weights up and down) assuming overall activity is maintained.

    And one question:
    -You´ve written on this blog about the concept of low caloric density when it comes to choosing foods to hit your caloric target for the day yet still feel somewhat satisfied by the end of the day.
    That excludes fat entirely. You´ve also written that you do not recommend getting more than 10 percent of your calories from fat.
    How important then are fats from foods (think oliveoil,flaxseeds besides EFAs in pill form) for “health” and optimal body functioning (natural testosterone production and all that dubious stuff that´s being vomited in your face by lowcarb purists) assuming a maintenance intake. Most foods like meat, lowfat cottage cheese together with some grains and such in my normal intake(between 1800 and 2200 calories for maintenance) already fulfill your recommendation.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
    Kind regards
    Marcelo Diez

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