Bodybuilding & aesthetics

(The following excerpt is from an article written by Marc Magna and was published at bodybuilding.com on Apr 07, 2014)

The ancient Greeks taught us many things: democracy, philosophy, and perhaps most important to the bodybuilding community, the idea of aesthetic sensibility. To the ancient Greeks, symmetry was beauty—a rule evidenced by their architecture, art, and ideal physique.

Youth of AntikethyraThis ideal male form—as imagined in sculptures, paintings, and drawings— was usually made with a wide chest, broad shoulders, and a thick back placed upon a slim waist. The legs were muscular, but not overly huge. Everything was balanced and proportionate.

According to the ancient Greeks, the ideal male physique should have these measurements: the arms should be 2.5 times the circumference of the wrist, the calves 1.9 times the ankle size, the thighs 1.75 times the knee, the shoulders 1.6 times the waist, and the neck 2.5 times the wrist. A man’s build should also be athletic and lean.

The Greeks believed in these proportions for three reasons:

Marc Megna
Marc Megna

to perform athletically and in battle, to live a long time with good health, and to be attractive in order to pass along genetics. I can’t argue with these goals. They seem to reflect what many gym-goers want for themselves: a body that looks, feels, and performs better.

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