What is the Perfect Physique Aesthetics Standard?

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Aesthetics is a subjective term. While one person might find Mr. O bodybuilders visually appealing, the other might be a fan of a small waist and peeled six-pack.

If you were to ask a protein shake connoisseur at your gym about the perfect physique aesthetics standard, there is an 83% probability that he would show you a picture of himself from “back in the day.”

So, how do we settle the aesthetics debate, and how would you know if you have the correct body proportions for an aesthetic physique?

To this, we say TGFSR.

Thank god for Steve Reeves.

The bodybuilding legend laid out standards of what the perfect natural body should look like. His ideal physique ratios were as follows:

  • Arm size: 252% of wrist size
  • Calf size: 192% of ankle size
  • Chest Size: 148% of pelvis size
  • Waist size: 86% of pelvis size
  • Thigh size: 175% of knee size

We would add one more standard to the list: 12% or less body fat percentage.

Tip: Use Grecian Ideal Calculator to get an estimation of your natural genetic muscular potential or ideal proportions.

Yes, calculating your body proportions according to Reeve’s guidelines requires some work, but so does building an aesthetic physique. We hate to be the ones breaking this to you, but there are no shortcuts to building a physique that would make mere mortals drop to their knees in worship as you walk past them.

Must Read: Three Basic Steve Reeves’ Bodybuilding Training Rules

Principles For Building Perfect Physique Aesthetics 

You do not end up with an aesthetic physique by accident. To improve your musculature, you need to abide by the following principles:

1. Training For Aesthetics is Different from Training For Muscle Mass

Flexing Muscles In Front Of The Mirror

Following a 12-week bodybuilding program focused on building muscle mass isn’t necessarily going to help you carve an aesthetic physique.

For instance, you do not need 21-inch arms and a 52-inch chest for your physique to be deemed aesthetically appealing.

Bodybuilding is a sport of illusions. You can build an aesthetic physique by working on your muscle proportions. We will be following an upper and lower body training split in this training program.

Related: How to Correct Muscle Imbalances – The Ultimate Guide

2. Your Diet Will Need a Major Overhaul

Building an aesthetic physique is impossible without getting your diet in order. You will be eating nutrient-dense whole foods to meet your daily calorie needs on this program.

On top of that, to achieve the desired results, you will need to cut out refined and processed foods from your diet. Consume a low-carb and high-protein calorie deficit diet to speed up your transformation.

We also have some bad news for people who love to party on Saturday nights. You will have to cut out alcohol completely while following this program. Alcohol tends to affect how your body metabolizes carbohydrates and fats, making it harder to lose weight.

Must Read: How To Drink Alcohol Without Losing Muscle and Gaining Fat

3. Building an Aesthetic Physique is Going to Take Time

While physique transformation demands hard work and consistency, many people end up overdoing it. You break muscle fibers when you are training in the gym. On the other hand, your muscles grow back bigger and stronger when you are resting.

Although many factors contribute to the amount of time it is going to take before you can achieve your dream body, you should not expect to see favorable results before 8-12 months.

Remember: The physique progression graph is never linear. Just like the stock market, your gains start to compound over the long term. Stick to your guns, and you will be amazed at your results.

Best Diet For Building an Aesthetic Physique

Healthy Foods

Getting your diet right is one of the most important aspects of improving your aesthetics.

Here is a sample diet plan for people weighing 180 lbs:

Meal 1

  • 2 eggs (150 calories, 14g protein, 1.5g carbs, 10g fat)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (160 calories, 6g protein, 27g carbs, 3g fat)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (180 calories, 8g protein, 6g carbs, 16g fat)

Meal 2

  • 1 scoop whey protein (120 calories, 24g protein, 3g carbs, 1.5g fat)
  • 1 cup skim milk (90 calories, 9g protein, 12g carbs, 0.5g fat)
  • 100 grams frozen blueberries (60 calories, 1g protein, 14.5g carbs, 0.5g fat)

Meal 3

  • 1 chicken breast (285 calories, 53g protein, 0g carbs, 6g fat)
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt (150 calories, 13g protein, 17g carbs, 4g fat)
  • 1½ banana (105 calories, 1.5g protein, 27g carbs, 0.5g fat)

Meal 4

  • 1-ounce almonds (160 calories, 6g protein, 6g carbs, 14g fat)

Meal 5

  • 4 ounces tuna (145 calories, 27g protein, 0g carbs, 3.5g fat)
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla (130 calories, 4g protein, 26g carbs, 1.5g fat)
  • 1 cup lettuce (7 calories, 1g protein, 1g carbs, 0g fat)
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes (15 calories, 1g protein, 3.5g carbs, 0g fat)
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise (15 calories, 0g protein, 2g carbs, 1g fat)

Meal 6

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese (160 calories, 28g protein, 6g carbs, 2.5g fat)
  • ½ cup pineapple (40 calories, 0.5g protein, 10g carbs, 0g fat)

Total Nutrients

  • Calories: 1972
  • Protein: 200g
  • Carbs: 162.5g
  • Fat: 64.5g

Best Aesthetics Training Program

Building an aesthetically appealing physique requires you to follow a high-rep and high-intensity training program. You will be keeping your rest durations below 60-seconds throughout your transformation regimen.

As mentioned above, you will be following an upper and lower body training split to improve your muscle proportions, symmetry, and definition.

Chris Bumstead At Olympia Stage

12-Week Aesthetics Training Schedule

The aesthetics workout schedule consists of three training sessions per week. After every training day, you will be taking a day off to allow your muscles time to recuperate from your workouts. Your training split will consist of:

Week 1

  • Monday: Upper Body Workout A
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Lower Body Workout A
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Upper Body Workout B
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 2

  • Monday: Lower Body Workout B
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Upper Body Workout C
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Lower Body Workout C
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 3

  • Monday: Upper Body Workout D
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Lower Body Workout D
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Upper Body Workout A
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 4

  • Monday: Lower Body Workout B
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Upper Body Workout C
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Lower Body Workout D
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 5

  • Monday: Upper Body Workout B
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Lower Body Workout A
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Upper Body Workout D
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 6

  • Monday: Lower Body Workout C
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Upper Body Workout A
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Lower Body Workout A
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Repeat the same weekly training routine for weeks 7-12. The aesthetics training program provides enough variety and will ensure you never get bored of your workouts.

12-Week Aesthetics Workout Program Exercises

Dumbbell Workout

Now that we have discussed the 12-week aesthetics training schedule, let’s go over the exercises you will be performing.

Upper Body Workout A

  • Chest: flat barbell bench press — 4 sets of 6–8 reps
  • Back: bent-over barbell row — 3 sets of 6–8 reps
  • Shoulders: seated dumbbell press — 3 sets of 8–10 reps
  • Chest/triceps: dips — 3 sets of 8–10 reps
  • Back: pull-up — 3 sets of 8–10 reps
  • Triceps/chest: lying dumbbell triceps extension — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Biceps: incline dumbbell curl — 3 sets of 10–12 reps

Upper Body Workout B

  • Shoulders: overhead press — 4 sets of 6–8 reps
  • Chest: incline dumbbell bench press — 3 sets of 8–10 reps
  • Back: one-arm cable row — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Shoulders: cable side lateral raise — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Rear deltoids/traps: face pull — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Traps: dumbbell shrug — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Triceps: seated overhead tricep extension — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Biceps: machine preacher curl — 3 sets of 12–15 reps

Upper Body Workout C

  • Chest: barbell bench press — 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Back: barbell bent-over row — 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Shoulders: seated dumbbell shoulder press — 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Back: lat pulldown — 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Chest: low cable chest fly — 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Biceps: dumbbell curl — 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Triceps: overhead dumbbell tricep extension — 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Shoulders: rope cable face pull — 2 sets of 15-25 reps

Upper Body Workout D

  • Back: pull-up — 3 sets of 5-10 reps
  • Chest: incline dumbbell bench press — 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Shoulders: standing barbell push press — 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Back: cable straight arm pull-down — 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Chest/Triceps: bodyweight push-up — 2 sets of 10-20 reps
  • Biceps: EZ-bar bicep curl — 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Triceps: dumbbell tricep kickback — 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Lower Body Workout A

  • Legs: barbell back squat — 4 sets of 6–8 reps
  • Legs: leg press — 3 sets of 8–10 reps
  • Quadriceps: seated leg extension — 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Quadriceps: dumbbell walking lunge — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Calves: calf press on leg press — 4 sets of 12–15 reps
  • Abs: decline crunch — 4 sets of 12–15 reps

Lower Body Workout B

  • Back/hamstrings: barbell deadlift — 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Glutes: barbell hip thrust — 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Hamstrings: Romanian dumbbell deadlift — 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Hamstrings: lying leg curl — 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Calves: seated calf raise — 4 sets of 12–15 reps
  • Abs: leg raises on Roman chair — 4 sets of 12–15 reps

Lower Body Workout C

  • Legs: back squat — 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Glutes: glute-ham raise — 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Quadriceps: alternating forward lunge — 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Hamstrings: lying hamstring curl — 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Calves: standing Smith machine calf raise — 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Abs: reverse crunch — 4 sets of 12–15 reps
  • Abs: cable crunch — 4 sets of 12–15 reps

Lower Body Workout D

  • Legs: leg press — 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hamstrings: Romanian deadlift — 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Quadriceps: Smith machine lunge — 3 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Quadriceps: leg extension — 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Calves: seated machine calf raise — 3-4 sets of 12-20 reps
  • Abs: hanging leg raise — 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps
  • Abs: Russian twists — 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps

Make sure you are keeping a track of your progress while following the aesthetics training program. Constant monitoring allows you to course-correct well before it is too late.

Patience, persistence, and hard work will be your keys to success in building a Greek god-like physique. We cannot wait to see your transformation. Good luck!

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