Where can I find a good reference for male body types to shoot for in my workouts?
September 17, 2010 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find a good guide to target body types for a male seeking direction in his workout?

I'm currently getting into a good workout program. However, I need to set some solid goals for myself to keep motivated and get on track with where I want to be.

Part of what I want to do is find a sensible, fairly comprehensive list of body builds I can aim for. I'm a guy with a good athletic frame but without the muscle or the tone to show for it. I'm not overweight if you look at a raw BMI index, but I could certainly use some toning. That said, I don't think saying I want to look like one of the 300 is realistic.

What is out there on what I can be aiming for? Should I just find a sensible male actor without his shirt, or is there a better way to set a target?
posted by NBJack to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Part of what I want to do is find a sensible, fairly comprehensive list of body builds I can aim for.

If I understand you correctly, you're talking about the relative size and shape of the body and not about a certain general level of size and definition. Unfortunately, most of this is genetic. You can add muscle and lose fat, but if you're naturally inclined to (for example) have large quads and small triceps, you're not going to reverse that, at least not without a lot of pharmaceutical help.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:20 PM on September 17, 2010


er, relative size and shape of the body's parts
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:20 PM on September 17, 2010


This might be a little indirect, but maybe you could choose an athlete with the build you'd like (powerlifter, distance runner, swimmer, whatever), and then set some performance goals in that sport? You might get more immediate satisfaction out of meeting a series of performance goals, and the physique would probably take care of itself along the way...
posted by JumpW at 3:27 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, body type, if the Inspector and I are reading what you mean correctly, is nto something you can change.

My philosophy is that sexual cures (which is what we're really talking about when we talk about looking good) exist as indicators of good health, capability, and fitness. So, if you train for performance, then you'll look good as a side effect. In fact, when I've fallen off of this wagon and into the trap of bodybuilding, I find that I look worse. It may surprise you that most women aren't actually attracted to the massive over-pumped look. This supports my theory, because those kinds of guys are completely useless when it comes to any kind of physical capability.

Just exercise.
posted by cmoj at 3:29 PM on September 17, 2010


I'll clarify what I'm looking for. I realize my shape is my shape, but I'm hoping that from that I can figure out what I really want (with some help).

I didn't think about athletes. That sounds like a great place to look. You definitely can't air-brush or crash-diet your way into athletic events. :)

To be bluntly honest, I'm weak. I understand I'm putting my back and my general frame at risk if I don't deal with this now. While sex appeal is a great bonus, I'm not as concerned about it as I am with keeping on track.
posted by NBJack at 3:39 PM on September 17, 2010


iFitness for the iPhone has the answers.
posted by Biru at 3:40 PM on September 17, 2010


"toning..."

Never has a more meaningless word been used by so many people. Forget "toning." Forget looking to shape your body in a particular way, unless you want to be a bodybuilder, which is an enterprise unto itself. If that's what you want, I dunno, go here or something. Meh.

If you want to just be healthy, build muscle and show definition by losing fat (which is probably what you meant by toning, but, really forget that word), start lifting some heavy weights, do some cardio, and make sure you're eating well. Stay away from shit like curls and go for the good stuff: deadlifts, squats, bench pressing. I personally think HIIT is awesome and super effective but so do a lot of other people.

Anyways, there's a lot of detail here but I think the best idea for you is probably to get a licensed trainer who can guide you to a sensible workout and diet (diet is key!) plan. If you can stick with that then maybe you can think about what aspects you want your new body to have...but seriously, just start exercising. Forget all this other nonsense. You'll see why...
posted by dubitable at 3:41 PM on September 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Some of the answers to one of my previous questions were great -- What does a fit 40-year-old normal guy look like with his shirt off?

For many people (like me), athletes and personal-trained-to-death celebrities are unrealistic goals. What does normal look like? I got a lot of helpful answers.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:50 PM on September 17, 2010


I understand I'm putting my back and my general frame at risk if I don't deal with this now.

If by toning you mean, general muscle strength for the sake of posture and preventing injury... then I'd suggest pilates and general strength training with a focus on endurance - higher sets of reps rather than necessarily more weight.
posted by yeloson at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2010


dubitable has it, there is no such thing as "toning" all you can do is make your muscles bigger and lose fat. And you don't get to choose where the fat comes off, you can't "spot reduce". The best you can do is get a solid exercise program and watch your diet and see what you become.
posted by ghharr at 4:27 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If by toning you mean, general muscle strength for the sake of posture and preventing injury... then I'd suggest pilates and general strength training with a focus on endurance - higher sets of reps rather than necessarily more weight.

WRONG!
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 6:39 PM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you want to just be healthy, build muscle and show definition by losing fat (which is probably what you meant by toning, but, really forget that word), start lifting some heavy weights, do some cardio, and make sure you're eating well. Stay away from shit like curls and go for the good stuff: deadlifts, squats, bench pressing. I personally think HIIT is awesome and super effective but so do a lot of other people.

YES!
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 6:40 PM on September 17, 2010


You're getting ahead of yourself. As a wise coach of mine once said, you've got to build the foundation of your house before you pick out the curtains.

You recognize that you're weak. This is a good first step. The next step is to get strong. Here are some goals for you: bench press your bodyweight, squat 1.5x your bodyweight, and deadlift 2x your bodyweight.

Accomplish those things and you're going to look better, feel better, and have a much clearer understanding of where you want to go and how you're going to get there.
posted by JohnMarston at 7:28 PM on September 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rob at Cockeyed keeps a chart of people at various heights & weights. It's interesting.

Slightly related: I was watching Mad Men the other night, and thinking that Jon Hamm has some wholly realistic thickness around the middle for an incredibly hot 39 year old man.
posted by judith at 11:28 PM on September 19, 2010


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