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What Are The Ideal Body Measurements For Men & Women?

Does Such A Thing Even Exist?

Posted by TimeIsMuscle - February 25th, 2017

What are my ideal body measurements? I often get asked this question by both men and women. There are many formulas out there for calculating and determining the ideal body compositions. To me, there isn’t one sole definition of having what is considered “the ideal body measurements” (in overall terms).

Do Ideal Measurements Exist?

For me, it just doesn’t exist. This is because what may be viewed as ideal measurements for certain parts of the human anatomy will differ from person to person, and certainly even more so between men and women. I think the answer to this commonly asked question depends on one’s opinion, taking into careful consideration that person’s goals, body type and genetic predisposition.

My Experience & Advice

Personally, I don’t take frequent measurements of my body parts/muscles anymore. However, as a teenager starting out lifting weights for the first time, I did keep a diary and I recorded my measurements. I would look back and compare my measurements in order to see how I was progressing. Doing this helped me see how fast I was developing. This method of monitoring my measurements I have now neglected as my objectives and personal goals have since changed. However, if your main focus is your measurements, you should be implementing the following:

Record your measurements by using both callipers to measure your fat percentage, and then a measuring tape to record the size of body parts/muscles in cm/inches.

How often do you do this? This is entirely up to you. Some people do this weekly, some monthly, and others quarterly.

Can I Make A Certain Body Part Smaller?

Commonly it’s the guys who want to enhance their muscle measurements all over their body and women who want to drop a dress size by losing a few pounds in certain places. Speaking for a moment with particular reference to women I get asked more often than not “How can I lose fat around my legs, or around my midsection?” and then men often ask “How do I lose fat around my chest?” otherwise specified by some as “Manboobs”.

The simple answer some practitioners may give here is to “do cardio and to eat this, not that”. For some this may work, but for many it won’t. Weight training enables you to manipulate the way your body looks from an aesthetic point of view more specifically than if you were doing tonnes of cardio and calisthenics by itself. However, nothing will enable you to spot reduce fat, so trying to lose size in a certain area of your body is not something you can do easily. It takes time, and it is your body that will decide where it shrinks first.

Avoid Going From One Extreme To Another

Too much weight training for an area might make it disproportionate to the rest of your body. By comparison, too much cardiovascular and metabolic/bodyweight workouts by themselves may make you lose too much size in another area.

You need to try to find a happy medium. At the end of the day, you ultimately want a body that accentuates your favourite parts of your anatomy. It’s counterproductive to go from one extreme to another. Therefore, there needs to be a balance.

Let Your Genetics Point You In The Right Direction

Whether you’re male or female, you should first ask yourself ‘what body type am I?’ (If in, doubt ask a PT or GP). This is very important to know, as this will help you determine the best way for you to plan your training and what type of exercise prescription you should focus on.

Exercise prescription is key and should be reviewed and adapted every few weeks so your body doesn’t get too used to the same regime causing you to plateau. What would work for one body type may not work for another. For me though, weight training at the least if performed at moderate intensity is essential for everyone who’s perfectly able to do so. It’s not all about cardio when it comes to losing fat in places or reconstructing specific parts of the anatomy for that matter.

Weights Resistance Training

Weight resistance training is widely regarded as the best exercise to address the issue of reducing body fat, whilst maintaining or building muscle at the same time. I too share this opinion from my own experience. The reason being, is the more muscle you have, the more efficient you body becomes at burning unwanted fat.

Not to mention, you maintain the luxury of the fullness and definition of a somewhat defined body, which wouldn’t otherwise be the case if you practised cardio by itself continuously. So by supplementing some form of weight training into your weekly regime, you can reduce fat without sacrificing so much mass or shape around the area concerned.


To conclude, resistance training in conjunction with a relatively clean diet will make your muscles capable of burning fat all over your body, without you losing the entire shape or muscular definition of a specific body part, hence achieving a happy medium. Your measurements (if you choose to record them) as a result will become more encouraging based on this approach. On the other hand, much like me, you may get to a point of what I like to call “reflective content”. This is when you are content with the results or changes that you see in the mirror, as a result of all your hard work.

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