Anything worth achieving is not easy to attain. And building a Lean Body is definitely not easy to achieve.
However, in this article, I can make it simple for you.
First, let’s define a Lean Body.
A Lean Body is a body that rests on two pillars: Real, & Healthy.
Lean Body Pillar No #1
Lean Bodies are real. They are not built out of an obsession with an extreme ripped look or to build the crazy amount of muscles. Its never about building huge 3D shoulders, huge traps or even giving priority to few muscle groups–mainly ‘mirror’ muscles like chest and arms over legs or back.
Being real is also about being balanced with your lifestyle. It’s not about spending crazy hours in the gym or eating boiled chicken and vegetables out of your Tupperware container. It’s about loving you (and the cheesecake) and striving to improve in a holistic manner.
Lean Body Pillar No #2
Lean body is healthy. What’s the point of looking good when you don’t feel good? We feel good when we are supremely healthy. However, most people have only a rough idea of what “healthy” is. Is it merely the absence of disease? Is it simply maintaining a healthy weight? Or is it living to a certain age?
There are key health indicators like fasting insulin levels and few more than can give us a very good idea about how healthy we are. I have covered that in my book ‘The Fabulous Body’, you can check it out here.
Now, let’s discuss the three simple steps which will help us build a Lean Body.
Building a Lean Body Step No #1
Be in your sexy weight range
Here is a beautiful quote to live by:
“Too many muscles can get in your way. You have got to have enough to get people interested, but not so much to scare them off.” —Steve Reeves (the most admired bodybuilder of the 20th century)
How much is too much? That depends on you. What is your preference? Do you like a LEAN look, like Brad Pitt in “Fight Club,” or do you like more size? How about Chris Hemsworth in “Thor,” or Brad Pitt in Troy?
Dr. Casey Butt has done a brilliant job of finding us a sexy weight range for men that women find attractive.
Sexy Weight Range = Minimum Lean Body Weight: 23 * H 2 – Maximum Muscular Body Weight: 26 * H 2
In this equation, height (H) is in meters and weight is in kilograms. You can convert feet and inches to meters here.
Let’s take an example of an individual who is 6 feet tall to illustrate this point better.
His sexy weight range, assuming his body fat is between 9 percent and 14 percent, is 77 kg – 87kg (170 – 192 pounds).
This sexy weight range came from a study by MJ Tovee funded by Newcastle University.
Note: Stick with the lower end of the weight range if you want to look LEAN and aim to achieve the higher end of the weight range if you want a more MUSCULAR look. If you stay within the weight range I have mentioned, it’s very tough to get your body proportions wrong provided you do it naturally.
What does that mean?
If you take steroids and other bodybuilding drugs like growth hormones you start to get a very unnatural look. For example, see the pictures below:
Notice the traps, the 3D shoulder, the fullness of the upper chest and so forth. All this signifies steroid use as these muscle areas has more androgen receptors. With steroid use, you start getting a unique look which is pretty easy to identify and it’s a far cry from what looks real!
Building a Lean Body Step No #2
X-Taper is the key.
You don’t need to build a lot of muscle to look LEAN. All you need to do is focus on your proportions, especially ratio’s.
Consider a study were thirty female undergraduates rated colour pictures of 50 men in front view. Waist to chest ratio (WCR)—a measure of upper body shape, waist to hip ratio (
Waist to chest ratio (WCR)—a measure of upper body shape, waist to hip ratio (WHR)—a measure of lower body shape, and BMI was measured for each man. Images were presented in random order with each subject’s head and body obscured.
Results showed that individually all three characteristics were contributors to attractiveness. However, WCR was the principal determinant of attractiveness, accounting for 56 percent of the variance, whereas BMI accounted for only 12.7 percent of the additional variance. WHR was not a significant predictor of attractiveness.
What this means in laymen terms is that the waist to chest ratio was a significant determinant of attractiveness. It’s based on the golden ratio which I have explained in this post.
Building a Lean Body Step No #3
Bring your body fat percentage in the ideal range.
I have covered the ideal body fat percentage range for men in a pretty elaborate manner in the following post:
I feel the phrase ‘No Brain, No Gain’ applies more than the ‘No Pain, No Gain’ when it comes to building a LEAN physique that you are proud of.
If you want to go into more details on how to build your ideal physique, you want to consider these articles too:
For a step-by-step 18 week LEAN or MUSCULAR solutions you can check out my courses here.
If you have doubts or comments let me know below!