Everyone struggles with the idea of what constitutes the ideal male body and how to achieve it. To help out with the decisions of which direction to take your own body, we have compiled the ideal male bodies throughout history as popularized by iconic male figures in the media. These bodies have changed drastically over time and are directly related with the lifestyles and culture of America during their respective eras. You will not only see what these ideal male bodies are, but you will learn about the most influential people who helped popularize these bodies. As a plus, we will also go through the steps and actions one must take to achieve the ideal male body that you desire.

17. How to achieve the ideal male body.

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In America, the ideal male body has changed over time and that is largely in part due to media. We will go through some of the most iconic male bodies that became popular through media. However, we will also tell you how to achieve these bodies just in case there was a certain era of America you just absolutely love.

16. 1870: Fat means money.

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Although people currently associate being overweight with a poor diet due to a low income, in the past, being a little overly healthy meant being a part of the upper class. To achieve this body is quite easy. Eat. However, don’t just eat twinkies all day, try to eat healthy. Eating this way means adding a ton of carbohydrates and protein to your diet and try to minimize the amount of processed and sugary foods you intake. This will assure that you are “overly healthy” rather than disgustingly overweight.

15. Join the upper class.

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As you can see in this image, many men of the upper class had very similar body types. But, none of them look fat like the way that fat is associated with people nowadays. They didn’t have access to mass produced sweets and things covered in sugar and preservatives, they ate meat, veggies, and bread. However, some people are a little more active than your average upper class man.

14. 1930: Actively healthy.

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You want to eat healthy like upper class men but, you also want to workout or be an active member of society. Well this 1930’s ideal male body is just the fit for you. To achieve this body you can find a copy of Charles Atlas’ book Dynamic Tension or you can look into doing calisthenics.

13. The God of calisthenics.

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The best part about achieving this ideal male body is that you don’t need an expensive gym membership or access to a gym at all for that matter. Charles Atlas was able to achieve his He-Man body through the use of his own body weight while being in motion. This can mean many things, such as running, swimming, gymnastics, and so on.

12. Actors can calisthenics too!

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Once, word got out that Charles Atlas was “The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man” many famous actors such as Clark Gable, in this image above, did their best to achieve this lean and proportional body. Calisthenics is basically a more refined version of Charles Atlas’ workout plan and there is a large variety of different ways to perform calisthenics around your house or even at your neighborhood park.

11. John Wayne did it, you can too.

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When you think of Hollywood in it’s prime, you think of John Wayne. Even John knew that all eyes were on him, so what else could he do but try and achieve a perfectly developed body. Don’t got the time or ability to workout and eat healthy? Well no worries, because you can have just as much sex appeal without trying very hard.

10. 1960: Rock on!

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Having the ideal male body isn’t always about what you eat or how you take care of your body. Sometimes it’s just about how you strut. In the 60’s when rock was it’s most popular, people found the lean and long haired frontmen of these bands to be extremely attractive. One individual specifically was Mick Jagger.

9. Rockstars are attractive.

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Although rockstars achieved this body by doing nothing special, it is also imperative that you still be quite careful. You don’t want to get too skinny and you also want to watch what you eat, to a degree. The popularity of rockstars made this body overly attractive and almost requires no effort.

8. Long hair, don’t care.

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John Lennon, everyone’s favorite rockstar, helped Mick when popularizing this revolutionary male body. Just remember, you want to find that sweet spot where your body looks lean and sexy accompanied with a full head of hair of course.

7. 1980: Big, bad, and muscular.

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Being lean isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. My older brother for example, wants to be a huge walking mass of muscle. If that’s what you are into then the 80’s is a perfect place to go looking for some ideal male bodies.

6. The muscle man.

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When you think of the original muscle man, you think of none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. He exudes manliness to a tee so, if you want to be manly, look manly, and act manly, then Arnold is the perfect role model. 

5. Not without sacrifice.

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Arnold spent most of his time working on his body. Being a professional bodybuilder in the past, he spent almost every waking moment thinking about working out. Achieving this ideal male body requires a ton of time, patience, and willpower. Some people resort to using legal steroids as well as other supplements. However, this body can be achieved by continuously pushing your limits while conducting your workout.

4. No time but still a wall.

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Don’t want to put in the money and effort to become a professional bodybuilder? Well no worries, Sylvester Stallone achieved his ideal male body without having to bulk up as much as Arnold. The concept is the same, workout and push your body to it’s limits. However, reducing your body fat with cardio after your workout can give you that strong chiseled look that you are looking for. Just try to keep your BPM under 160 so that you only burn fat. Anything over that and your body will start eating at your muscles, and how can you get big when you eat your muscles?

3. Present day man.

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Nowadays, the ideal male body is to not be too massive, have nice arms, and abs. This body, just like all the others, was popularized through by all the famous people with these bodies. Many actors have to workout for their role so that their sexy looking body will attract more movie viewers. Who’s the sexiest actor you can think of? Well, if it wasn’t Brad Pitt then he is at least in the top 5.

2. Sex appeal.

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What is everyone’s first goal when starting to workout? Of course it is to get that sexy looking six-pack. Brad Pitt had to be a frequent gym goer in order to keep his body looking pristine for his movie roles. To achieve this body, you need a mixture of all the key points throughout history. You want to eat healthy, go to the gym, push your limits, do cardio after every workout, and make sure to interchange weight training and calisthenics every other day.

1. Ideal body.

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There have been many different iterations of the ideal male body throughout the years. Hollywood and the music scene have played a pivotal role in popularizing these bodies during their respective time periods. Achieving each one requires different methods and experience. However, the core stays the same. Be healthy and you will look and feel healthy. And what’s more attractive than a healthy looking man?

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