How does a man five feet six inches in height (I’m 5’9 don’t confuse lol) appear six feet tall standing alone at a distance? How does he look like he weighs 215 muscular pounds when he barely tips the scale at 176 pounds? Why does his waist look 28 inches, when its actual measurement is 32 inches? How does he step onstage at a bodybuilding competition and blow away competitors who outweigh him by 20, 30 even 50 pounds or more? Why does this man’s body look like a beautiful piece of classical sculpture, while much larger men look misshapen and blocky? The answer, in a word, is symmetry. Symmetry refers to the qualities of balance, proportion, shape and classical aesthetics. It was first described by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who explained it in terms of mathematical relationships. Leonardo DaVinci later expanded on and explained these concepts by way of his “Canon of Proportions” (also known as the “Vitruvian Man”). When you think of those who have achieved such classical proportions, they are few in number and include such elite company as Steve Reeves, Vince Gironda, Frank Zane, Bob Paris, Francis Benfatto , and Lee Labrada. In order to truly achieve the classic physique, you must strive for a few things. Low bodyfat, small waist, broad shoulders with emphasis on medial delt development, wide sweeping lats, wide plated armor-like chest development with emphasis on upper pec. Small hips and glutes (lay off heavy deadlifts/back squats, opt for rows and front or hack squats), and as much calf/forearm development as possible. All beginning bodybuilders, I find, are too interested in the scale and the tape as yardsticks of progress. They seem to think if they weigh or measure a certain amount, that this automatically produces a perfect build. Nothing could be further from the truth. What they don’t seem to remember is that they do not weigh or measure you on the physique stage; they determine the best build by shape, size, and symmetry. Inspired by Lee Labrada.