Some think of the perfect body as one that looks like a competitive bodybuilder. Others think of the perfect body as one that looks like a thin male or female model. I say that a perfect body is your own natural one, no matter what stage you are in life, in a healthy body fat range, and a healthy amount of lean muscle.
I’ve often said that the definition of a perfect body is in the eye of the beholder. Some think of the perfect body as one that looks like a competitive bodybuilder. Others think of the perfect body as one that looks like a thin male or female model. I say that a perfect body is your own natural one, no matter what stage you are in life, in a healthy body fat range, and a healthy amount of lean muscle. A healthy body fat range for men is generally 13-17%, and for women it’s generally 14-20%. As I stated in a previous article, our body types fall into 3 categories: ectomorph (skinny, difficult to put on muscle), endomorph (husky, difficult to reduce body fat), and mesomorph (athletic). It is the mesomorph side in all of us that falls in to the perfect body category.
Depending on our size and frame, the athletic look will vary from person to person, but ultimately it will be the best version of us. Getting there is the battle most people face. Many of my clients will have a direct request when I first meet them. The conversation will usually begin like this: “I want to lose 50 pounds by the next two months,” or “I want to have the body I had 10 years ago.”
Now whenever someone poses these kinds of questions to me I immediately visualize what version of them it is they’re trying to make happen, and then I educate them on the process. People throw out numbers like 50 pounds because it is the easiest way for them to communicate what it is they see in their head. As many of you, who have read my articles over the past few years, know, losing body fat and gaining lean muscle are the key ingredients. Customizing it to fit your body types, ages, medical history, and current shape is where my expertise comes in to play.
In fact, as part of my campaign to get people to love themselves and their bodies, I educate, train, and coach them to reach the best version of themselves as they are today. Some of my clients, particularly my models and athletes, have also helped me bring this point to life through their own professional modeling work, like my client Daniel T., the model/ athlete pictured with this article.
Having the best physical version of ourselves isn’t just about vanity, it is also about health. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), type 2 diabetes, and hypertension, remain some of the biggest contributions to death in the United States. Along with those illnesses comes a plethora of prescription medicine to try to offset the toll these illnesses can take on the body.
Speaking of my own personal experiences over the past 10 years with clients suffering from illnesses, once they get healthier, lose the extra weight and body fat, and follow a sensible nutrition regimen, much of the medicine is removed by their doctors because they no longer need them. It is for this reason that I encourage my clients to get a physical before and after their training program. For in almost every case, the 2nd physical becomes the one that is most pleasing to the doctor and the client, as their body begins to heal itself and slow down the aging process.
Why make such a big deal about being the best version of yourself? Because you deserve it. We should always want the best for ourselves. In the words of Khalil Gibran, “Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”
Michael Shaw is a certified fitness trainer, sports performance nutrition specialist, owner of Shaw Fitness, a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Physical Fitness, and a fitness and fashion model manager. He can be reached at www.michaelroyshaw.com.