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Male Equivalent to Figure Building?



I am new to this sort of training having previously had inconsistent attempts at weight training, I would like to start, however I am concerned about becoming too big. I also like to swim and to a lesser extent run. For me I think I'd rather lean up and become a bit more wirey as I think that it wont interfere with the sports that I currently do, but that said I wouldn't object to having some crowd pleasers too.

So, is there a male equivalent to physique building rather than body building and if so, would you mind pointing me in the right direction.

As a starting point, I am 6-3 and about 210lbs and rusty when it comes to the gym.

Many thanks



who/what do you want to look like?

after you tell us, then we can proceed to tell you that getting big overnight won't happen, nor will it happen accidentally or as the result of anything other than insane dedication, effort and perseverance over yearrrssss.


Becoming "too big" is probably not possible, since it takes a lot of work (training and nutrition) and time, so it won't happen accidentally.

However, I can see your issue since I have a similar one. One of my main hobbies requires me to stay quite agile, so I can't really aim for "too big", but I am aiming for 190lb with somewhat low body fat (I am 5.9).
I'm still far from it and the idea is to use the same bodybuilding principles.

I'm now bulking for one year (which should leave me at 190lb with around 15% BF), then I will cut to a lower body fat, then increase my weight in a more controlled manner, while increasing my lifts, until the desired goal. Adjust as needed.

Maybe you could try a similar approach, but that depends on your body and all that. This is what I want for me...and I'm confident that it will work.


Lift with mediocre consistency and intensity, and don't put any thought in to your diet.


"So, is there a male equivalent to physique building rather than body building and if so, would you mind pointing me in the right direction. " What do you mean by this? Do you plan on getting on stage and competing in bodybuilding?


the male equivalent are called skinny kids or people who do Intermittent fasting(IF) they weigh about the same as those female figure competitors, although most female counterparts smoke them in deadlift, squats and benches.


At 6'3", you do not have to worry about getting "too big." At all.

Even if you were to get up to a lean, muscular 240 or 250 (which, to be honest, would be very difficult at your age anyhow), you'd look like a pro athlete, not some clunky dude who's "too big."

Do you just swim and run, or do you do any other sports? Michael Phelps is 6'4" and around 195. From a physique-perspective, he looks lanky and scrawny as hell. 9 times out of 10, more lean muscle and increased strength makes athletes better.

It's actually called the "Men's Physique Division". The pic above is from a recent contest and the dude on the right won. To get a build like theirs, lift weights 3-5 days a week, do cardio 2-4 days a week, and eat well... just like a "regular" bodybuilder.

At your current size, are you kinda lean or soft/pudgy?


^he won with no traps or calves?? lol do they judge that division on who has the hawt abz in swim trunks?


its funny that some on this board make fun of those guys even though they have better physiques than most on this site AND several of them compete in both the men's figure (is that what its called?) and the bodybuilding portion of a show. some of those guys are thick as hell and hiding quads under those trunks that would make most people's look like chicken legs.


so you're saying his traps and calves are impressive?




You realize that all of their physiques blow yours away, right?

I mean obviously youre an ignoramus to think you can see someones traps when the picture is taken by someone standing 5 feet below the stage pointing a camera upwards, but I guess it's easier to hate then to feel bad about yourself...


Stay at the same bodyweight and lift heavy and eat proper.

If you don't want to get too big then simply don't increase your bodyweight or even decrease it if you want. Or just stop whenever you feel you've gotten too big. Until then do things like anyone else does.

Also don't let people tell you that you can't add muscle on a calorie deficit. You can't add AS MUCH muscle but you certainly can make plenty of progress regardless. I'm fighting injuries, am on a pretty high calorie deficit and am past beginner gains and I'm still making gains pretty consistently.


I never said I look better.

look at the other two in the shot, they're all in the same shot. tell me their traps and/or calves don't look better than the third guy's from the same angle.

I thought these competitions had a certain aesthetic standard you had to meet to win. so what I AM saying is, that standard doesn't include traps and calves as well developed as the chests/lats/abs on these guys?


They all look a hell of a lot better than i do !! (even with the orange body paint)


For that division, he is aesthetic. Good looking, broad shoulders, and filled out just enough.

That's the criteria they are looking for.

Unlike with bodybuilding, small frame and joints are not going to be helping factors.


Getting bigger and stronger is a slow process, trust me you arent going to wake up next week looking like arnold then have a break down because none of your tshirts fit. Just train hard enjoy the sport and when you eventually reach your ideal size just work on maintainance.


fair enough. that division has its own standards and kudos to those guys for meeting or exceeding them. a lot of guys would love to look like that, myself included... with bigger traps and calves though, lawl.


Not to hijack this thread further (I do hope the OP comes back with more info), but above is another winning IFBB physique pro.

In addition to "stage presence and personality", the criteria states:
"Judges will be looking for fit contestants who display proper shape and symmetry combined with muscularity and overall condition. This is not a bodybuilding contest so extreme muscularity should be marked down."

Whatever that means. :wink: It's a physique sport, so the "best" look for the sport will change a bit from show to show, just like women's Figure comps. Sometimes a more blatantly muscular look will win, other times it might be a "softer" look.


In my opinion from what I've read online and have also actually seen, calves aren't important any more in bodybuilding and physique...

This coming from the guy with huge calves.