Obviously the musculature is not the number 1 criterion if we speak of “prefer” in the sense of being inclined to initiate a serious love relationship, that is to say, in the long term.
In the study of Man, a distinction is made between long-term and short-term relationships, because they are two distinct mating strategies that coexist in the species.
But we can still make certain observations on the attractiveness of women for a beautiful male musculature.
To choose on this criterion alone between the picture of a muscular man or not, women on average do indeed prefer the muscular man (we do not say how much, but it probably stops for the majority of them to a natural musculature, that is to say not on steroids). They also prefer a shoulder width wider than the width of the waist.
Muscular men report more sexual partners, as do men with higher than average muscle strength (muscle strength is positively correlated with measures of male health such as bone mineral density or physical and cardio-respiratory function). U.S. college athletes report almost twice as many sexual partners as non-athletes.
These results are due to two things:
First, as we said, an average preference for a fit body – which is obvious. However, a more muscular and well-designed musculature in a harmonious body is also a hormonal signal, that of a high testosterone level.
However, men with high testosterone levels are seen by women as more suitable for a short relationship but less so for a long one, and precisely these more masculinized men are particularly favoured by women looking for a short relationship, especially if they are in their fertile period.
It can therefore be said that women consider the criterion of musculature above all in the perspective of a short relationship (in other words sexual or in any case not serious). Otherwise, being very well drawn is not really a very important criterion in seduction, even if obviously being in top shape will always be an advantage.
In reality, the majority of men are muscular especially in two objectives which can be joint but not necessarily :
1) To impress other men and thus gain more respect through the effect they impose (when the 120kg guys say certain things, the 60kg guys listen to them, Audiard said); these are the guys who lift weights the size of a truck at the gym.
2) Maintain an iron health and therefore an iron spirit in order to act in the world with the most efficiency; these are the guys who do running, body weights etc.
The third goal is that of attraction, but this is something much less important for men, unlike women.