Here's some good news for the gym monsters among you: women are "predisposed to prefer muscularity in men", according to researchers at UCLA.
The team's report, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests "muscles in men are akin to elaborate tail feathers in male peacocks" which "attract females looking for a virile mate", as Reuters puts it.
However, this animal magnetism is most effective on females looking for a quick roll in the hay, since they will tend to opt for a "regular man" when it comes to long-term relationships. Study author David Frederick explained: "On the one hand, it makes them [muscular blokes] more sexy to women. On the other hand, it makes women more suspicious about their romantic intentions."
The researchers quizzed 99 male undergraduates on their sexual histories and found that the muscular examples were "twice as likely to have had more than three sex partners than less-built types". They also presented 141college women with "six standardized silhouettes of men ranging from brawny to slender" with most selecting a "toned man who was more likely to commit over a muscle-bound man they perceived as more volatile, aggressive and dominant".
The upshot of all this is, according to Frederick, that while previous studies showed "concluded a man's desirability was influenced more by his earning potential and commitment", his report demonstrates that physical attraction is key.
The findings will comes as a shock to those Chinese women who recently voted Bill Gates as second choice to father their babies. The Redmond multitrillionaire is not noted for his Baywatch-style sixpack stomach and rippling biceps. ®