Venus Factor: Ideal Body Measurements for Women

Written by: Brad Pilon

Сontents: Venus Formula | Example of Calculation | Venus Waist Ratios |Guide to Getting Your Venus Body


Women often wonder what their “healthy weight” or their “ideal weight” is, and those are hard questions to answer. Suggesting “ideal measurements” can be very touchy for females.

In order to determine what your ideal body measurements should be, we first must determine the amount of lean body mass (LBM) your body frame can support.

Lean body mass is “good weight,” and includes things like muscles, bones, and organs. Anything inside your body that isn’t fat counts as lean body mass. Lean body mass can be calculated pretty accurately using some equations. (If you’re familiar with the Venus Factor, this equation is similar to the “rule of sevens.”)

The Venus Factor Equation for women is as follows:


C x H3

“H” is your height, measured in meters.

“C” is a coefficient that is adjusted for age.


For women age 35-54, the range associated with the highest degree of lean body mass, C = 10.

Women are very different from men in this area. Men reach their potential for maximum muscle between ages 18 and 25, however, women don’t reach this phase until about age 45.

Here are the age ranges for the coefficient C in our equation:

18-24 = 9.6

25-34 = 9.8

35-54 = 10

55+ = 9.8

(Standard deviation is 0.5)

Example of calculation

For a 5’6” woman who is 36 years old, the equation would work out as follows:

LBM = 10 x 1.67643

LBM = 10 x 4.711

LBM = 47.11 KG



The average lean body mass goal for a 36-year-old woman who is 5’6” tall would be approximately 104 pounds.

We use the standard deviation figure of 0.5 to determine an appropriate range. Two standard deviations to the right or left of the average will calculate the range that 95% of the population is likely to fall into.

In this case the range would be between:

9 x 4.711 and 11 x 4.711


94 to 114 pounds


So a 5’6” woman who is 36 years old should have a lean body mass that would fall somewhere in this range.


***REMEMBER: This equation is for LEAN body mass, not TOTAL body mass.***


The idea of the Venus Factor program is to create an ideal look with a well-proportioned body. The numbers above are important in developing this.

For men, a high amount of muscle mass usually indicates “youth,” because men around age 25 usually have the highest amounts of lean body mass.

A high amount of muscle mass can cause a woman to look older, since the highest amounts of lean body mass are usually found in women who are age 45 and older. The Venus Factor seeks to find the “ideal” muscle mass for females, not the “maximum” muscle mass.

The ideal amount is usually somewhere in the range mentioned above. While it is possible for a woman to build more muscle than the equation suggests, it may not be desirable for a woman to do that.

So how does a woman determine what is ideal for her body? In the Venus Factor, we calculate this based on your body circumference – your waist and shoulder measurements.


***Don’t Miss this Important Information****


Please note that we do not measure a woman’s waist at her navel. Many females think this is where they should measure, but this is not correct. In females, the natural waist line is the smallest point on the torso above the navel. For most women, this falls right under the rib cage.

Most women appear to be at their “ideal” weight and measurements when their waist circumference is approximately 38% of their height. If a female drops to 35% of her height, she tends to look too skinny. If she goes much higher than 43% of her height, her body fat will begin to mask her natural shape.

For both men and women, when the waist circumference is more than 50% of height, the extra body fat can become hazardous to your health

38% = Our Ideal

35 – 43% = Good range

Under 35% = May be lacking lean body mass. Slightly increase calories/decrease activity level.

Over 43% = May be carrying more fat than you need. Assess eating and exercise habits.

Over 50% = More body fat than you need. Long term health risks.


We have learned that the Venus Factor provides an attainable ideal for anyone. The idea of fitness and health should not be to get lean at all costs.


Some ideals set by society are unrealistic and unattainable. Barbie’s waist circumference, for example, is 25% of her height, which, as we have calculated, is not ideal.

Aside from obtaining your waist measurement, it is also important to get your shoulder measurement. If you measure around your shoulders at armpit level, you should be able to get a good indication of your overall muscle mass without allowing your breast size to interfere with the calculation.

A shoulder measurement that is about 62% of your height indicates a good “toned” look for a female. This percentage should prevent a female from looking too masculine or from looking older – or, in the opposite case, from looking too thin. Following the shoulder circumference percentage recommendation allows for a healthy look.

Note: When a female has less than 25% body fat, a decrease of more than an inch in shoulder circumference should be seen as a sign to slightly increase your calorie intake.


Guide to Getting Your Venus Body

If you can get past the technical terms in what I have written, you will see that I am offering an excellent set of guidelines for women who are trying to lose weight. The equations give you a definite goal.

For example, a body fat percentage of around 20% of the weight of the 5’6” woman we discussed earlier will fall around 120 to 140 pounds, with possible deviations of 4 to 5 pounds in either direction.(It should be noted that 20% body fat is considered “very lean,” and that might be leaner than you need to be. I am only using that as an example.)

A target goal weight of 120-140 pounds is a pretty large range, but this allows us to more easily set a goal for ourselves, rather than picking a specific number based on the weight of this co-worker or that celebrity.

Our calculations will tell us that a 5’6” woman will weigh between 120 and 140 pounds if she has a waist that measures around 25 inches and a shoulder circumference of around 41 inches. We also know, based on our calculations, that she will probably have between 95 and 105 pounds of lean body mass and 25-35 pounds of fat mass.

When you have determined a good baseline weight range, you can use calculations to determine how much we should be training and eating.


If your weight, waist, and shoulders are below the guidelines, you should eat a little more and focus on weight training. You might think you still need to lose fat, but you won’t have an accurate view of yourself until you build some muscle on to your frame. Your muscle structure is what determines your shape.

If you don’t have muscles, you have no shape. You should only eat a little bit more, with the goal of bringing up your weight and shoulder measurements while slowly increasing your waist circumference.

Remember to go slowly, and remember that this is not a good time to diet, fast, or do excessive cardio. If you are fasting, fast over one 24-hour period per week at the most. “Bulking,” for women, can cause an increase in testosterone and leptin, so be sure to go slowly.


If your weight, waist, and shoulders are within the ideal ranges, then you should focus on making small changes in your diet and exercise routines. There is no need to make major changes. The scale probably won’t tell you much about what’s going on inside your body. You will be better off concentrating on your measurements.

If you’re in the ideal range, you should be eating as much as you want without gaining fat by using the perfect blend of exercise and diet you’ve been using. If you have been fasting, you can continue to do so once or twice a week.


If your weight is in the high range, and if your waist is above 43%, or especially above 50%, of your height, then you need to consider changing your diet to get your waist into the proper range. You could probably fast twice a week if you want to, and you probably need to consider reducing your calorie intake on the days you are not fasting.

You may need to drastically reduce your calorie intake initially, but you can increase it as you begin to lose weight. Focus on your waist circumference. Each inch that comes off your waist should reflect approximately a 5 pound loss in body weight.


It’s not easy to determine how much you should eat, but it’s much easier to manage your diet when you let your own body measurements guide you rather than aiming for a random calculation. The calculations we use only provide “best guesses.” If you want a very accurate determination of your fat mass and your lean body mass, you could have a DEXA done. But please remember the following:


A scale cannot tell a woman how much she should eat or workout.

Knowledge of your weight can give you a good starting point, but it won’t tell you where you should end up or how far you’re coming along. Your measurements, on the other hand, can show you how far you have come. Having a general idea of the ideal weight range for your height, combined with the measurements of your waist and shoulders, should provide you with good guidelines for shaping your body.

A body-first approach will lead to better results than a calories-first approach. Entering numbers on an online calculator, not taking into consideration your height or your body measurements, will not give you an accurate portrayal of how many calories you should be eating, and it won’t give you the results you want to see.

Instead, focus on what is possible for your body, with the goal of improving your overall shape. Compare your current measurements with your ideal ranges. From there, develop your diet and exercise program. Once you become lean, you can use your calculations as a guide to help you stay lean.

What if you are gaining weight, but your waist measurements are staying the same? That probably means you’re gaining muscle weight. But if you gain weight while your waist measurements consistently reach higher and higher, you’re probably adding body fat.

There is no way to determine what is actually going on inside your body, but these simple calculations – which go along with the idea of the Venus Factor – can help guide you through your attempts to either lose fat, gain muscle, or maintain your body shape.


If you want to learn more on how to get a well proportioned feminine physique, then check out this video




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