Women Really Do Prefer Men Who Are Physically Fit

But It’s Probably Not For Any of the Reasons You Might Think

Matt Gangloff
5 min readDec 20, 2022


Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Do women really prefer guys with big muscles? Most women will say no. Then, date guys who are jacked.

It’s not because they’re lying. It’s that men don’t understand what women are really after...

It’s not exactly that women prefer men who are physically fit.

It’s that being physically fit hints at something much deeper and more important (and totally achievable, even to the average guy).

Here’s what I mean…

Physical Fitness Is Just a Proxy for These 5 Things

Humans use proxies, or heuristics, or little rules of thumb to make mating decisions. They look at one thing as evidence that something else is true.

Take, for example, male birds’ colorful plumage and dance routines. Female birds select based on those things as a proxy that indicates the most colorful dancers have good genes to pass on to the next generation.

Now, human beings are a little more complicated than that. We select partners based on more than just genetics alone.

But we still put a lot of stake in physical appearance as a proxy for traits that can’t be seen on the outside.

Physical Fitness is one of those proxies. But what physical fitness is a proxy for might surprise you.

Here are a few of them…

1. He Cares About His Health and Well-being

In other words, he treats himself well. Why does that matter?

Here’s a few possible reasons:

  • First, they’ll live longer and remain healthy into old age.
  • Second, if she values her health and wellbeing (and is into physical fitness), she probably wants to date someone with similar interests.
  • Third, people who treat themselves well, generally speaking, treat others well, too.

And, as you’ll see later, that’s one of the most important characteristics in a potential mate — how well they treat you (and your kids).



Matt Gangloff

I teach the how-to’s of Post-Traumatic Growth: How to heal and grow, find a new mission, become your best self and build a meaningful life. www.mattgangloff.com