Women are attracted to fit, athletic men—shocker. But now there’s some science to back that up. New research from Switzerland’s University of Zurich suggests that top-performing endurance athletes are perceived as more attractive than their slower, less-successful counterparts.
The study looked at the relationship between athletic performance and perceived facial attractiveness among elite cyclists competing in the 2012 Tour de France. Researchers asked 800 study participants to rate 80 pro riders and found that the top 10% of cyclists were rated, on average, as 25% better looking than the bottom 10%.
But the trend doesn’t stop at cyclists. In a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, female participants were asked to rate a group of NFL quarterbacks on their handsomeness. The athletes rated as most attractive also happened to be the top-performing QBs on the field.
Turns out, biology has gifted women with an incredible radar when it comes to identifying fit and healthy mates. One more reason to step it up in the gym.