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The Fastest Fitness Test for Lifters

the-fastest-fitness-test-for-lifters

According to a study that will make you mad, 90-percent of men and 80-percent of women are overfat. That means, statistically, YOU are overfat. And that overfatness can lead to cardiometabolic dysfunction and a whole bunch of chronic diseases that’ll kill you until you’re dead.

But wait, what exactly does “overfat” mean? Think of it as a new category on the body fat continuum:

  • Normal Weight
  • Overfat (the new category)
  • Overweight
  • Obese
  • Morbidly Obese

“Normal weight” and the three latter categorizations are typically measured using the BMI scale. As you know, this is an oversimplified formula based on height and weight. It does not discriminate between muscle mass and fat mass, nor does it tell you anything about WHERE you store your fat.

That last bit is important. First, storing fat in the abdominal/belly area is much worse for you health-wise than storing it elsewhere. Second, BMI doesn’t tell you a thing about visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue:

  • Visceral fat is stored inside the abdominal cavity and around your internal organs. That’s the stuff that’ll lead to insulin resistance and, generally speaking, dying too young.
  • Subcutaneous fat is that jiggly stuff just beneath your skin. It’s less dangerous but definitely gross if it reaches the droopy level.

Health expert Philip Maffetone and his researchers believe that a person who’s not obese or even overweight (as measured by BMI) can still have an unhealthy level of body fat – particularly in the abdominal region. (1) That overfatness is either a sign of growing health problems or a predictor of soon-to-be health problems.

They think we should just do away with the confounding BMI scale and use something different. Their method is fast, simple, and will probably hurt your feelings.

Here’s the Maffetone method in a nutshell:



That’s it. Strict? You bet, but their research is compelling if you want to dig deeply into the study.

How to Take the Maffetone Test

To help you break down that one-sentence fatness test, I’ll use myself as an example:

  1. How tall am I? I’m 5’11”. That’s 71 inches. Half of that is 35.5.
  2. What’s my waist measurement? Well, although Maffetone uses the term “waist,” what he means is “belly.” The measurement should be taken across the belly button area. Your pants size is not your waist size. Here’s the diagram Maffetone uses:


  3. My jeans size is 32, but my belly measurement is 34. That’s the number we want, so get out the tape measure, don’t suck in your gut, and do the deed.
  4. Now look at the definition of overfatness again: “If the circumference of your waist measures more than half your height, you’re overfat.”

My 34-inch belly measurement is NOT greater than half of my height – 35.5 inches. So, I’m not overfat. I’m also handsome and clever.

How To Use This Info

The researchers here are focused on avoiding heart disease, the 13 types of cancer associated with being too fat, type 2 diabetes, etc. They’re concerned with longevity and quality of life. Their test seems severe, but it’s ultimately more reliable than BMI and more realistic for athletic folks. It’s also easy to do at home.

The research is pretty clear: excess fat stored in and around your belly is bad news in the long run, even if you’re not “overweight” by conventional standards. Many men store fat in the intra-abdominal area – beneath their abs. This means they may have visible abs or a hard belly yet still be too fat internally, what doctors used to call “heart attack fat.”

This harsh test can act as a wake-up call. And sure, it may be a little too strict, but for a long life free of common, preventable diseases, it’s wise not to stray too far from these numbers.

What do you think?

Written by Steroid News

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