Friday, July 10, 2009

Take your pick

Is actively putting on muscle for years bad? That was a question recently asked on an internet fitness forum where I serve as a moderator. The person asking the question did so in the context of whether it was healthy because any extra body mass puts a strain on internal organs such as the heart and liver.

What do you think? My response was that plus or minus 10% of our truth is the healthiest bodyweight so the big question is what is our truth.

I always ask middle-age men like me how much they weighed when they graduated from high school because I believe that weight is a good first clue in knowing their truth. This, of course, assumes that they had finished growing for the most part; some people don’t until a few years later. Case in point is my brother-in-law who was about 5'4" when he graduated from high school and grew almost another foot by the time he finished college four years later.

I weighed 161 lbs. when I took my Army physical exam during my senior year in high school. Applying this plus or minus 10% test to me would put my upper end weight at 177 lbs. I'm currently weighing between 178-180 lbs. but was as high as 193 lbs. last year at this time. For me, I think the 178-180 lbs. is closer to my truth than the 193 lbs. What is your truth?

The litmus test for a healthy life, in my opinion, is to weigh the least amount possible to be as strong as you reasonably need to be and if actively putting on muscles for years to reach this goal is how you do it then so be it.

The way I see it, as a middle-age man or woman, you are either actively putting on muscle or passively putting on fat, take your pick.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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