Dr. Phil Maffetone: The Eight Steps To Mastering MAF, Healthy Body Fat Ranges, and How Athletes Can Decrease Health Risks

November 29, 2017
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Dr. Phil Maffetone is back for an instant classic on how you can maximize your fitness gains and longterm health simultaneously:

MAF Method refresher:

  • It’s not just about the 180 Formula when you pursue MAF, it’s a holistic method for overall improved health, wellness and fitness.
  • There are 8 steps to mastering MAF, which we discuss in detail:
  1. Carb intolerance
  2. Inflammation
  3. Vitamin D
  4. Folate
  5. Build the Aerobic System
  6. Manage Stress
  7. Build a Better Brain
  8. Healthy Aging

 

Study: Physically active white men at high risk for plaque buildup in arteries

  • A recent study showed that white men who exercise are at a higher risk for plaque buildup in the arteries, and news has spread. View the article here. We get Phil’s take and what is missing:
  • Calcification is clearly a dangerous sign, but a downstream problem. Two common causes are:
    • Increased fat (especially pericardial)
    • Low vitamin D
  • Pericardial fat risks:
    • When abdomen gets fat, the fat around heart also probably excessive – affects cardiac output, stroke volume and the athlete’s training and racing HR goes up, having a negative effect on performance and health.
  • The importance of your waist-to-height ratio. Your waist should be no more than 1/2 your height.
  • Study mention: American runners have never been slower

 

Phil’s new study on the overfat population (click link for full text!), and what they found:

  • An increase prevalence of exercise among adults (up to 52%)
  • But also a paralleled increase of overfat people (91% of American adults, and 69% of kids in the US).
  • WHY is there this trend (i.e. more exercise but getting fatter)?
  • How was being “overfat” assessed?
  • Conclusion: you can’t outrun a bad diet.

 

What is a healthy body fat range to be in according to research and Phil?

  • Normal ranges of body fat percentages–abnormally low, healthy, abnormally high:
    • BF ranges
    • Dangerously low
      • <14% women (but even ~17% +/- could pose risks)
      • <8% men
    • Dangerously high
      • >31.6% women
      • >17.6% men
    • Source: Lohman and Colleagues
  • Phil says don’t exceed these following ranges; it’s where things start to go wrong:
    • 29.8% for women
    • 15.3% for men

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