T Nation

Lean Body Mass or Fat Free Mass Index?


#1

I am interested in research concerning body composition measurements, genetic potential. My goal is to reach my maximum drug-free muscular genetic potential. Can you help me achieve this goal? Could you also please connect me with any others who you know are interested in this field of research or have a large amount of knowledge in it? That would be so helpful.

I have a few questions about body composition measurements in relation to drug-free muscular genetic potential. If you have some time could you please help me out?

I have been weight training for over 10 years now and I have a good deal of knowledge concerning training, nutrition, and rest. However, I am now trying to teach myself about maximum drug-free muscular genetic potential in relation to body composition measurements such as: Lean Body Mass (LBM) and the Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI). I have read that the maximum potential for my height (5 feet, 8 inches/173 centimeters) is 155lbs./70kg. of LBM and a FFMI of 25.

My goal is to achieve my maximum drug-free muscular genetic potential with a body fat percentage of 9% (I am currently at about 15%). When I calculate my height with a body fat percentage of 9% I see that to achieve a LBM of 155lbs./70kg. I can weight no more than a total of 170lbs./77kg.

Yet, and here is where the confusion comes in - with this calculation my FFMI is only at 23. According to FFMI calculations, to reach a maximum FFMI of 25 at my height and 9% body fat I would need to weigh a total of 180lbs./82kg. This would equal a LBM of 164lbs./74 kg. which is over the natural limit of 155lbs/70kg. for my height.

Can you tell me what is wrong here? Am I misunderstanding something or have I made a mistake?

PS. I still am not completely clear as to what are the exact differences between LBM and the FFMI. I understand that LBM includes some essential fat in the bones and organs while the FFMI includes mineral bone content. Could this be the cause of the difference in the calculations? If so, how exactly?

Can you please explain to me the differences between LBM and the FFMI?

Which in you opinion is the best method of measurement for genetic potential?

I sincerely thank you for your time and help with this. Your expertise is much appreciated.

Best,
Andrew


#2

[quote]akwarfield wrote:
I am interested in research concerning body composition measurements, genetic potential. My goal is to reach my maximum drug-free muscular genetic potential. Can you help me achieve this goal? Could you also please connect me with any others who you know are interested in this field of research or have a large amount of knowledge in it? That would be so helpful.

I have a few questions about body composition measurements in relation to drug-free muscular genetic potential. If you have some time could you please help me out?

I have been weight training for over 10 years now and I have a good deal of knowledge concerning training, nutrition, and rest. However, I am now trying to teach myself about maximum drug-free muscular genetic potential in relation to body composition measurements such as: Lean Body Mass (LBM) and the Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI). I have read that the maximum potential for my height (5 feet, 8 inches/173 centimeters) is 155lbs./70kg. of LBM and a FFMI of 25.

My goal is to achieve my maximum drug-free muscular genetic potential with a body fat percentage of 9% (I am currently at about 15%). When I calculate my height with a body fat percentage of 9% I see that to achieve a LBM of 155lbs./70kg. I can weight no more than a total of 170lbs./77kg.

Yet, and here is where the confusion comes in - with this calculation my FFMI is only at 23. According to FFMI calculations, to reach a maximum FFMI of 25 at my height and 9% body fat I would need to weigh a total of 180lbs./82kg. This would equal a LBM of 164lbs./74 kg. which is over the natural limit of 155lbs/70kg. for my height.

Can you tell me what is wrong here? Am I misunderstanding something or have I made a mistake?

PS. I still am not completely clear as to what are the exact differences between LBM and the FFMI. I understand that LBM includes some essential fat in the bones and organs while the FFMI includes mineral bone content. Could this be the cause of the difference in the calculations? If so, how exactly?

Can you please explain to me the differences between LBM and the FFMI?

Which in you opinion is the best method of measurement for genetic potential?

I sincerely thank you for your time and help with this. Your expertise is much appreciated.

Best,
Andrew[/quote]

Best method of measuring your genetic potential is to do everything right for the next 10 years. There is no scientific formula that can determine what YOU can accomplish. Everyone is different.


#3

^that’s pretty much it. Every approach to come up with a figure to gauge how in shape someone is (ie. BMI) always seems “off” for anyone with a decent amount of muscle mass.

There has been plenty written on the subject of genetic potential though, but you must realize that it’s solely based on examining a large pool of athletes over time and attempting to draw some conclusions along the lines of “are we really no better off today than we were in the past?” -lol.

It’s a prickly subject to be sure, because no one likes to hear that they won’t look like their PED using idols if they don’t use PEDs themselves. Of course the reality is that if you look at any of the “limits” (I hate to use that word, but you know what I mean) proposed by any of the individuals who have studied the stats of past and present athletes, no one has yet surpassed them. This makes it kind of a difficult argument to have, no matter how firey some people get, or how personal their take on the subject.

S


#4

Trying to calculate your genetic potential would imply you have some knowledge of your genetic make up which you obviously can’t get from your height alone.

It always seems like a rather useless number as well. If, through some magical method, I managed to figure out your genetic potential for mass and could categorically tell you that you build 80kg of ripped muscle, how would this affect your training in real terms?


#5

[quote]akwarfield wrote:
Which in you opinion is the best method of measurement for genetic potential?[/quote]
Like the guys have said, it’s pretty much a non-issue. Determining your genetic muscular potential before you get there is a lot like determining your maximum adult height when you’re 11 years old. You can speculate based on somewhat-relevant information, and you can take certain steps to encourage progress, but you simply can’t know what it’ll be until you’re there. At the very best, you can only guesstimate a range or ballpark of what could be achieved under ideal conditions…

Let’s say you could figure it out accurately ahead of time and you knew that when you, Andrew, weigh 183 pounds with a Dexa-scanned 9% bodyfat, you’ve reached your absolute genetic capacity. You’re done. You’ve won the game. Now what?

You either decide to take anabolics to continue progress, which opens a whole new can of worms for your training and non-training life, or you enjoy the spoils of victory, print out a 1st place certificate, and use it to pick up chicks at the beach. “Hey ladies, what you see is as good as this is gonna get, so hop on and enjoy.”


#6

Putting limits on yourself like this is one of the most counter-productive things you can do for your training.


#7

Thank you everyone for your replies. Some really made me laugh “hop pn ladies, I’m at my genetic limit” hahaha nice one man ;]

Anyways, I understand that all these numbers, i.g., body fat %, LBM, FFMI, are all approximations because the only 100% accurate measurement would be from an autopsy. Also, these measurements are all created from certain genetic pools of research. For instance, body fat % is based on athletes or non-atheltes usually from European decent and these numbers are accurate for groups and not individuals.

So all this is taken with a huge grain of salt and I accept and understand this completely. I just these more advanced ideas intriguing because I have been studying training, nutrition, and rest for many years and I want to learn as much as I can. I also want to remain totally natural for life and not even take any supplements and stay focused on real foods.

The more I can learn about the science of fitness the better even though it is clear that all of our fitness science is still really in the dark ages. But the more we exchange our knowledge the better still.

Thanks again guys.


#8

[quote]akwarfield wrote:
Can you tell me what is wrong here? Am I misunderstanding something or have I made a mistake?
[/quote]

Unless you’re in academia, or do research as a living, this is a waste of time.

Lets say you do know your genetic potential. Your true genetic limit. To reach such a limit would imply perfect training (car breaks down or child is in hospital, and you can’t make it to the gym?), perfect nutrition, perfect environment (stress, rest, no accidents, etc.). There are too many variables that affect your progress outside of your control. No way will all the pieces fall in the perfect place, so no god damn way would you ever hit your genetic potential, EVEN IF you knew what it was. It’s not a useful thing to know.

[quote]akwarfield wrote:
Which in you opinion is the best method of measurement for genetic potential?
[/quote]

Busting your ass through the years. Your true real world limit is where you end up.