I’m the rare individual who believes the obesity rates in America are overstated. We aren’t as fat and unhealthy as the government numbers suggest. They are using the BMI, which in my opinion is a near worthless metric. I’ve discussed this before. Today I want to cover the other end of the spectrum: leanness.
What does it mean to be lean? The best definition and labeling system I have read comes from the article Shredded in 6 Days by Christian Thibaudeau and Chris Shugart. In this article the authors lay down 4 levels of leanness along with photos. Here are the 4 levels.
- Level 1 – Flat stomach with no ab definition.
- Level 2 – Level 1 + some upper ab definition.
- Level 3 – Level 2 + lower ab definition.
- Level 4 – Level 3 with deep cuts and “dry” (no water weight)
The article explains that Level 4 is for competing bodybuilders to get stage ready. It probably has little merit for everyone else. It is also geared toward men. Most women don’t look good at very low levels of body fat. Since this article is written for bodybuilders and not the average person, I’m going to add a new Level.
- Level 0 – You are mostly lean, but your abs aren’t quite flat.
Many people who think of themselves as lean are at Level 0. And that is perfectly fine, especially for females. In the next post, I am going to start a discussion on moving up the Leanness Levels.