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One of the Fitness testing ratios people love to throw around in the gym is BMI or Body Mass Index.
To calculate your BMI, simply divide your body weight in kilograms with your height in meters squared.
I am 1.83m and 85kg, which is 85 / (1.83)2 = 25.4 BMI
(6 feet tall is 72 inches x 2.54 cm/inch)
“Science” tells me in order to be considered healthy by the “scientific community”, your BMI should be between 18.5 and 25. Should your BMI fall higher than 25, your will fall into the category of “overweight”. If you have more than 30, you will be considered obese. If your Body Mass Index is more than 40, you fall into the extremely obese category, putting you at much higher health risks than most.
Ha! So I am overweight?
Maybe… check out my photo here, along with Usain Bolt’s.
The Reciprocal Ponderal Index
A better way to determine body types and possibly screen for sprinting success is the Reciprocal Ponderal Index.
It is simply the height divided by cubed root of weight.
Ponderal Index = Ht (m) / Cube Root of Wt (kg)
At 1.83m and 85kg, that’s 183 / 851/3 = 41.62
So is 41.62 good?
Not according to this upcoming research article.
They found athletes with a “leanness ratio”, or Reciprocal Ponderal Index, of greater than 44 seemed to be the most successful. Of course they cited Usain Bolt, Christophe Lemaitre, Carl Lewis and Linford Christie. They didn’t quote Andre Cason.
So, what is YOUR Reciprocal Ponderal Index?