Body stats, just as strength and endurance related figures, are, needless to say, more or less important within the broader fitness sphere, both on an individual and a comparative level. To deny this would be like saying that we are indifferent about the brains and bodies of our girlfriends and boyfriends. We look at ourselves while alternately compare ourselves – or our partners – to other people.
What, then, may be a suitable approach in this regard? First of all, I think that in many respects one should not care that much at all about neither body stats nor almost any kind of statistics at all – for the simple reason that most of these measurements and quantities are not even close to stable constituents. Height and birth days are examples of static components, but weight, strength, and physical endurance are not.
Nevertheless, some measures are indeed relevant, and one might even take notice of these on a daily basis. For instance, one’s body weight and waistline are two relevant dimensions to consider with regard to physical condition, and during a pre-contest or pre-photo shoot process it may be of chief significance to even climb the scale every morning. It is not obsessive but rational and expedient behavior.
Additionally, one could also measure for instance the size of one’s arms, calves and thighs, and one should preferably do it at the same time as one measures body weight and waistline. The simple reason for that is that it would be misguided and even ‘unfair’ to do it at different times, especially if the gap between one’s ‘on season’ and ‘off season’ is very distinctive. There is a chance that one’s arms will be thinner in parallel with a tighter waist and the other way around.
Feats of strength are generally even more sensitive to body weight differences. I remember a fairly obese guy at the local gym who bragged about being able to lift something like 300 or even 310 lbs in bench press. Then I enlightened him about that strength statistics should be considered relative to one’s bodyweight, and after that he was far less proud of his achievement.
That is also what I like about athletic fitness, a contest-related phenomenon that emerged in Sweden and is now rather wide-spread in European countries, although not as popular and mainstream as Men’s physique. Within the frames of AF, strength stats are almost in every relevant sense related to one’s particular body weight, but to be able to win a contest one must still have a complete package.
Pure running is generally not a part of the AF contests but many serious fitness athletes strive to be able to run 3 kilometers below 12 minutes (on a running track, not in a cross country setting), while at the same time being able to lift 1.5 x one’s own body weight in bench press (and the same goes for chins and dips, even though one does always lift just one’s single body weight during contests with regard to these), 2 x one’s own body weight in squats, and 2.5 x one’s own body weight in dead lifts. Let’s see if you can do that!
Just recently, I ran slightly below the 12 minute mark, which I was satisfied with. But I have not completed the other above-mentioned exercises and what is required, in connection with them, at the same day – not even during the same week – and thus I could not consider myself a complete fitness athlete. At least not at the moment. I will probably try to do all of these within the same hour at some point, though, for what it is worth to reach a certain statistical mark at a particular moment in life.