My friend Mike recently visited me in Santa Monica.
Because I’m the “fitness guy” among my friends, people love talking to me about fitness.
As we’re hanging out in my apartment about to go to the beach, Mike kept on looking at himself in the mirror shirtless while flexing.
“I’m looking pretty muscular, right? I’m looking strong” he asked me.
He was working out 2x per week, sometimes 3. His diet was hit or miss and he drank quite a bit on the weekends. He was feeling really good about his results.
I wasn’t sure how to respond to his question. I mean he was easily 25 pounds overweight. And relative to when he was a college athlete at his fittest? Probably 35 pounds heavier.
“Umm, yeah, sure” I said.
Then I thought for a moment how I could help Mike without actually telling him. He had to learn the truth for himself.
“Have you measured your waist recently?” I said.
I found a cloth measuring tape and wrapped it around his stomach 1-inch above his belly button.
He asked surprisingly, “Why are you doing that? That’s too high!”
I replied, “That’s your waistline, not your hips where you wear your pants.”
His waist measured 38 inches.
I told my friend Mike instead of sucking in his stomach and puffing out his chest when he looked at the mirror head on, I wanted him to face the mirror sideways and relax.
He turned sideways towards the mirror, but was still sucking in his stomach.
I said, “Relax your stomach, Mike”.
He yelled, “Holy —-, I’m fat!”
A thin woman will look in the mirror and think she’s fat. Some overweight men will look in the mirror and think they look like Conan the Barbarian!
Fortunately, this experience – in combination with some eating “laws” we established together – has helped Mike drop 7 pounds in a little over a month.
3-Steps To Measuring Your Waist
- Get a cloth measuring tape, or a MyoTape retractable tape (affiliate link).
- Wrap the tape around your stomach 1-inch above your belly button
- Relax your stomach, breath out the air (mid-breath), then write down the measurement.
That’s your waist measurement.
Remember, do not suck in your stomach. For most guys, it’s hardwired into the brain to suck it in.
What’s A Good Waist Measurement?
For most men 6’2” and below, 34 inches or less is considered normal.
The “Metabo Law” in Japan establishes max waist circumference for men at 33.5 inches, which is measured annually by employers. Failed waistline tests among the workforce can cost employers millions.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime bodybuilding days had a 30-inch waist and 50 inch shoulders.
Famed health guru Jack Lalanne used to say, “Your waistline is your lifeline.”
Your waist size is an indicator of health status, so it matters. If your waist is above 34-inches, it may be a good idea to take a look at your eating habits.
How Often Should You Measure Your Waist?
Once a month can work. The scale is a good proxy for fat loss and it’s easier to discern changes.
If you’re a lady trying to get your husband in shape, or simply a guy who is living in denial like my friend Mike, measure the waist.
It’s a data point that is more objective than the mirror.
It’s time to reclaim the health & vitality you deserve!