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View Poll Results: Can you have a beer gut and still be fit?

Yes 17 60.71%
No 7 25.00%
Maybe 4 14.29%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-10-2011, 03:38 AM   #1
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Default Can you have a gut and still be fit?

What do you think?

I know some people who are really skinny, but who dont work out and arent really very fit. Like if you went on a run with them they would puff out in no time. A lot of people with Asian genes for example.

However I know some people who have a gut but who are moderately fit, at least can reasonably keep up in games of tennis, squash, touch rugby etc, albiet with a few breaks and taking the "fat mans track".

Im not always talking about having a massive beer belly. But not a flat stomach either.

David Nalbandian has a big gut but is still probably cardiovascuarly fitter than someone like Tiger woods. Of course, he could be extremely fit, everyone just blames some athletes unexplainable losses on their fitness just because they might have a gut, when of course we dont really know whether they actually got puffed or not.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

Yes. American football offensive lineman often have guts, but can do some impressive athletic work daily.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

Obviously...



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Old 08-10-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

Yes you can. Obviously some activities such as climbing and long distance running get a lot tougher due to the extra weight, but otherwise it works. I have a friend who's fairly fit and still has a notable stomach.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003 View Post
What do you think?

I know some people who are really skinny, but who dont work out and arent really very fit. Like if you went on a run with them they would puff out in no time. A lot of people with Asian genes for example.

However I know some people who have a gut but who are moderately fit, at least can reasonably keep up in games of tennis, squash, touch rugby etc, albiet with a few breaks and taking the "fat mans track".

Im not always talking about having a massive beer belly. But not a flat stomach either.

David Nalbandian has a big gut but is still probably cardiovascuarly fitter than someone like Tiger woods. Of course, he could be extremely fit, everyone just blames some athletes unexplainable losses on their fitness just because they might have a gut, when of course we dont really know whether they actually got puffed or not.
Being skinny has nothing to do with fitness. Also you can look the other side of the coin, there are some skinny people whom are stronger than expected.

Think a lot of Asians just like to play computer games
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

blatant racism against asians and probly south americans if we let this thread roll over a bit more too

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Old 08-10-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

yeah, that's where the chi is... Just look at Ernesto Hoost

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Old 08-10-2011, 03:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

You can be strong but not fit.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

We all have guts, we can't live without them. Surely you are referring to a pot belly (Spanish "tripa" can be translated to gut in some cases, as in the wrapping of chorizos in pork gut, but in this case it is simply wrong).

And the answer is no, not really. You can surely have a pot belly and be strong, or even fast, for a given period of time, depending on your previous degree of training, but fitness is a broader issue. Abdominal perimeter is a major and independent factor for establishing cardiovascular health. All but perhaps the smallest of pot bellies imply a somewhat poor physical condition. Men with more than 102 cm (40 in) or women with more than 88 cm (35 in) have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and other vascular disorders (including impotence).

So, if you have a moderately large pot belly, please go run 500 meters, it'll work wonders for you, but don't try to run 10 km... lest you drop dead.

(And BTW, there are ethnic differences in the distribution of body fat, so the cut-off figures given above may vary between human groups. That doesn't mean a pot-belly is good for anyone, only that a given result may not be as risky in some races as it is in others).
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

Depends what you mean by 'fit', really. You have general fitness - as in, being as healthy as possible. Then you have specific fitness - as in, one's body being optimised for a particular task.

With general fitness, the answer is not really. You can potentially have a potbelly and be relatively fit, even fitter than some skinny people. I mean, even when Nalbie was carrying his spare tire around, he was still a pro athlete and probably in better shape than 90% of us shmucks (including the skinny rakes). But a belly is still a sign of a lack of fitness. Your abdomen is the first place that excess fat is deposited, so any belly means that you are carrying unnecessary weight and your fitness is suboptimal.

With specific fitness, the answer is sometimes - for some extremely specific athletes. The widely-cited example is the NFL offensive lineman. They are not generally fit, but they are specifically fit. As in, they would be healthier without their massive gut. However, their gut is an advantage in their role. This is because general fitness is of limited value to an offensive lineman. They need a degree of speed, and a degree of endurance, but at a certain point the extra mass becomes more important. Thus they sacrifice general fitness for extra weight.

For that reason I don't think it's a good idea to use NFL linemen (or sumo wrestlers, for that matter) as an example, because it's not generally applicable. Few people are in their situation where carrying fat around is more advantageous than losing it.

I have a few heavyset mates who use the NFL lineman as an excuse to say they're actually fit. We play tennis together and they claim that their extra mass gives them an advantage with stuff like their serve. I point out that if they lost weight then the loss in mass would be more than compensated by better movement and a more dynamic serve action - and overall, they'd be better players.

Last edited by Caesar1844 : 08-10-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

of course

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Old 08-11-2011, 01:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

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Old 08-11-2011, 02:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

here is a really good example:



That dude would knock out all the MTF readers for sure. A gut doesn't hurt your strength one bit. Just means you have eaten more energy than you spent. It does have some advantage in physical sports as it "shields your organs and bones" in some sense. It acts as a cushion to damage. But as noted above it definitely hurts your endurance. Why: because you are heavier and have a bigger body volume = more strain on the heart. Heart has to work harder and you get tired faster. Also more strain on your knees and joints = higher risk for injury.

So it depends on what the critera for fit is. Is it just being atheletic then sure you can have a gut. Is it being very agile with great endurance (important for soccer, tennis, long distance running etc etc) then having a gut is definitely sign of major fail and cheating with the training.

For most normal people it's more a question about diet than actual training. Fat doesn't disappear with training really. It's the body reserve. Build more muscle and your body consumes more energy so unless you start to eat more then your gut slowly disappears. Stop training and your muscles will wither away and unless you start to eat less to compensate for lower energy consumption then the gut comes back to say hello
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

As I said, it depends on your definition of various terms. You refer to Nelson as athletic. I definitely would not call him athletic. He is a ridiculously strong fat bastard with amazing fighting skills.

In fact, there's a lot of people who will tell you that he would have been an even better fighter if he'd dropped some of that flab for extra muscle mass. More muscle = same mass, but lower bulk + greater strength.

Is Roy Nelson fit? Well, he's relatively fit compared to the average joe. But for someone around the same weight, in the same field, I think almost everyone would regard a fighter like Brock Lesnar as fitter - despite not being as capable in the ring.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Can you have a gut and still be fit?

It's all relative.

Fit yes, elite athlete maybe. Depends on the size of the gut too.
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