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Muscularity index as a standard?

caters

Sage
I have made my own index for muscularity of my Kepler Bb humanoids. It is a scale from -3 to 3 in which only 0-3 are based off of muscle mass directly.

-3 = Very fat, no muscles show
-2 = Fat, Massive muscles show
-1 = Slightly fat, most muscles show
0 = average muscle:fat ratio
1 = slightly muscular
2 = Muscular
3 = Very Muscular

The muscular humanoids are attractive to both sexes.

This is based off of appearance and indirectly, muscle mass.

Is this a good standard?

I am asking because when Robin, Lisa, and Alma start a civilization, one of the things they would be looking for is a positively skewed distribution. What I mean is that for all ages and thus general population, it is skewed more towards 3 than -3.

In other words like this:

th


Now I know this is an extreme I am showing here but I think it accurately shows what they are wanting(but at a much larger scale).

Now Alma has put some limits on who is allowed to be transported. Those are:

Minimum age 15(beginning of adolescence)
Not pregnant
Not having a young child(younger than 10)
1:1 sex ratio(To preserve monogamy and be more family orientated)
and
Not ill

I am not wanting to use BMI since that would add controversy as to whether a muscular man should be considered healthy or overweight. There is enough of that already in the real world.

And I am not wanting to use BVI(volumetric weight distribution) since again there is controversy since 2 people can have the same BVI but in different conditions.

So I figured that muscularity index would add the least controversy. But other than the controversy being low and it being a unique scale, is it a good standard?

Basically, I am nearing the point where a civilization forms and Robin, Lisa, and Alma give a long speech and presentation about the species itself, the civilization plan, and anything else that might be important. So I need to know if I should add this or whether I should make a different index based off of it. I mean 2 muscular people can have different degrees of muscularity in each of the major muscle groups. But is it okay the way it is or should I revise the index to take this into account?
 

Vaporo

Inkling
Caters, you can come up with some strange solutions to very simple problems.

One thing to consider is that a person can be simultaneously muscular and fat. I knew a guy in high school who had a double chin and weighed at least three hundred and fifty pounds, but was also in just about every sport you could name and had won several awards for weight lifting.

What metric would your system use to measure muscularity? You say it's based off of appearance. Basing any scale purely off of appearance is usually very bad practice as the measurements will be inherently subjective. Really, you haven't described much except an arbitrary numbering system.
 

caters

Sage
Yeah, some muscular people are fat. My momma is an example of that.

And it is based off of muscle mass but that obviously can't be the only factor because some people might be muscular at their muscle mass and others might not. Age is a factor. Naturally, babies will tend more towards -2 unless they have a mutation that causes them to not have any limit other than metabolism as to how much muscle they get. Those babies would be more muscular than most, maybe even enough to see the muscles themselves. Naturally children before adolescence and after their gender neutral period of 5 years would tend towards 0. Adolescents would either tend towards 2 or -2 depending on gender and conditions. Adults would vary a lot and condition would be the main factor here.

All these factors(gender, age, genetics, condition, muscle mass, fat mass, and bone mass(which is something I didn't really take into consideration when making this index)) not only factor into the muscularity index but also into appearance. So, at least from my point of view, saying that muscularity index is based off of appearance isn't too big of a stretch for a good standard.
 

caters

Sage
It is important because if the people that are transported have a high amount of negatives(so a lot of people with a low muscle:fat ratio), that is not going to be good for the future since the low muscle:fat ratio would most likely be passed on not only through lifestyle but through genetics as well.

But if it is the other way around and is close to their goal, that is good because again this high muscle:fat ratio might be passed on through genetics. So it is important for them to know how close it is, otherwise they might have to do a second transport of the same number with Alma adding a constraint on the number of fat and very fat people that are transported. I don't want to transport any more people then I have to(which is partly why I added the constraints in the first post) and if more people are transported than needed, that could cause a famine in an early civilization like this one.
 

caters

Sage
To me there is no such thing as too much work in writing. If I need to work on it,I need to work on it. Working hard on it can only make the story better. This muscularity index is something I really need to work on for the reasons in my previous post.
 

caters

Sage
In the beginning of the 10th chapter I will go over the presentation and speech that Robin, Lisa, and Alma give and Robin will measure somehow(Probably circumference and weight combined since a more muscular person that weighs the same will have a smaller circumference(muscle takes up less space than fat does)) how muscular or fat each person is. I set him at 2 for all muscles. This will be at the beginning. I don't know how long this will take but I will spend more time on the civilization formation as Robin builds a civilization and becomes not only family doctor, but doctor of the whole civilization. He also engineers for everyone. This is also when Lisa suspects that she is pregnant again.

Later chapters will be about more civilization progression but the beginning of the 10th chapter is where I explain this. I am going to include the chart I make in excel in that chapter but not the chart I copied from bing images into my initial post.
 

Penpilot

Staff
Article Team
Not an expert here, just what I know form a college genetic diversity class. Here you make the assumption that lots of muscle is always good. It's not always the case. It all depends on environment. There may be circumstances where the ability to store fat effectively is a positive trait.

For example. If food is scarce, too much muscle can be a detriment. Muscle requires lots of energy to maintain, so you need to eat more to survive. In contrast, being a naturally fat person can mean when you do find food you're able gorge and store energy more effectively as fat, and because you have less muscle, you don't need to find food as often as a muscular person. This can increase a individual's survival chances.

Also if you're starting a civilization, I suspect you'd want the greatest possible genetic diversity, so skinny people, muscular people, fat people, and all shades between. Skewing genetics in one direction leaves your civilization more open to being wiped out by disease. Genetic diversity increases chances that someone segment of the population will have some mutation that will make them naturally immune at least in part to a disease, increasing a civilization's chances of survival.
 

Russ

Istar
Is your plan to sell this work or is it just for personal edification?

The "presentation" sure sounds like a code for "info dump" of world building stuff that does not advance the plot.
 

caters

Sage
Not an expert here, just what I know form a college genetic diversity class. Here you make the assumption that lots of muscle is always good. It's not always the case. It all depends on environment. There may be circumstances where the ability to store fat effectively is a positive trait.

For example. If food is scarce, too much muscle can be a detriment. Muscle requires lots of energy to maintain, so you need to eat more to survive. In contrast, being a naturally fat person can mean when you do find food you're able gorge and store energy more effectively as fat, and because you have less muscle, you don't need to find food as often as a muscular person. This can increase a individual's survival chances.

Also if you're starting a civilization, I suspect you'd want the greatest possible genetic diversity, so skinny people, muscular people, fat people, and all shades between. Skewing genetics in one direction leaves your civilization more open to being wiped out by disease. Genetic diversity increases chances that someone segment of the population will have some mutation that will make them naturally immune at least in part to a disease, increasing a civilization's chances of survival.

True but being naturally or unnaturally fat really puts a toll on your existing muscle, even the heart which runs on ketones formed from fat all the time. And there are other health issues associated with being fat. Muscular people don't have nearly as much risk for health problems. Even those that are muscular and fat at the same time are still at a lower risk because their muscles would be doing fat metabolism and glucose metabolism.

And all of these humanoids have a super strong immune system. They can even survive Viral TB to the point that it is gone from them despite that virus being completely resistant to antivirals, natural and synthetic. So I don't see a wipeout from disease happening, especially if they can survive viral TB and any envenomation and poisoning(assuming no anaphylaxis).
 
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skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
It solves the question of "What is your muscle:fat ratio?".

Technically that doesn't solve a problem, it answers a question. There's a difference. In any case, I was asking what *story* problem it solves. I ought to have been clearer.
 
Honestly I don't like the idea. Especially the part where Robin , Lisa And Alma are starting a new civilization where mesomorphic people are the majority. Do you have a big muscle fetish? ( not judging ).
If they want the most healthy people , they should pick people whose ancestors lived exceptionally long life span and had excellent immune system.
Your new civilization need more skilled labourers and experts - builders ,architects, engineers , doctors etc. The leaders should prioritize selecting smart young people with usefull skills , regardless of body shapes.
 

Queshire

Auror
And really, you could just mention that they have some sort of selection criteria / test in story without needing to go into all the details. It'd accomplish much the same with significantly less effort than you've put into this.
 

Swordfry

Troubadour
I suggest you look up pictures of power lifters and strong men. A lot of them look kind of fat, but that is all abdominal muscle, but maybe with a little fat covering it.

Way I see it, there are three main kinds of fit body types for both men and women:

1. "fat" muscle, like power lifters and strong men. This also applies to many guys in general. If you ever go to a gym, there are a decent number of just fat guys (not with the power lifter gut, it's mostly fat) but they are total beasts, able to lift a ton of weight. They are not very well toned, though, as their fat covers up a lot of their muscle.

2. Skinny strong. Think cross country runners vs sprinters. Cross country people have very lean, skinnier legs with lots of muscle built for stamina and pure strength. Sprinters have much bigger legs muscles of more explosive, short bursts. This category would be the cross country runners. Also, just look up bodyweight athletes.

3. Lastly, bodybuilder strong. Put simply, it's people who look insanely strong, but are mostly for show. Not ripping on bodybuilders here, but they mostly train for mass gains. You can train for mass gains which involves heavier weights, and train for pure strength like category 2, with lighter weight and more reps. However, proportionally, I would say that the bodybuilders are weaker and really more for show.
 

caters

Sage
I have seen muscular man pictures and they never look fat to me. I always see muscle and the fact that their arms are bigger than mine has to do with the fact that they not only have more muscle but weigh more. I wouldn't be surprised if a very muscular man had a BMI that corresponds to being obese. But muscular obesity is much different from fat obesity in risks and causes and is much healthier.
 

CupofJoe

Myth Weaver
I have seen muscular man pictures and they never look fat to me. I always see muscle and the fact that their arms are bigger than mine has to do with the fact that they not only have more muscle but weigh more. I wouldn't be surprised if a very muscular man had a BMI that corresponds to being obese. But muscular obesity is much different from fat obesity in risks and causes and is much healthier.
A lot of Power Athletes who, by most standards, would be described as healthy do rate as overweight or obese using the BMI equation. That is is why it is not used for those people [or the very short or very tall where the BMI is also not all that usable].
It is a good general guidance as to possible problematic weight issues, for some but not for all.
 
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