1. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5

    Muscularity Index as a standard?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by caters, Aug 9, 2016.

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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?

    Now I have already taken into account things like height and weight and the fact that someone can have a lot of fat and a lot of muscle at the same time. My momma is like that.

    People have told me that if they are starting a civilization, they should have a more flatlined distribution such as this one:

    [​IMG]

    Now obviously this isn't the kind of graph I was looking for but you don't see any noticeable bell curve. It is pretty much an equal distribution.

    But I can see problems with an equal distribution. For one, it would really constrain who Alma can send to the planet for civilization formation and I think it is constrained enough as it is. Another is what if a muscular man marries a fat woman or vice versa? There would be no way to know whether the child will end up fat like his/her mom or muscular like his/her dad unless the child had a very specific mutation that makes him/her gain fat more easily or is double muscled(Which means that the myostatin gene has been deleted causing there to be only 1 limit on muscle growth, metabolism and so automatically the child would be 2 or 3 on the index for most of its life and anywhere from -1 to 1 in the gender neutral stage).

    However, if 2 muscular people have a child, their child will probably naturally be muscular as well. Same goes for 2 fat people most likely having a fat child.

    Now what would happen if the distribution was more to the left such as in this graph:
    [​IMG]

    Well if the civilization was in a famine this would be good but they are not in a famine. There is plenty of game and fish and actually a surplus of fruits and veggies. Robin and Lisa have more plants than they need. They will give people young trees and bushes first(once they are established, nature can take care of it). Once Robin builds a greenhouse for everyone, they will give out seeds of some of their greenhouse perennials(I say that because they last for years in a greenhouse, even if naturally they would only last a year or 2).

    Anyway, since they are in this surplus situation, having more fat people than muscular people will just make the whole thing worse since healthy + fat leads to a lot of risks for MIs, arrhythmias, strokes, cirrhosis, etc. just the opposite of what they want. Even worse is that it would be passed on via genetics, even with lifestyle changes. This would make the whole situation exponentially worse as the civilization advances, even if they improve their medicine a great deal and find a way to actually reverse MIs or cirrhosis or other types of infarction. Reversing it might not prevent it and the next time it happens, it might be even worse and the reversal may or may not be effective.

    So that is why I think I rightward distribution is better than an equal or leftward distribution.

    So anyway, do you think the index is good the way it is and do you agree with a rightward distribution being best?
     
  2. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,667
    Likes Received:
    5,159
    I admit, I got lost about a third of the way in.

    Based on the part I read and more-or-less understood - I don't feel like "fat" and "muscular" are opposite ends of the same spectrum. Someone can be very lean but still not muscular, right? And someone could be both very muscular and very fat.

    Also, are you assuming that all body weight/fitness standards are genetic and/or unchanging? That is, a person's place on the scale would be fixed, rather than variable depending on diet and activity level?
     
  3. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,317
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    Seems like there's no room for fatties in your scheme.

    Though I don't have a particular opinion - on a lean, a lithe, and all-round beautiful group of individuals heading into space...but is this the way of fiction, or of entertainment? I don't reckon so much. Maybe you might chuck in some low-achievers [spotty, fat, ugly, even eccentric people] to heighten conflict with the dullards of conformity, yawn, Tim Peake, UK space hero, yawwwn.

    My own mind's also drawn to a film from the dark ages. It was called Logan's Run, and in a later scene, our two beautiful heroes encounter an old person for the first time ever, they are completely fascinated. I think you should bear this in mind re - obesity, crew, founders of your colony...a parallel.

    ...

    yes, perhaps the group is statistically engineered, but somehow, someone bodged his maths - all the men are ugly, or all the women are...you know, your story :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
    peachalulu likes this.
  4. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    That is all true and I did take that into account. And as for children being muscular or fat I think that the planned one would be genetic(so if the 2 parents are both fat, the child will most likely have those "fat" genes) but the actual place on the scale is related to diet, activity, age, gender, and genetics. That is kind of why I based this off of a lot of factors(most of which factor into appearance), and the muscle:fat ratio which for some people, it is easy to see that it is high or low but for some it is hard to do that.

    And the transport is very fast(not light speed or even close to light speed but still, less than a day) and between 2 close planets in the same solar system. The planet where these humanoids originated as a species, Kepler B# is very high tech and is able to use time particles as well as EM waves to send a signal to other planets whether that be close ones or ones light years away. It is where Planetary Leader 1, who is introduced into the story early on(3rd chapter I think) lives. The other close planet where a civilization is starting, Kepler Bb is hoping to get to being high tech as well. The 2 binary planets much further away(a mars and venus analog, also with humanoids but different than the ones on the 2 earth-like planets) are even lower in technology than Kepler Bb. These humanoids here are nomadic, not far traveling but still have a definite home like the ones on Kepler Bb. I am not sure what all they eat or what they drink.

    Anyway, it is not that I don't want a single fat person on this planet. After all, civilizations do go through cycles of surplus and famine and while being fat during a surplus is not all that useful, if there comes a time of famine or if for some reason, everyone needs to evacuate and form a new civilization, being fat would actually be a benefit since muscle requires a lot of energy, even at rest. I mean, those people that are very muscular, most likely have symmetric ventricular hypertrophy + cardiomegaly to supply oxygen to all that muscle and to keep the heart going requires a lot of energy in the form of sugar and oxygen. Now my humanoids have 2 hearts so hypertrophy isn't really required all that much but still muscle takes a lot of energy but fat does not. Fat stores much more energy than it uses.

    It is just that even with 2 hearts, I don't want too many people dying from MIs or strokes or any of the other potential side effects of atherosclerosis and other risks. So that is why I am looking for a rightward distribution is so that there are some fat people in case of famine or sudden evacuation but not so many that too many people die from the risks of obesity to sustain a civilization, especially during a surplus like right now in my story.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  5. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,317
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    Very exciting, your enthusiasm for your world. I'm seeing it, almost. A bit rigid though all this central planning.

    What about if someone gets a little fed up, sits around a while - they might get fat, or they reject the treadmill, a possibility? [Eliminate those kinds of people, don't introduce them to the story] - but y'see, you got me thinking about it - so fascinating. Good luck.
     
  6. theamorset
    Offline

    theamorset Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2016
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    midwest
    I think it makes more sense to use a strength-to-weight ratio. People with fat in their muscles are usually not healthy or fit.
     
  7. caters
    Offline

    caters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Why? 2 people with the same strength to weight ratio can have totally different muscle to fat ratios. Plus, no matter where the extra fat is(arteries, visceral, muscle, or subcutaneous), it usually is not good unless you need to work your body really hard or there is a famine. If you don't need to work so hard or if there is a surplus, extra fat is not good wherever it is. So that is why I think that despite the difficulties in measuring it, the muscle to fat ratio is a better ratio to use.
     

Share This Page