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Shape lifter: Are you really in great shape?

How many times have you seen someone with a great physique, plenty of bulging muscles and a flat, six pack set of abs, but wondered if they're really in great shape?
The first thing you ask yourself is how you define the word "shape?" If by shape and adding the word "great" to it, you mean a body that is low on fat and high on perfection when you see tremendous definition, lean muscle and looks good in a tank top, then the answer to the aforementioned question about the great physique and huge muscles is simple.
Yes, they're in great shape.
But realistically, being in "great shape" means to have endurance, flexibility and not necessarily be the guy or gal that looks flawless from a muscle perspective but rather can endure a longer workout, lots of cardiovascular work or doesn't get winded walking to the mailbox, even though they can bench press 500 pounds or leg press twice as much as that.
To truly call yourself in good shape, you need to have the basics covered. 
Can you walk on the treadmill for an hour or run for 30 minutes and not get winded at least two or three times per week?

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In the weight room, you should stop basing your "in shape" criteria on mass and instead focus on body weight and if you can truly handle yours when it comes to a variety of exercises. Consider how many pull ups you can do, push ups you can handle or if you can master the art of simply holding a plank in place.
The average person should be able to hold a plank for at least 60 seconds, and as far as pushups go, that's simply justifying that you can handle your own body weight (same as the plank, too). The pull up and pushup fall in that same category; if you can't manipulate and maneuver your own body weight then you have work to do in the in shape category.
For the longest time, too, body weight and body fat and BMI have been the great indicators on how healthy and in shape you truly are. BMI is your body mass index, which will let you know if you're over the number 30 on the BMI scale, then you're considered overweight and have to get yourself back on the opposite, lower side of 30. Carrying lots of muscle mass can affect your BMI and put you on the wrong end of it, but that is few and far between as far as happening.
For those happy with their bodies, that is outstanding, but doesn't mean you should consider yourself in shape and without room for improvement.

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