People always ask for ways to tell if someone is a steroid user or not and I stumbled upon a very simple formula today that research seems to indicate is a very accurate indicator. Its the Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI). The research cited below found that the upper limits of FFMI in natural bodybuilders was 26. In other words, if the calculated FFMI is over 26 then they use steroids. As a reference point, Steve Reeves FFMI was 25.7, mine is 23.9
Here is the formula for FFMI:
FFMI= LBM/(height*height) + 6.1x(1.8-height)
Note: height in meters. Lean Body Mass (LBM) obtained from my body composition calculator and stated in kg.
All the research showed was that if the FFMI is over 26, then they are a steroid user. Just because someone has a FFMI under 26 does not mean they are natural! It in no way eliminates the need for drug testing as I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of steroid users with FFMI’s under 26. The basis for this formula is that there is a upper limit of muscle mass, the only way to exceed it is with steroids.
This forumla and these findings comes from research done by E.M. Kouri et al. back in 1995. The title of the article was “Fat-Free Mass Index in Users and Nonusers of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids” published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine (1995):223-28
I was reading an old book in my library titled “The Adonis Complex” by Pope, Phillips, and Olivardia when I stumbled on this great formula.