MAF Methodology

Take charge of your health and fitness in 8 easy steps. Devised by Dr. Philip Maffetone based on 40 years of clinical experience and scientific research.

What is the MAF Method?

MAF is a system devised by Dr. Phil Maffetone to help individuals of all ages, athletic abilities, physical issues, and personal goals reach the heights of their own human performance potential.

This methodology enables you to create your own unique health and fitness strategy by balancing the 3 forces that exert the most influence on your wellbeing: nutrition, exercise, and stress. Dr. Maffetone has identified eight key components to this process. His simple 8-Step methodology helps you evaluate and prioritize these 3 components to achieve optimal health and fitness.

MAF stands for Maximum Aerobic Function. The method focuses on improving the function of the aerobic system, the fat-burning engine responsible for fueling all of the body’s needs. A well-functioning aerobic system leads to:

  • Burning more fat and a leaner body.
  • Increased overall energy and brain function.
  • Greater endurance, strength, speed and physical fitness.
  • Injury and disease prevention.
  • Many other improvements in all areas of life!

MAF works for everyone — from those who merely want to improve their health and fitness to professional athletes who perform at the highest levels.

Why is the MAF Method unique?

MAF is an “open system” designed so that individuals employing other methods can still use the MAF philosophy or some of its various components to achieve better results. Even if you’ve found the perfect lifestyle, MAF can help with ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and fine-tuning.

Popular health and fitness programs oversimplify the journey to wellness and can’t individualize their approach. Predesigned workout plans and diets, and mere activity tracking are not enough to achieve lasting results. The MAF methodology owes its success to several unique characteristics:

  • Prevents injury, illness, and overtraining by safeguarding health first, while developing fitness.
  • Is a holistic, end-to-end method that weaves together nutrition, exercise, and stress management principles to achieve better health and fitness.
  • Individualizes the journey using surveys based on 40 years of clinical and scientific research and practice.
  • Uses various tools to assess your individual health situation, track progress, and create helpful feedback.
  • Debunks the philosophy of “no pain, no gain” and helps predict when strength and speed workouts can produce healthy gains.
  • Promotes fat-burning by enabling the user to eat the right foods and exercise at a low-intensity, aerobic heart rate.
  • Considers other physical, biochemical, and mental-emotional stressors.
Infographic - 8 Steps

Created from the Ground Up

This program has been carefully designed to provide the greatest positive impact on your health and fitness in the shortest time possible. Each step begins with a short survey that helps determine your risk level for a particular health issue, then offers potential solutions to reduce that risk. The steps vary in duration depending on individual needs and risk level determined by the survey.

The earlier steps focus on primary issues, laying the foundation for quicker progress in later steps. Therefore, it’s best to follow the steps in order and proceed to the next only after addressing the issues pertaining to the current survey. As you implement solutions and body function improves, you can retake any of the surveys to assess your progress.

Avoid skipping steps!
Step 1

Carbohydrate Intolerance

Burn more body fat and improve energy.

Feeling fatigued, bloated, or sleepy after meals, “hangry,” or having excess belly fat or hormonal imbalance is not healthy! They are among the indicators of carbohydrate intolerance. This condition can be mitigated by eating right for your body—starting by eliminating sugar and junk food.

Step 2

Control Inflammation

Boost your body’s ability to heal, recover and prevent disease.

Ongoing joint or muscle pain, allergies, asthma, skin, or gut issues are symptoms of chronic inflammation, caused when the body’s normal inflammatory response gets out of balance. Key to restoring balance is eating the right food—and less of the bad: junk foods, refined carbs.

Step 3

Vitamin D Status

Enhance muscle, brain, and immune function.

Vitamin D is essential for optimal health and fitness, yet deficiency is very common, even for those living in sunny locations. Deficiency can cause mental impairment, fatigue, weak bones and muscles, and serious illness. Healthy sun exposure (without sunburn) may not be enough. You may need to properly supplement.

Step 4

Folate Status

Regulate genes, gut, brain and much more.

Folate is an essential B vitamin, found in vegetables, meats, and legumes. It is vital for many health and fitness functions, helping prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression, osteoporosis, and others.

Step 5

Build the Aerobic System

Improve your fat-burning “engine.” 

Our aerobic muscles burn fat for energy, improve circulation and immunity, support the joints and bones, and provide motion all day long without fatigue. Balanced exercise is the beginning of building a great aerobic body.

Step 6

Manage Stress

The first step is understanding it.

Even when eating and exercising properly, physical, biochemical and mental-emotional stresses can wreck our health and fitness. Recognizing these stresses is the first step in managing them.

Step 7

Build a Better Brain

It can be done at any age!

The brain controls and manages just about every system and process in the body. Great brain health ensures a well-functioning mind and body. Good sleep, the right food, and new learning can help stimulate the brain.

Step 8

Healthy Aging

Grow young!

Aging is inevitable, but quality of life can be influenced. In order to stay young, keep away from household chemicals, increase your antioxidant intake, train aerobically, de-stress, and find the positive in your life!

Get started

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