Maximum Aerobic Function

MAF is a unique user-managed approach to build both health and fitness, and is based on nearly 40 years of clinical experience and research by Dr. Philip Maffetone.

MAF (maximum aerobic function) is for anyone pursuing optimal human performance, including beginning exercisers, those who wish to reduce body fat, and those seeking improved athletic function on all levels and in all sports.

The MAF Method is an individualized approach that helps you evaluate and implement the most appropriate lifestyle actions for your needs. By developing maximum aerobic function you can burn more body fat, improve athletic performance, slim down, lose body fat, increase energy, eliminate injuries and ramp up your human potential. Read more on the philosophy of the MAF Method here:

More on the method

MAF helps you individualize three key lifestyle factors:

  1. Diet & Nutrition: Eat real foods, find your optimal carbohydrate intake, and improve your balance of healthy fats.
  2. Exercise: Train at the appropriate intensity to develop your fat-burning aerobic system, improve health and perform better.
  3. Stress management: Assess your physical, biochemical, and mental-emotional stressors, and learn to manage them.

Below are some of the ways you can accomplish all this and more!


Eat Real Food

Stay away from sugar and junk food.

The biggest positive change you can make in how you eat is to eliminate sugar and all refined carbs from your diet. Dependence on sugar is linked to a wide variety of disorders, from symptoms such as poor energy, intestinal bloating, hormone imbalance and increased body fat, to diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Read how sugar addiction can be a serious roadblock to better health:

Sugar Addiction

Included here are dozens of healthy, easy and delicious recipes.


The 2 Week Test

Reboot your metabolism to burn more body fat.

The Two Week Test helps you determine whether you are carbohydrate intolerant. Here’s how it works. For two weeks, reduce carbohydrate foods: no sugar, breads, pastas, cereals, starches like corn, grains, potatoes and beans, no milk or yogurt, no fruits, fruit juice, energy bars and other moderate- and high-glycemic foods. Replace these calories with an array of vegetables (except potatoes and corn), whole eggs, nuts and seeds, unprocessed meats and seafood, butter, coconut oil, unprocessed cheese, heavy cream and others as tolerated.

Evaluate how your body changes (energy, weight, etc.), then gradually add natural unrefined carbohydrates back into your diet, monitoring for any unhealthy signs and symptoms. Take the following survey to see if the Two Week Test is right for you.


The 180 Formula

Find your optimal training intensity that burns more fat for fuel.

Use the 180-Formula to calculate your MAF training heart rate. Exercising regularly at this MAF HR can help develop your aerobic system, which burns more body fat, and can also:

  • Improve endurance performance.
  • Reduce chronic disease risk.
  • Recover from strenuous exercise.
  • Prevent injury.

Read why these processes are important, and how to get started.


MAF Test

Take the guesswork out of exercise by tracking aerobic development.

Your fitness progress can be objectively measured through the MAF Test. Run, walk, bike or perform your other workouts by monitoring pace, speed, power or other measures at your MAF HR over time.

Each month, with optimal training and food intake, you should get faster at the same MAF HR. If you don’t get faster it usually means your aerobic system is not developing and fat burning has not increased, and the solution can be simple (as discussed in various articles).


Stress Management

Even if you eat and work out properly, too much stress can impair your health and fitness, including fat burning.

Stress comes in three forms: physical, biochemical and mental-emotional. It’s important to learn about these and develop a simple strategy to reduce and adjust them so they don’t interfere with your progress. Common stressors include:

  • Work stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Casual and exercise shoes
  • Overtraining
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Poor nutrition


A unique tool to help you personalize health and fitness.

The MAF App evaluates your exercise, nutrition and stress, providing a detailed report with individualized suggestions, all on your iPhone:

  • Surveys assess health and fitness
  • Calculates your MAF HR
  • Tracks your MAF tests
  • Evaluates your need for the Two-Week Test
  • Personalized “actions” to improve your health
  • Generates email report for your healthcare practitioner (optional).