Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Body Fat Percentage

If I've learned anything in my intense research and my following of fitness accounts on social media, it's that the real way to measure your physique is by body fat percentage.  Weight is a number.  Height is a number.  BMI is a number.  They don't mean jack squat.  Really, they don't.
A 4'9" girl who's in the gym every day and weighs 150 pounds because she busts her ass and has wicked muscle definition is going to look quite different from her 5'3" counterpart who weighs the same, eats what she wants, and hasn't been to a gym once in her life.  Would you not agree?
About five weeks ago, I ran with a couple girlfriends, and one of them brought a body fat percentage calculator with her for the other two of use to use.  I was super excited to get the result of 20.5%, as I thought I was closer to 22%.
Today, I was in the gym and decided to use the gym's calculator to test again, to see if I'd improved at all.  Today's result was 21.5%.
Now, I don't think I've gained a percentage point in body fat in the last five weeks, but I also don't think I've lost any.  I think it's a case of lack of conformity between the two different brands of body fat calculators.  My best guess is that I'm somewhere between 21% and 21.5% body fat. 
So that got me to thinking, what's average?  I found a couple of sources:
Average body fat percentage for women in the USA
34% - Source
8-15% = athletic
16-23% = good
24-30% = acceptable
31-36% = overweight
>37% = obese
10-13% = essential fat
14-20% = athletes
21-24% = fitness
25-31% = average
32%+ = obese
So that being said, what kind of goal do I set for myself moving forward from this point?

I do feel that I've "fluffed" up a bit in the past month or so.  I know I've eaten more calories than I've been used to, but I've done my best to make them healthy.  I'm going to continue to work towards a body fat percentage of under 20% by Thanksgiving, and hopefully somewhere around 18% by next spring.

Do you know what your body fat percentage is? 

Do you have any body fat percentage goals?

What kind of workouts do you do?

Do you lift?

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