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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Body fat percentage

Can calculating your body fat percentage help you become lean, fit, and ready to race?

If you go by Racing Weight, by Matt Fitzgerald, body fat percentage can be one of the best tools to reach your ideal weight for racing. I might review this book later. Once I lose those last 5 pounds. Kidding.

But there seems to be a bit of confusion on how to determine your body fat. Take a look at the results below: according to the website I used (based on height, weight, sex, and circumference of  your neck, waist, low waist, hip, thigh, wrist, forearm, and bicep), I am anywhere from "obese" (the worst ranking) to "athletic" (the lowest except for "essential"). I think I'll just go buy an inaccurate body fat scale.

Using your measurements of a 25 inches waist and weight of 127 pounds your body fat percentage is estimated to be 33.72 % using the U.S. Army body fat algorithm, or 25.08 % using the U.S. Marine body fat algorithm, or 18.99 % using the U.S. Navy body fat algorithm, or 19.37 % using the formula developed by the YMCA. 

 Geez, sucks to be in the Army.


  1. I just bought a Withings scale that measures weight and body fat. It gives the option of seeing as a percentage or the number of pounds of fat. That is really really scary. So I take with a grain of salt and think maybe ignorance is bliss.

  2. It is so hard to calculate body fat... I have been told so many different numbers that I sorta gave up on the idea of an accurate measurement :p

  3. I own this book and have been meaning to read it! I was just thinking about it last night, actually. might need to bump it up the pile of TBR books!

    I know looks can be deceiving, but you appear to have a very low % of body fat! I haven't had mine tested in quite awhile. I want to do this thing called "the bod pod" at our local university - it accurately calculates your body fat %, allegedly. I have a feeling mine is not as low as it should be. I don't think it's terrible, it's just probably not great!

  4. I use a Tanita scale and they are considered pretty accurate. Not too expensive on sale (I got mine through REI).

  5. Yes, I am going to do some more research about all this stuff too, I've heard a lot in passing about racing and idea weight and how much time is taken off if you lose X number of lbs.