“It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger
Most people don’t know their body fat.
This is as bad as not being aware of how much money you spend. It’s a travesty, especially in the world of health and physical fitness. Why is body fat percentage crucial? It’s the single best indicator of body composition. Anyone who cares in the least about their health ought to know approximately what their body fat is. On the other hand, almost everyone is aware of how much they weigh. Weight is not a quality gauge of body composition. Neither is body mass index (BMI). You can obtain what’s commonly regarded as an average body mass index and have all kinds of hidden health conditions. That is not likely to be the situation with body fat. What is a healthy body fat percentage for men and women?
Short answer: the Athletes ranges in the American Council on Exercise figures below.
• Essential Fat: 2% – 5% (men), 10% – 13% (women)
• Athletes: 6% – 13% (men), 14% – 20% (women)
• Fitness: 14% – 17% (men), 21% – 24% (women)
• Acceptable: 18% – 24% (men), 25% – 31% (women)
• Obesity: >25% (men), >32% (women)
Longer answer (my personal opinion):
A healthy body fat percentage for males is between 6% and 10%. A healthy body fat percentage for women is between 14% and 17%. I would target the lower end of the Athletes range for a couple of reasons. First, I believe that being an athlete is the bare minimum requirement for physical fitness. Next, you can possibly pull off being relatively healthy and fit inside the upper ranges of Athlete, but that’s not what I desire for you. I would like you to become extremely fit and healthy and for that, you should acquire an undoubtedly athletic build. The Acceptable ranges within this chart are unsatisfactory. I was in the top end of the Fitness range for several years and I felt sluggish and heavy. Be a little ambitious. With some hard work, anyone can look like many of the celebrities we idolize in sports.
Does your age impact your body fat?
Theoretically, it will. Your metabolism decreases as you get older consequently rendering it more challenging to keep low body fat thresholds. Frankly, the slowing of your metabolism as a consequence of getting older has a minimal impact on body fat compared to the impact of your all round lifestyle. In short, aging isn’t really a good justification for having a higher body fat percentage. I believe all men and women should target the lower ends of the Athlete ranges no matter what age. Due to a mix of factors, the typical body fat percentage for males and females increases as they age. Therefore, elderly people who hit an ambitious goal and maintain an athletic body fat percentage will appear way more spectacular among fellow people in their age group than younger people will. Case in point: Mark Sisson.
How does a healthy body fat improve your life as a whole?
By maintaining a healthy body fat , you’ll certainly enjoy your life more because you will look and feel better. Carrying extra fat is one of those things you get used to when you’re heavy, but that doesn’t imply that it’s not harmful. Getting rid of extra fat will give you more energy and confidence than you could ever imagine. It’s night and day. My experience continues to be so encouraging that I can’t picture myself ever going back to the days of having extra fat. I’m certain that anybody else who has been through significant fat loss feels exactly the same. It’s like having a digital video recorder or viewing sporting events in HD. Once you switch, you can never return back. Now that you understand the healthy body fat percentage for men and women, it’s time for you to take action!