Body Fat Percentage

How just 1 or 2 digits determine how hot you look!

By Paul "Batman" O'Brien 

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. IMed., Dip. Adv. OBB, Dip. CHM, Pn1, PN-SSR, PN-NCA, M.AFPA., M.C.Th.A.

Body Fat Percentage is THE most important number in the fitness world. It is the only number that tells you, honestly and without fear of flattery or falsehood exactly the kind of shape you’re in. Your body fat percentage is so important and crucial to your physique and fitness levels that not knowing it is like trying to take a long distance road trip without knowing how much gas is in the tank.

So what exactly is your body fat?

There are just 2 types of body fat – essential and non-essential. Everyone needs essential body fat, hence the name. Essential body fat protects and insulates our organs, controls our body temperature and provides necessary energy storage. Without a healthy amount of fat you can’t function properly.

Now the non-essential stuff you don’t need. It’s the leftovers of the good fat. It has some interesting non technical names like “The Spare Tire”, and is often associated with phrases such as “This used to fit me” and “my clothes must have shrunk”. Well you get the idea. If that describes you then I strongly recommend you read Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto You can read about how it will blowtorch the fat off your body here.

Measuring your body fat

There are dozens of ways to measure your body fat percentage from water displacement tests to electrical current readings. However not everyone has access to a state of the art training facility so here are my best home recommendations.

Calipers – A great way to measure your body fat is to pinch it. You’ve heard the old saying, “to pinch an inch” well many fitness instructors actually do that and you can to, to gauge your body fat levels. You can buy calipers in most health shops and they measure the inch so to speak form specific locations and you then enter that information on to a table and there ya go. The major drawback is it’s time consuming, it’s invasive and it can be VERY inaccurate depending on who is doing it.

Hand Held / Scales – An easy way is to purchase a body fat machine either hand held or a scales. These are great – all you do is stand on it or hold it in front of you and a few seconds later you have your body fat percentage and probably a whole lot more, like lean muscle weight, etc. My one even tells me how much water I have, the weight of my bones – the lot. It’s the most accurate home method available.

What should your body fat % be?

Well according to the American Council of Fitness it should be something like this…

For the Guys

  • Essential Fat= 2-4% • Athletes= 6-13% • Fitness= 14-17% • Acceptable= 18-25% • Obese= 25% plus

For the Gals

  • Essential Fat= 10-12% • Athletes= 14-20% • Fitness= 21-24% • Acceptable= 25-31% • Obese= 32% plus

As a personal trainer – your body fat percentage number is the most important piece of information I have. It allows you to figure how long it will take to get to you goals, how much farther you have to go and more. Most time when people tell me they need to lose weight – I always explain it’s not weight you need to lose its body fat.

Let me show you –

You have two men both are 5 foot 8 and both weigh 180lbs. One has 5% body fat the other has 45% body fat. Which one is the fitness model? Your body fat is the key component in how hot you look – the lower the number and the higher the muscle the more toned, buff and built you look. The same applies for women – Get the body fat down and you’ll see a tight toned body in the mirror.

The best way to lower you’re body fat percentage is through a complete nutrition system like Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle. Alternatively you can work with me 1-to-1 through online personal training I can get you in the best shape of your life and have you losing pounds of unwanted fat today. Click Here to learn more.

The fatter we are the slower our metabolism, the harder it is to move around in the everyday world. Carrying around heavy amount of fat is like wearing a weighted vest and putting yourself under constant strain. Higher body fat increases the risk of obesity and its dozens of related dangers, but most significantly it affects you every minute of every day be it at work, at home or playing with the kids.

Leave body fat percentage and make a difference in your life with one of my recommended programs.

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