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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question BMI, Body Fat, Weight, etc... and progress marker

Preface: I am just getting back in the gym after nearly 6 months off. My last semester of school completely kicked my ass and I cut the gym from my routine. Losing that strength pisses me off. This thread is part inquisition and part motivator/progress marker.

I have a shit ton of motivation right now though and am very excited to have free time again... and I am back in the gym with a vengeance.


Today I bought a scale that also measures body fat. (BTW, how accurate are these? For measuring BF there are two settings. "Normal" and "athletic." For me, the difference between the two is over 8%.)


I am 5'10", 210 lbs. Broad shouldered, large chest, 34" waist (pant size). I was fitted for a tux last week and the tailor commented that my shoulder measurement was at least 5" bigger than other people with the same waist measurements and he pretty much guaranteed my tux jacket would not fit right.

This scale, on the athletic setting, says I have 19% BF and 54.2% Body Water.
At 5'10", 210 lbs, with that BF, I am anything from "above average" to "over-fat" and "obese" by just about every "standard" I can find.

But then I go and look at some numbers for the US Army... their recruit weight for a 70" person between 21-27 is 192 lbs, and their weight for the same person after entry is 185 lbs.
Again, by the same "standards" these people would have a BMI between 26.5-27.5. Which is "overweight."

The Army's body fat standard for a 21-27 yr old male is 22%, which is "fair" and "over-fat" on the scales I've seen.


I know I have some pounds to shed and some muscle/strength to get back... but shit. Am I "over fat"? Does the Army recruit and maintain fatties also? Are these "standards" worth giving two shits about?


For my own future reference:
Wt: 210
BF: 19.9
BW: 54.2
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 10:34 PM
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 10:49 PM
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BMI is absolutely worthless, as it does not account for lean mass or genetic differences. I'm "obese" by the BMI scale, at around 10% bodyfat. Kinda cool how a fat guy can have abs.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 11:20 PM
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BMI is totally worthless.

According to BMI I'm 23.1 and the range for my height is 18.5-24.9 as "normal" with the start of overweight being 25.

To reach 18.5 on the BMI scale I would need to be 140 pounds. lol.

At 175 pounds I'm about 9% body fat and a 30" waist at 6' 1".

I have a slender build from years of long distance running and long distance triathlons. I have yet to meet a triathlete at my height weight less than 155 (and he looked freakin' skinny).

If I lost 10 pounds of fat (from my 15.5 pounds) I'd come in at 165 and about 3.4% body fat. Ain't gonna happen. My goal for the fall season is 170 pounds which would place be at 6.1% body fat. Doubtful I could get that low more likely I'll lose some lean tissue as well. If I can get to 8% at 170 I'll end up losing about 2 pounds of muscle in the process. I haven't decided yet if losing those 2 pounds of lean tissue will improve my performance or not at the moment, thus my little experiment this summer.

I've been tracking the body fat and the weight loss pretty steadily over the summer and comparing it time trials during the same period of time. So far my times are improving as the weight drops. At some point I'll stop improving and I'll know that losing lean tissue for the sake of saving some weight isn't worth it anymore. Varies with age... I'm carrying about the same time trial times as I was at 35 (9 years ago) but I was carrying about 5lbs more weight at roughly the same body fat percentage of 8-9.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeFingerPete
The mirror will not lie.
That's what I go by! (plus I have 4 kids around the house that will say things like....mom, no, don't wear that..... )

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPS
That's what I go by! (plus I have 4 kids around the house that will say things like....mom, no, don't wear that..... )

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Kids are also one of my criteria. When my 6 year old girl doesn't want to lay down on my chest anymore because its not soft, I know I'm under 10%.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 10:30 AM
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I'm 5'10, and about 185 right now. I would say 9%ish body fat. I have about a 30 inch waist, and relatively broad shoulders as well (got fitted for a tux too about a month ago...and you're right...it won't fit correctly...you'll probably have a huge shirt, poorly tailored jacket, and a joke for a vest), and I've also been told I'm overweight. I was at 195 and 9.5% (caliper test) last year and had to pay a higher rate for health insurance actually. Basically, don't trust any BMI or BF% scale...go with a mirror like everyone else has mentioned. The scale you have will probably be way off.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 12:00 PM
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those scales suck! They are not aimed at bodybuilding types. Their athletic setting means that you get at least 10 hours a week of cardio exercise, on the other hand, the sedentary setting isn't accurate either. It says on the box that they are not designed for bodybuilders Inside on the little sheet that comes with it, it says that it isn't loaded with the formulas for bodybuilders.

I bought one and then got some skin fold calipers then I took the scale back and returned it and got my money back. I use the calipers now. way more accurate.

The thing is with the scale, even though it is not acurate, if you take the measurement for BF at the same time of day each time and after drinking or not drinking whatever - just do the same routine every time before taking the measurement and it will not be accurate, however you cna use it to track changes in your bodyfat.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd
those scales suck! They are not aimed at bodybuilding types. Their athletic setting means that you get at least 10 hours a week of cardio exercise, on the other hand, the sedentary setting isn't accurate either. It says on the box that they are not designed for bodybuilders Inside on the little sheet that comes with it, it says that it isn't loaded with the formulas for bodybuilders.

I bought one and then got some skin fold calipers then I took the scale back and returned it and got my money back. I use the calipers now. way more accurate.

The thing is with the scale, even though it is not acurate, if you take the measurement for BF at the same time of day each time and after drinking or not drinking whatever - just do the same routine every time before taking the measurement and it will not be accurate, however you cna use it to track changes in your bodyfat.
Where can I find the calipers? And how much are they?

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven
BMI is absolutely worthless, as it does not account for lean mass or genetic differences. I'm "obese" by the BMI scale, at around 10% bodyfat. Kinda cool how a fat guy can have abs.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redheadintx
Where can I find the calipers? And how much are they?

How much do you want to spend?

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 01:45 PM
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Well, if the manual one is $20 I'd rather go all out and spend $50 on the digital.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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I have a manual caliper that I bought at GNC and it works fine. I always keep best track by using that and measuring my waist, thighs etc. It really helps a lot to take epics of you with a swimsuit or whatever and check your progress occasionally. Its surprising how much progress you make and you dont see it on yourself.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrills
I have a manual caliper that I bought at GNC and it works fine. I always keep best track by using that and measuring my waist, thighs etc. It really helps a lot to take epics of you with a swimsuit or whatever and check your progress occasionally. Its surprising how much progress you make and you dont see it on yourself.
What range do you like to see your body fat % stay in?

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroked71Bowtie
Preface: I am just getting back in the gym after nearly 6 months off. My last semester of school completely kicked my ass and I cut the gym from my routine. Losing that strength pisses me off. This thread is part inquisition and part motivator/progress marker.

I have a shit ton of motivation right now though and am very excited to have free time again... and I am back in the gym with a vengeance.


Today I bought a scale that also measures body fat. (BTW, how accurate are these? For measuring BF there are two settings. "Normal" and "athletic." For me, the difference between the two is over 8%.)


I am 5'10", 210 lbs. Broad shouldered, large chest, 34" waist (pant size). I was fitted for a tux last week and the tailor commented that my shoulder measurement was at least 5" bigger than other people with the same waist measurements and he pretty much guaranteed my tux jacket would not fit right.

This scale, on the athletic setting, says I have 19% BF and 54.2% Body Water.
At 5'10", 210 lbs, with that BF, I am anything from "above average" to "over-fat" and "obese" by just about every "standard" I can find.

But then I go and look at some numbers for the US Army... their recruit weight for a 70" person between 21-27 is 192 lbs, and their weight for the same person after entry is 185 lbs.
Again, by the same "standards" these people would have a BMI between 26.5-27.5. Which is "overweight."

The Army's body fat standard for a 21-27 yr old male is 22%, which is "fair" and "over-fat" on the scales I've seen.


I know I have some pounds to shed and some muscle/strength to get back... but shit. Am I "over fat"? Does the Army recruit and maintain fatties also? Are these "standards" worth giving two shits about?


For my own future reference:
Wt: 210
BF: 19.9
BW: 54.2
I'm in the Navy and their height/weight standards are similar. I've been "overweight" for my heighth since I've joined (7 years ago). I'm currently 5'11 215 with a 35" waist. The max weight for my heighth is like 190. So if you're over they measure you with a tape. Don't exactly know how the formula works but they take your neck, waist, and your weight and do some sort of points system to figure your BF%. I usually end up around 13-14. I've heard it's a joke compared to the calipers.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redheadintx
What range do you like to see your body fat % stay in?
I like to stay around 14-15%, what about you?
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrills
I like to stay around 14-15%, what about you?

You must be ripped for chick!

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-26-2007, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by GRAYHORSE
You must be ripped for chick!
No shit. LOL.

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-26-2007, 08:49 AM
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BMI is BS. I used to lift, played sports, etc. I was 5'11" 205 and pretty well built. Now I'm 215, have lost some muscle size and gained a gut, but the BMI doesn't account for lifters.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-26-2007, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrills
I like to stay around 14-15%, what about you?
The lowest my body fat % has ever been is 17%. I'd love to keep it right around that % but I'm definitely not there right now... no clue what mine is right now but it's definitely in the 20s.

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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GRAYHORSE
You must be ripped for chick!
Im not there right now at about 17% ATM, in the process of getting a bit leaner. When Im at my leanest I look lean but not "cut"
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrills
Im not there right now at about 17% ATM, in the process of getting a bit leaner. When Im at my leanest I look lean but not "cut"

Cool, keep at it. I posted a few pics in the other thread.

My BMI says im over weight also.

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