As a peaceful warrior, I would choose when, where and how I would behave.
With that commitment, I began to live the life of a warrior.
~Dan Millman

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Bit About BodyFat
As bathingsuit season approaches, the new years resolutions are long gone but concern for revealing the flesh is certainly on the horizon.

Keep things in perspective folks. Thin is not always healthy so be aware of your overall body composition rather than just weight. Bodyfat is a necessity for health.

Here is a bit from Tom Venuto. Keep it real! ~ j

That's the trouble with trying to pin down one specific body fat number as contest or photo-shoot ready: Everyone distributes their body fat differently and two people may look different at the same body fat percentage.

Here's what I'd recommend:
Get familiar with some benchmarks for body fat levels. My Burn The Fat system has a body fat rating system, which includes averages and my suggested optimal body fat percentages.

Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle Body fat rating scale

Competition Shape ("ripped"): 8-12%
Very Lean (excellent): 13-15%
Lean (good): 16-20%
Average (fair): 21-25%
Below average (poor): 26-30%
Major improvement needed (Very poor): 31-40%+

Competition Shape ("ripped"): 3-6%
Very Lean (excellent): 7-9%
Lean (good): 10-14%
Average (fair): 15-19%
Below average (poor): 20-25%
Major improvement needed (Very poor): 26-30%+

Just a quick note:

You're not destined to get fatter as you get older, but in the general population (non fitness and bodybulding folks), the average older person has more body fat.

What I did do is list a range instead of one number, so younger people can use the low end of the range and older people can usethe higher number. Also, just so the average reader can keep things in perspective, single digit body fat for women and low single digits for men is far beyond lean - it's RIPPED - and that's usually solely the domain of competitive physique athletes.

Competition body fat levels were not meant to be maintained all year round. It's not realistic and it may may not be healthy, particularlyfor women.The average guy or gal should probably aim for the "lean" category,or if you're really ambitious and dedicated, the "very lean category"as a realistic year round goal.You'll probably have to hit the "very lean" category for six pack abs.

However, the bottom line is that there's no "perfect" body fat percentage where you're assured of seeing your abs. Besides, body fat is one of those numbers that gets fudged and exaggerated all the time. The low numbers are nice for braggingrights, but they don't measure your body fat percentage on stage...What counts is how you look and whether you're happy with that (orwhether the judges are happy with it, if you're competing).You can use my chart to help you set some initial goals, but for themost part, I recommend using body fat testing as a way of chartingyour progress over time to see if you're improving rather than pursuing some holy grail number.

Thanks Tom Venuto! Great perspective

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