Body Fat Measurement
Bodybuilders and slimmers do care about body fat percentage. It is noteworthy that we also lose muscle mass while trying to get rid of the fatty deposits. The ratio in between those losses is 3:1. That is, losing three kilos of fat, body is losing one kilo of the muscle mass. Sportsmen get usually confused because they tried so hard to shape their body, but the muscles say goodbye to them along with the fat.
To get a great body, do not go too fat with shredding. Though there are some cases when people do really need to lose some weight.
To gain the muscles in a correct way, it is necessary to know what is the human body consists of. These parameters do not depend on the weight and height, sex and age.
Human body consists of the four substances:
- Water. Adult’s body consists of 60 – 75% of water.
- Fat. This is a source of energy and a «combustion engine» so to say. This is a quantitative indicator which is calculated based on certain measurements and using special table. Ideal parameters are defined depending on the age, sex and individual body shape.
- Human body weight without fat. This indicator includes proteins and water.
- Skeletal system and bones. These are the key parameters which provide a base for the human body to build the muscles and gain some fat around. This is the means for us to shape our body.
Both sportsmen and slimmers are trying to get rid of fat. So, let us find out when such measures are really needed. Let us calculate the body fat percentage.
The Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage
The seemingly simple thing is to measure the body fat percentage electronically. It may seem that one can calculate body fat and water percentage using modern scales. But this is not so true mainly because such scales imply measurement of the body fat, water and muscles content in human body via impulses which the legs are sending to. Different speed of these impulses signifies presences of the other body substances apart weight. So, this is why we will also get to know the following things:
But let us not go deep into scientific experiments. Let’s care more about conclusion we’ve come to: using such scales aka fat analyzers do not accurately measure body fat percentages. They calculate this value based on the mathematical formulae instead of objective analysis. This is why we should refer to another and more accurate methods enabling precise calculation of body fat percentage.
- Hydrostatic scaling is considered to be one of the most accurate scaling methods. Professional sportsmen are favoring this method only. The method requires special equipment and skills. It is based on absorption of a body to water, an amount of displaced water and consideration of the lungs volume. Body fat value is calculated in accordance with standard methods. This method is not used by laymen.
- Visual approach. You are looking at people for whom the fat and muscles ration is pointed out and picking up the right body type that would be the best fit for you. In this case, please refer to the Figure 1.
- This one is so-called «Wardrobe» method. Your jeans are very tight on you and you can barely put your palm in between belt and waist.
- Special calculator can be used to assess the body fat percentage by means of using five methods called as «American Navy», Covert Baily, body mass index, the YMCA, and additional YMCA approach. Calculations are based on anthropological assessments. Each of these approaches has a margin of error of up to 3 – 4%. Conducting this assessment using the abovementioned five approaches, you can make a chart and get an accurate average body fat value.
- Common precise method to measure body fat percentage is to use tailor’s tape, trammel or special tool called body fat caliper. It doesn’t really matter which tool you will decide to go with. The most important is to find the measurement points and define the proper body fat value which is good for your body type using special tables.
The Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Using Caliper
Simplified measurement approach implies independent measurement of the fat roll around your waist. This is exactly a place that has no muscle tissues. Fat roll zone is located along the belly button line with a 10cm shift to the left or right and a 2-3cm shift to the up.
Next, you should make measurements in the bottom part of the triceps, biceps and shoulder blade. You will get more precise result provided in millimeters. Add up together all the four parameters mentioned in the above. Compare the result with the one provided in table supplied along with measurement tool. Let us provide an example: 3cm fat roll corresponds to 20% of fat. Don’t mind complicated calculation formulae. You do only need to know the following body parameters:
- Women are considered to be in good shape if their body fat percentage does not exceed 24%. At that, muscle mass percentage should comprise 35%. Light skeleton must take about 12% of entire body weight;
- Sporty men should have slight different parameters: 12% of fat, 45% of muscle mass and 15% of skeleton.
Note that ideal body fat percentage changes with age. This is why nutritionists provide 8-10% less body fat percentage value for young women compared to that of the grown women.
Measured Values and Our Health
Let us discuss the ways body fat percentage affects our health.
Nutritionists have created the following groups concerning the body fat percentage:
- Below norm – up to 10 %.
- Sporty type – up to 14 %.
- Ideal – within 20 % norm.
- Normal – up to 25 %.
- Excessive – up to 32%.
- Obese – up to 50 %.
Let’s assume that well trained man with weight of 90kg got 20% body fat value. So, we will get the fat layer mass by multiplying weight to the percentage value. It will comprise 18kg. In this case, body builder’s muscle mass will comprise difference between two values, that is, 72kg. Making calculations of such kind, bodybuilders achieve best result when they try to get into good shape. Working out and eating well, 5kg decrease of the body fat will result in half a kilo decrease of the muscle mass.
Benefits of the Fatty Tissue
Let us agree that we won’t consider fat as a definite body enemy. This is a source of energy, building material, which keeps internal organs safe. It enables production of the beauty hormones in the female body.
Scientists have proven that estrogens are responsible for the fat production, they also further development of the mammary glands and ensure proper distribution of the fat tissue in the human body. They also determine state nails and hair are in as well as have impact upon human height. This is why females have to have some fat! But they should have it only as much as nutritionists do recommend.
It is noteworthy that slimmers lose the belly fat first. Lowering body weight by 10% results in burning of up to 30% of visceral fat in abdominal region. Internal fat is metabolically active; it can be burned away faster than the subcutaneous one.
«Right» fat can be found in organic acids of animal origin. This is why it is recommended to consume the following foods even when adhering to the strict dietary regimen:
- olive and sunflower oils;
Adhering to these simple rules, you will look attractive, be in good health and stay fit.