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Body Fat Percentage - A Visual Guide
Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Body Fat Percentage - A Visual Guide

Body Composition for Men

The photos I've included in this guide are photos of the members of John Stone Fitness who have measured their body fat percentage in some manner (see next post), but whether that measurement accurately reflects that person's true body fat percentage, I can't say for sure. Usually, when a body fat percentage is reported, it's from a calculation by skinfold measurement via calipers.

If you have pictures you'd like to have addded to this gallery, where the body fat percentage has been measured, and you can calculate your BMI, please send me a private message and I can add you into the appropriate spot. If I've added your pictures into this gallery and you'd like them removed, please also send me a message. Click on the user's name to reach their media gallery thread (or a link to his member profile).

Last edited by guava; Fri, November 24th, 2006 at 03:22 PM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:29 PM   #2
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The Body Mass Index
The body mass index is sometimes used to by doctors and other professionals as a measure of body fat. It does not, in fact, measure body fat, but because it is a quick and uncomplicated measure, it is used (sometimes inaccurately) to make some guesses about health risks in certain circumstances. Calculate your BMI
The BMI chart is often divided into sections and labelled as follows:
Obese = BMI of 30 or greater
Overweight = 25-29.9
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
As you will see from the photographs, these descriptors are not accurate in many cases, and are a very poor tool to assess health risk. In this circumstance, I simply use them as a measure of relative frame size. You can use this chart to see what weight corresponds to your height at a certain BMI level.

Similarly, here are some values to determine possible incidences of being underweight. The WHO Expert Committee on Physical Growth has suggested the following classifications:
mild underweight (BMI = 17.00-18.49 kg/m2),
moderate underweight (BMI = 16.00-16.99 kg/m2), and
severe underweight (BMI < 16.00 kg/m2).2

Body Fat Percentage
The ideal range of 5 to 25% body fat percentage accounts for nearly all healthy men. Of course, this is a huge range, and some of these values may be more aesthetically pleasing than others.
over 25% - obese
18 to 24.9% - acceptable level
13 to 17.9% - men who are fit
5 to 12.9% - most male athletes and fitness models
Near the lower range of the body fat percentage scale, it becomes unsafe to maintain this level for more than a few hours or days.

Measuring Body Fat Perentage
Your body is made up of two components: lean body mass, which is the sum of the weight of your bones, muscles and organs, and fat mass. Your body fat percentage measures what proportion of your weight is made up of fat.

The most accurate way to measure body fat is to use a DEXA scan. DEXA uses a whole body scanner and two different low-dose x-rays to read bone mass and soft tissue mass. It takes about 10-20 minutes to do a body scan. It provides a high degree of precision with a 2-3 % margin of error.

Another precise method is hydrostatic weighing (underwater weighing). Your examiner first calculates your body density by measuring the amount of water you displace when you immerse yourself in water. Then a formula is used to calculate body fat based on your body density. The problem is finding a facility (University, major gym or fitness center) which has a hydrostatic weighing tank. The margin of error is around 2-3%, but the accuracy depends on the amount of air you expel.

Measuring body fat with a set of body fat calipers is the most cost effective way to determine fat levels. Calipers are a pincher-like device that are used to pinch your skin in specific locations on your body, such as your waist. These measurements then are placed into a formula which calculates your estimated body fat percentage. Some formulas require 7 point measurements, some require 3 point measurements, and some use a value in between there. See the Body Tracker site as an example. Skinfold measurements are available at most gyms or health clubs that have certified fitness instructors. Skinfold measurements are only reliable if they are done correctly by experienced people. It can be as accurate as the other methods mentioned, but usually it is not.

Body fat scales claim to measure body fat quickly and conveniently. These body fat scales use the Bioelectrical Impedance method to measure your body fat percentage. A low-level electrical current is passed through the body and the "impedance" or opposition to the flow of current is measured. The result is used in conjunction with your weight and other factors to estimate your body fat percentage. Only by following strict rules can, we may be able to get an accurate measurement of our body fat using these scales. This method can be accurate (4% margin of error) but the results are affected by hydration, food intake and skin temperature.

The FitTogether Body Composition Report and the US Navy Circumference Method claim to determine your body fat percentage based on comparisons of your height, weight, and various girth measurments. These tests, though they often claim to be accurate within a few percentage points, quite often give markedly different results than those obtained by skinfold measurements.

Other online body fat percentage calculators:
http://www.weightsnet.com/
http://site.sportfoodmart.com/bfcalc/index.html
http://www.he.net/~zone/prothd2.html

Last edited by guava; Fri, November 24th, 2006 at 03:28 PM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:29 PM   #3
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Over 25% body fat
a) at BMI>30
48 year old 5'11" 216 lb (BMI=30.1) at 30%


gravityhomer 5'10" 210 lbs (BMI=30.1) at 27% body fat (January 2004)


b) at BMI 25-29.9

John Stone 5'11.5" 215 pounds (BMI=29.6), 30% body fat


boomboom 5'10" 202 lb (BMI=29) at 26% body fat (November 2004)

Last edited by guava; Mon, October 16th, 2006 at 06:01 PM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:30 PM   #4
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18-25% body fat
a) at BMI 25-29.9
specialk 5'11", 214 pounds (BMI=29.8) at 20% body fat
Name:  Oldpro1.JPG
Views: 487654
Size:  159.1 KB

M@ 6'3', 220 lbs (BMI=27.5 BMI) at more than 23% BF (January, 2006)


JVib 5'11", 192.5 (BMI=26.8) at 22.5% body fat




Kilter 5'10" 181 lb (BMI=26.0) at 22% body fat


b) at BMI 18.5 – 24.9
ghaynes 6'3" 195.4 (BMI=24.4) at 20% BF


scohen 6', 181.4 (BMI= 24.6) at 18.4% body fat


Kilter 5"10 166 lb (BMI=23.8) at 19% body fat

Last edited by guava; Fri, October 13th, 2006 at 12:34 PM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:31 PM   #5
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16-17.9% body fat
a) at BMI > 30

b) at BMI = 25-29.9
specialk 5'10", 190 lb (BMI=26.5) at 16% (July 2005)
Name:  Newpro1.JPG
Views: 427506
Size:  155.2 KB

M@ 6'3", 202 lbs (BMI=25.2) at 16% BF (April 2006)


c) at BMI 18.5 – 24.9
ultracycle 178 pounds (height unknown) at 16.8%

Kilter 5'10", 165.5 lb (BMI=23.7) at 17% body fat

Last edited by guava; Mon, October 16th, 2006 at 05:56 PM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:34 PM   #6
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14-15.9% body fat
a) at BMI > 30
John Stone 5'11.5" 225 lb (BMI=30.9), 14% body fat (Feb 2006)


b) at BMI = 25-29.9
John Stone 5'11.5" 213 lb (BMI=29.3), 14% (January 2005)


c) at BMI 18.5 – 24.9

Foley 5'11" 176 lb (BMI=24.5) at 14%


Jokat 5'11" 176 lb (BMI=24.5) at 15% body fat

Last edited by guava; Mon, October 16th, 2006 at 05:54 PM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:35 PM   #7
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12–13.9% body fat
a) at BMI>30:

b) at BMI 25-29.9:

c) at BMI 18.5 – 24.9:
boomboom 5'10" 168 lbs ? (BMI=24.1) at 13.8% ? (June 2005)


M@ 6'3", 194 lbs (BMI=24.2) at 13.5% BF (July 2006)


Glaive 5'10, 170 lb (BMI=24.4) at 13%


1esotericguy 5'11", 158 lb (BMI=22), 13.5% (February 2005)


lil_dave 6'3", 185 lb (BMI=23.1) at 12.5%

Last edited by guava; Thu, October 19th, 2006 at 12:19 AM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:36 PM   #8
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10-11.9% body fat
a) at BMI>30

b) at BMI 25-29.9
John Stone 5'11.5" 211.8 lb (BMI=29.1) 10% body fat (October 2006)


c) at BMI 18.5-24.9

specialk 178.6 lbs. (BMI = 24.9) BF= 11.3% (September 2006)


48 year old 5'11", 163 lbs (BMI=22.7) at 11% (July 05)
(on the left in this pic) http://img278.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ontview0gl.jpg

gravityhomer 5' 10", 164 lb (BMI=23.5) at 10% body fat (June 2005)


M@ 6'3", 191 lbs (BMI= 23.9) at 11.3% BF

Last edited by guava; Fri, October 27th, 2006 at 06:32 PM..
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Old Mon, October 2nd, 2006, 05:36 PM   #9
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9-9.9% body fat
a) at BMI>30:

b) at BMI 25-29.9:
John Stone 5'11.5", 202.4 lb (BMI=27.8) at 9% (September 2006)


c) at BMI 18.5-24.9:
John Stone 5'11.5", 173.8 (BMI=23.9) at 9% (August 2004)


1esotericguy 5'11", 149 lb (BMI=20.8), 9% (April 2005)
http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/a...1&d=1114569466

JVib 5'11" 168 lb (BMI=23.4) at 9.3%

d) at BMI<18.5

Last edited by guava; Mon, October 16th, 2006 at 05:51 PM..
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Old Tue, October 3rd, 2006, 02:29 PM   #10
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8-8.9% body fat
a) at BMI>30
b) at BMI 25-29.9
John Stone 5'11.5", 188.8 lb (BMI=26) at 8% (November 2005)

c) at BMI 18.5 – 24.9 (normal)
John Stone 5'11.5", 160.2 lb (BMI=22) at 8% (June 2003)

Reno_1ted 5'8", 154 lb (BMI=23.5) at 8%

Last edited by guava; Mon, October 16th, 2006 at 05:49 PM..
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Old Tue, October 3rd, 2006, 02:30 PM   #11
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under 8% body fat
a) at BMI>30
b) at BMI 25-29.9
c) at BMI 18.5 – 24.9
48 year old 5'11", 156lb (BMI=21.8) caliper readings 6.8%, but he estimates that 7.5% is more accurate (November 2005)
(on the right in this link) http://img278.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ontview0gl.jpg
another picture of 48 year old 5'11" 153 lb (BMI=21.3) with caliper readings 6.3% (January 2006)

Last edited by guava; Mon, October 16th, 2006 at 05:48 PM..
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Old Tue, October 3rd, 2006, 03:05 PM   #12
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Links:

Body For Life lists a body fat percentage for most of the photos in their before and after section. From looking at the pictures compared to other reported figures I've seen, I quite often feel that they overestimate the "before" number and they underestimate the "after" number.

Here is a Body Fat Percentage Guide for Men, prepared by Jeremy Likness.
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Old Tue, October 3rd, 2006, 03:53 PM   #13
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Interesting!

The problem I suppose is that people have different ideals about body weight, fat percentage, build, etc.. What looks good to me might look bad to someone else.
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Old Tue, October 3rd, 2006, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monster View Post
Interesting!

The problem I suppose is that people have different ideals about body weight, fat percentage, build, etc.. What looks good to me might look bad to someone else.
Yes.
Originally, I had some descriptive statements in some of the posts, but I took them out because I realized they were judgments, and not facts. Some people think a body fat below 10% is more attractive, and some people think a body fat percentage at a more moderate level is more attractive. Likewise with the BMI. The more examples I can get at different body fat percentages, the better people will be able to decide their own personal targets.
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Old Tue, October 3rd, 2006, 09:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guava View Post
The Body Mass Index
Body mass index is a highly controversial measure of body fat.
Guava, I think this needs to be reworded, it's not really accurate. I know you know that BMI doesn't measure body fat, and we definitely don't want to confuse/misinform anybody reading this..

It's really just just a calculation of a height/weight ratio. It's calculated by weight in kg / height in meters squared.

I'm not sure yet of the best way to word this exactly..I'll try to think of something. You might want to mention that it is often incorrectly used in place of a body fat measurement because it is easier to calculate.

I don't know...just don't say it measures fat. It's used (incorrectly) as a (very inaccurate) estimate of adiposity, but it doesn't really measure it. At all.
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Old Tue, October 3rd, 2006, 09:36 PM   #16
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Thanks Andrew. I wasn't happy about that wording either.
I changed the description above, but let me know if you can come up with something a little more clear.
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Old Wed, October 4th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #17
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This is a pretty cool thread Guava. It's neat to see how different bodyfat percentages look on different size people.

And yay, I have the highest BMI for my before photo so far, I am so proud.
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Old Wed, October 4th, 2006, 02:05 AM   #18
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I made it onto the greatest hits package?!!? Do I have to coughh it up and become a supporter now?

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Old Wed, October 4th, 2006, 06:00 PM   #19
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Guava,..Just ran across this,..Very good idea,...It really helps us new to the lifestyle, to understand what we are looking at, or for. As mentioned beofre, different body shapes and sizes show fat differently,...This really helps,...

Thanks much,...>>>--->
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Old Sat, October 7th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #20
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Guava...take alook at my avatar...the site calculators I've used (U.S. Navy and others) list me at 20 to 22 percent bodyfat.

Ya think???
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