We all have fat. We need fat. Fat is actually a good thing.
Well, to a point.
We need fat to live. Fat protects us and nourishes us.
All great things, right? Bring on the fat. Slow down hoss. Fat is good. Fat is needed. Excess fat…not so much. A lot of excess fat is not only not needed but it is a major hindrance to minor things like health, wellness and the way we look on the beach.
1. We are going to talk about how much you should have.
2. Then we will go over how to measure it.
3. Lastly we will quickly address how to get to the desired amount.
I test peoples body fat a lot. People have funny perceptions about what it is going to be. Those that have been tested before have a pretty good idea what to look for. People that have never been tested usually fall into two camps.
Camp 1: “It’s probably 50%…” or my favorite, “I already know I’m fat…”
These are usually the people with low self esteem to begin with. These are people that, for whatever reason, feel down about themselves and have little hope of have given up hope. I see it a lot. It’s sometimes sad and a little frustrating but these are attitudes that can change. I try my best help these people see body fat for what it is: a number. Numbers can change and they do. More on that later.
Camp 2: “OMG”
Hahaha. Look, I made myself laugh. These are people that, when they see the number they think it’s the end of the world. “OMG, 20% body fat! I should be ZERO.” This isn’t true at all. I am about to get that. Bear with me.
These people are frustrated by the number no matter what it is. Again, I explain to the participant what the numbers should be and it brings her back from the ledge.
Let’s demystify body fat a little.
That’s a fantastic question and the answer varies based on who you ask. The basic answer is that you should have less if your goal is to look and feel better. This is, of course, unless you are at the “essential fat” threshhold which is about 4% for men and 10% for women.
This chart from ACE (American Council on Exercise) is pretty good:
What I don’t like is when people say that acceptable for women is 24%. That’s a load of crap. Acceptable is not a good measure. How about we should for being AWESOME?
My suggestion for EVERYBODY is this: Shoot for whatever the next lower number that has a zero on the end is. If you are 44% then shoot for 40%. If you are 35% then shoot for 30%. If you are a lady at 18% then 15% is the goal.
Don’t set a goal to be zero. That’s called being dead. Also, don’t aim for the essential fat numbers. My body fat is 4% because I am an elite athlete and have been all my life. NOT A GOOD GOAL!
The best end goal for men is 10% and 15% for women. We can go lower but when you get to that level it’s smarted to focus on performance and let the body fat number land where it lands.
I once heard someone say that the only true way to measure of body is the at autopsy. I don’t know if this is true or not but I don’t really want to find out.
The next best is underwater weighing. Yeah… not practical. I know this how? I did it once many years ago.
It was awful. So basically they weight you underwater but there is a catch. You have blow out all the air from from your lungs. Yep. That sucks as bad as you think it would.
Again, not super practical.
You can also use “bioimpedance”. Basically some machine sends some sort of magic pulse into your body. I don’t understand the science and, to be honest, I just don’t trust them.
They tend to be very inaccurate for those with low and high body fat. If that’s all you have then it’ll work. I stay away and have for a long time.
I use skin caliper measurements. The downside is that you need to have someone that knows what the hell they are doing. In the old days we used to have to add up the number and look on a chart. Now I plug the numbers into a an app on phone and I get the results. No math required. Legit.
So how do you get to to your goal number?
There is the $64,000 question. To get my complete answer in detail CLICK HERE to get our free report “10 Keys to RAPID Fat Loss”. That will give you the plan how to lose body fat. It’s a lot of info. Check it out!
The key here is where you focus. You want to focus on that body fat percentage number. In other words you want to LOSE body fat but potential GAIN muscle. That is OK! Muscle is good. It helps you move and live for that matter.
I measured a lady one time who was in her mid 20’s. She was 5’10” and about 155 lbs. Actually not a bad weight for a lady of her height. The problem was that her lean (muscle) weight was only 96 lbs. That was weigh low! Over the would of a few months we helped her drop 10 lbs of so BUT the real magic was in the transition. The lost 30+ lbs of fat whiling gaining 20+ lbs of muscle. THAT IS A GOOD THING.
Let me summarize.
Your body fat percentage is a key component of your fitness. You should know it and you should try to lower it. Don’t let someone tell you that 20% is somehow acceptable. Always to try to be better. Always strive for more!
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Rick Copley 352-989-6795 firstname.lastname@example.org
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