Bady Fat Percentage???

Tips on how to keep yourself in top form for the hunting season.
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Bady Fat Percentage???

Postby JPH » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:22 pm

Our own Dan Schmidt asked this excellent question on another of our fitness threads, "[color="#ff0000"]...what would you say is a good body fat percentage for an over-the-hill (40-something) editor who has been running 6-7 miles a day? lol[/color]". Apparently Dan has a friend that he would like to help out. The question of body fat is such a big one that I thought we should start a thread for it all by itself.

Stand-by for my answer and please add your own thoughts as well.

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RE: Bady Fat Percentage???

Postby JPH » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:55 pm

First of all, we can all google the same body fat charts:

Essential = 2-4%
Athletes / Fitness =  5-17%
Acceptable = 18-25%
Overweight = 26-37%
Obese = 38%+

Essential = 10-12%
Athletes / Fitness =  13-24%
Acceptable = 25-31%
Overweight = 32-41%
Obese = 42%+

But this does not go far enough. My first question is, how are you measuring body fat? Many body fat tests are inaccurate. The bottom line is that body fat tests are rarely reliable unless performed by medical professionals. I would advise against using a home body fat test as a measure of success or failure. Most of us do not have the time or money to go in for a professional body fat test more than once or twice a year.

My second question is, what is your performance like? I would much rather use that as a measure of whether someone is carrying too much body fat. Can you run a 5K in 25-30 minutes? Can you keep up in a game of pick-up basketball. Can you load firewood, non-stop for 30 minutes? If so, you most likely have an acceptable body fat %. We are used to seeing sculpted athletes in professional sports. But remember there are a lot of real competitors out there that do not have that chiseled, single digit body fat look. I can give plenty of examples.

Finally, I assume that you asked because your friend, is unhappy with their amount of body fat. We've been taught to think that jogging 6-7 miles a day is the best way to loose fat. I've got bad news, it is not! Jogging is not bad, but it should not be used as the primary means of fat burning. High intensity interval work and resistance training is far more efficient when it comes to changing metabolism. The good news is that if your friend is used to this amount of jogging, they can handle intervals without a problem. I would suggest replacing a few of those distance runs with sprint intervals for say 20-30 minutes.

The program I just started looks like this: Mon. = 5K fast, Tues = intervals, Wed = rest, Thurs = strength, Fri = intervals, Sat = 10k slow, Sun = rest.

Hope that helps. 

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RE: Bady Fat Percentage???

Postby Sailfish » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:38 am

Best was <2%
Current would be <10%

Funny about the running thing.

With hard training I can get a 5k in 26 minutes and still be in the 8-10% body fat range. But at my normal pace I literally could run for hours.
Then there are people that are skin and bones with no visible body fat that couldn't run up  a flight of stairs.

I have been in cardio classes in the past and seen +20%ers blow me away when I was peak conditioned and lean! They would flat out get down to business.

It's hard to use the running, cardio gauge as a measurement of overall health, fitness and body fat.

More muscle = more calories burning while exercising (and the clincher is, while at rest).
More muscle needs more fuel, which it will grab from the fat cells (if you have a good diet).
Then your metabolism increases, you get leaner..........
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

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