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17-06-2009, 23:33   #1
luvinit
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high percentage body fat but normal BMI

Hi guys,
I just recently joined a gym and had a personal training session done where they calculate your BMI, and body fat percentage.
I am a bit freaked out by the body fat percentage that they told me, it was 40.1%. I am 5 "1 and 56kg's in weight. my bmi is around 23 so I don't think I am obese as such. I do carry a bit of weight around the upper part of my body - mainly have huge boobs and my tummy is a little roundy I guess!!

Do you think this reading sounds right? It was done with a handheld digital device not a callipers. All the charts I found online say that 40% is dangerously high. I feel like I would have to drop 2 stone to be normal! The gym gave me a program that is a mix of cardio and weights, should it take long before I see a change in %body fat or will I drop some weight first?
Any advice on dropping % body fat appreciated.
Cheers
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17-06-2009, 23:42   #2
Khannie
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My understanding (which is limited) is that you need a calipers for a decent reading. I'll post a bit more tomorrow (unless others do in the mean-time).
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18-06-2009, 08:16   #3
MagicMarker
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Are you sure it wasn't one of those digital calipers?
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18-06-2009, 08:50   #4
luvinit
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No it was a device that had two handles and you hold them for 30 secs or so and it tells you what body fat you are.
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18-06-2009, 09:00   #5
parker kent
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I am always wary of BMI readings, they can make people feel very overweight for no reason. If you are small but have any sort of size (a lot of muscle etc) they can easily say you are overweight. If you use BMI readings it means that somebody like Brian O'Driscoll is overweight. Bodyfat wise, I'm just guessing here, but I'd imagine bodyfat checks don't take into consideration where fat is stored, so big boobs would probably make it seem high. The percentage does seem high though so just concentrate on full body workouts to lower your overall bodyfat and you will be fit as a fiddle in no time!

Also I'm only recently getting back into exercise and although I appear "normal" for lad, my percentage at start up time was 23% which was mainly on a not too firm stomach. The belly can tore a fair bit of fat without it looking huge! You don't sound obese from your description so I wouldn't worry.
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18-06-2009, 09:03   #6
Zamboni
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Those handheld bodyfat calculators can give arbitrary results depending on hydration levels.
If you wanted you could get a photo of yourself, crop the head off and some of us on here would have a fair idea if you were anything near 40%.
It might not be scientific but at least you could debunk the handheld device.
But 56Kgs, 5' 1'' and 40%BF just doesn't sound right to how you described yourself.
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18-06-2009, 09:34   #7
eclectichoney
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Op I doubt it's 40% tbh. Without seeing you, I'd say maybe 30%ish, given your stats / description, but you'd really needs photos and even then it would be just a guess. Don't get hung up on the numbers too much, once they are coming down it's all good
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18-06-2009, 11:35   #8
AlphaMale 3OO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvinit View Post
Hi guys,
I just recently joined a gym and had a personal training session done where they calculate your BMI, and body fat percentage.
I am a bit freaked out by the body fat percentage that they told me, it was 40.1%. I am 5 "1 and 56kg's in weight. my bmi is around 23 so I don't think I am obese as such. I do carry a bit of weight around the upper part of my body - mainly have huge boobs and my tummy is a little roundy I guess!!

Do you think this reading sounds right? It was done with a handheld digital device not a callipers. All the charts I found online say that 40% is dangerously high. I feel like I would have to drop 2 stone to be normal! The gym gave me a program that is a mix of cardio and weights, should it take long before I see a change in %body fat or will I drop some weight first?
Any advice on dropping % body fat appreciated.
Cheers
Those handheld meters are a load of crap and should be taken off the market because they are not fit for their intended purpose. I am 10% and came in at 26% on the handheld device. BMI is as useless a measure so I wouldn't worry. Calipers is what you want.
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18-06-2009, 13:06   #9
Bottle_of_Smoke
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I'm doing Nutrition and the lecturers went to so much trouble to underline how BMI can *NOT* be used as a guideline on its own.

Wouldn't worry too much, once you go to the gym you'll start building up lean tissue and your fat % will go down. It could well be an inaccurate, we were also told you use calipers to measure bodyfat
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18-06-2009, 13:16   #10
cowzerp
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This is not unusual at all, taking a guess i'd say your vegetarian or close to it and have a very low muscle mass?

i've come across this type of client many times, you dont have to be large to have a high body fat%
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