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What is Body Fat Percentage

chart from the American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Although the advantage of the body mass index (BMI) is simple and easy to calculate, the percentage of fat in the body composition is not actually displayed. Body fat percentage will be another important index allows you to understand more.

Body fat percentage is the percentage of your body weight that is fat.

In general, men's body fat is 10 to 20% of body weight, while women are 15 to 25%. If the percentage of fat in men exceeds 25% and women exceed 30%, it can be called obesity. Fat people are not only unfavorable for exercise, but also increase the chance of developing cardiovascular disease. From a health perspective, the lower limit for men's fat percentage is 5%, while for women it is 12% (Lohman, 1992).

As for athletes, the ideal body composition depends mainly on their gender and sports. According to Houtkooper and Going (1994) and Sinning (1996), male middle-age runners and bodybuilders can have a fat percentage of less than 6%; male athletes with explosive items (American football, rugby, ice or grass hockey) have an average fat percentage of 6 to 19%.

Female bodybuilders, cyclist, or runners etc, the percentage of fat is generally low (6 to 15%); female who do sports such as skating, football, swimming, tennis, volleyball and other athletes, the fat percentage is generally between 10 to 20%.

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