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simple, whats your BMI and do you take any notice of it ?

i am at 26.2 so am overweight.

i have been training for 3 months now for my first event. i have gone down 2 trouser sizes, my fat % has dropped (not measured but visually its obvious) and i am starting to feel great.

then i get my BMI measured and i come out as overweight ?

is it not that anybody who does a decent amount of exersize with a decent muscle base will come out ether at the top of there BMI or even over ?

cooments ?


  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    Yes, anybody carrying much muscle will show up as overweight, even obese, on a BMI scale. Body fat measurement using skin fold callipers, or electical resistivity is a better measure.
  • Mines 21.5, but then i am tall and lean.

    I work within the nhs, and measure BMI a lot, and i am of the opinion that it is utter crap!!!!

    To me its just the lazy way of deciding if someone is overweight. And only works with regular people who don't train!

    As you and nivagh have pointed out the big problem is muscle, it weighs a hell of a lot more than fat, and most muscular individuals will come with a lot higher BMI than is representative of their body state.

    As nivagh rightly points out, body fat % is a far more applicable way of monitoring progress as far as body composition is concerned. I use a bioelectrical impedance scales, its not terribly accurate, but i monitor that in comparison with my weight to decide how I'm doing.

    The best thing you can do is never consider your BMI again!
  • 1st post from a newbie [:)]

    25.5 though down from 28.5 since I started training for the London 1/2 in October

    It is a bit of a dodgy measure IMHO as people like Olympic sprinters (e.g. Maurice Green) measure obese!
  • I'm stil surprised that BMI is used. I saw a story the other day that according to BMI Australia was the most overweight country in the world.

  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    Hmm. Using some publicly available data for Mark Lewis-Francis (on the grounds I think he's just about the muscliest guy in the British squad), he's 182cm tall and weighs 89kg, giving him a BMI of 26.5 which would be overweight.

    Try the NHS Direct BMI calucalator: [color=#008000]www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/magazine/interactive/bmi/index.aspx[/color]
  • ok so i will ignore BMI, which puts me in a better frame of mind straight away!

    however, you say measure your fat %... what is a good level to aim for ?

    and what is anybody else...

    sorry if this is now getting personal. :)
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi, I only use BMI ,% fat,and even body weight as a marker and then compare my training times and fitness levels and race times to them.I am not neccessarily fastest when I am at my lightest and general well being(no coughs ,sneazes etc and periods between illness) is better when I have a higher % body fat than when it is very low.A detailed training log will give you a better conclusion to your ideal body composition than any Govt. or NHS web site.
  • Well, that is hard to say really, as it depends on gender, age etc.

    I'm 22 and I'm approx 6%, but that is after many years of weightlifting etc.

    I personally think a good aim for anyone is the 10% mark. But this question does come up a lot on this forum, and I always give the same response. Whilst it is a good idea and can be helpful to monitor you body fat/weight don't make it the focus of your training/diet.

    If you do this you will undoubtedly be drawn into the world of stupid diets, such as low-carb, which bodybuilders use to reduce their bodyfat %. (If you do want a good diet however, try carb substitution, with the basic principle that you should swap every non-complex starchy carbs (white pasta,potatos), for a complex whole wheat version or a legume or beans/peas. Works a treat and will give you more energy to train)

    My advice is to carry on the way you are. The way we train with high volume, endurance and high intensity will lead to a gradual drop to a very low body fat %, so just let it happen over time.
  • Bear in mind that women naturally carry more fat and so 10% would be extremely thin for most women.
  • I work within the nhs, and measure BMI a lot, and i am of the opinion that it is utter crap!!!!

    To me its just the lazy way of deciding if someone is overweight. And only works with regular people who don't train!
    I recall a few years ago there was some testing of the England rugby team. At the time the bleep test was very much in vogue. I think it Victor Ubogu (prop forward) who came out as obese according to BMI but then put in some stunning Bleep tests. It was evident then that there were some flaws in the BMI method.

    Can it work the other way though? Can someone who is obese still have a low BMI? If not then I would have thought it was a quick & simple indicator for further investigation. Admittedly that further investigation may simply be a look at lifestyle without necessarily having to do body fat measurements or other more complex testing.
  • or is it that carrying to much weight, even if it is muscle is bad for the system. the heart can only push so much blood after all ?

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