Oct 28, 2014

BMI Part II


 

Below is a quote from a paragraph in the BMI post I recently wrote:

The common frustration is that the test is inaccurate because it does not give a good gauge for 'athletic' builds or for bodybuilders.  While this is true, it does NOT account for body builders or athletes, I can comment that the individuals who *are* body builders or athletes are not complaining about their BMI.  Those who truly fit in these categories know who they are and know that the numbers will be slightly skewed.  Or tremendously skewed if they are as serious as Jay Cutler.

 I wanted to come back to this paragraph and elaborate in a second post.  A comment from Diatta helps with the point I am making in part 2.  She made a really good point that, for some, the BMI test does not take into account a variety of things such as gender, race, level of activity or plain ol' genes.  It is true.  Some of us are brick houses (or even mini brick houses) and those who fall in that category are being 'labeled' to fit into a category that doesn't necessarily fit.  Some numbers are always skewed and that is how it will be for those of us who lift heavy, those of us who are born that way, or those who participate in any other type of activity, sport, etc that helps us have thicker muscle mass.

I take it for granted that I overlook the numbers because I know they are off.  I have formed 'thick skin' in that category but what if there are people who get back numbers that indicate they are overweight?  I remember a nurse telling me that I could safely shave off a certain amount but this was several years ago so I do not remember the number.  I remember her saying that there is no alternative test for athletic type builds.  So what do you do when your numbers are not quite accurate?

Photo Credit


A suggestion I would make for those who know they are athletic or know their genetics just built them solid from the time they were in diapers.... you know those kids who have 6 packs by the time they are 4 years old.... is to get a different kind of fit test.  My gym has a fat testing system that uses electrical currents at the same time as applying calipers so that it reads the fat in two ways.  Simply using the electrical impedance on its own or calipers on its own will not always supply the most accurate reading.  The calipers are only used on select areas of the body-which can be inaccurate and the electrical impedance can be inaccurate based on water levels or meal times.  Combining the two allows for a much higher level of accuracy.  Additionally, they take the reading twice for extra measures.  There are other types of tests as well, ranging from water tests to x-rays.

Photo Credit


Unless you choose to obtain a hydrostatic weighing, the water fat test, or air displacement which is similar to the water only using air, then there will still be some level of inaccuracy.  While the BMI is not designed to measure body fat, it is intended to gauge your overall body mass in reference to size.  It gauges body size in correlation to height.  Fat tests are designed to measure just that, body fat.  Personally, I do not rely solely on either; but a combination of the BMI as well as a body fat test will help provide a more accurate picture.  The good thing about the above chart is it DOES break down men vs. women and athletes vs. non-athletes.

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart 1
 
Again, even the fat tests are not fool proof so it is good to choose a test that is more accurate and it may cost a few bucks but if it is that important to an individual then it is definitely an option.  BMI measurements can be combined with body fat tests to help provide a better overall picture as to what a person's health condition may be like.

On Friday I linked up with a really cool blog.  Jill does a link up every Friday for those interested in fitness and I would highly recommend checking her out!

 Follow me for great health info and maybe a little nonsense rant here and there and be sure to subscribe to page by entering your email which will give you up to date info.  

10 comments:

  1. My old gym used the handheld test and my current one uses a machine you stand on. For some reason I miss the old pincher. Maybe I just need to step away from the candy this week and I will see a number that makes me happier sooner :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a lot of scales that offer the same thing these days and they get more accurate every day but it still can't get it exact. Just approximate.

      Delete
  2. i don't look at BMI for those very reasons. if you think about it, pro weight lifter BMIs are off the chart because they're so heavy (and can be short) which will bump them into the "overweight" category which is 100% untrue because they're all muscle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pros, like Jay Cutler, would be labeled as obese. They definitely have to use other measures to gauge their body fat. And since that is their profession, they definitely need to know.

      Delete
  3. I don't pay much attention to BMI. The way my clothes fit pretty much tells the tale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clothes are the ultimate tell all for me!

      Delete
  4. I use BMI as a basic guideline - and then how I look in the mirror and how my clothes fit as the major factor.

    Which right now needs to be WORKED ON...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is just that. Basic. For many people it can be a good guideline and shouldn't be ignored, while for others it is off.

      Delete
  5. I think the Body Pods or displacement methods are much more accurate. I think the general want to get healthy people would stick with weight and how their clothes fit. My gym doesn't have any method for testing body fat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The clothes do not lie!! LOL. I always say that when I notice any changes in the way clothes fit.

      Delete