Body Fat

By Vince Catteruccia, MSc, FAAPM, NASM-PES, NMT

 

There are charts online to find standards on body fat levels. The American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine established normal body fat levels some years ago. Their charts look like this:

General Body Fat Percentage Categories

Classification

Women (% fat)

Men (% fat)

Excellent

14-20%

6-13%

Good

21-24%

14-17%

Average

25-29%

18-22%

Fair

30-32%

22-25%

Poor

32% +

25% +

The numbers haven’t changed much over the years. Remember, these are standards, and while the numbers may give you an indication of what’s going on, there are still other factors to consider. It seems the gold standard of measuring body fat is still the hydrostatic method. It appears to be quite accurate but is inaccessible and can be costly for the majority of people. The other forms of testing can be less accurate but will sometimes give you a ballpark number for a client’s body fat. Skinfold measurements have inherent tester flaws, and impedance technologies can have errors as well with individuals on different levels.

Vince Catteruccia MSc, FAAPM, NASM-PES, NMT

Fellow American Academy of Pain Management

Integrated Rehabilitation Consulting Services