# Training & Nutrition - BMI for Cyclists

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View Full Version : BMI for Cyclists

garysol1
02-09-07, 06:41 AM
Is there a simple calculator out there that will help a cyclist figure out his or her BMI that will take into account a certain assumption of muscle mass?

Turboem1
02-09-07, 08:07 AM
BMI is just the relationship between weight and height. It will overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.

To calculate you do

your weight in kilograms or pounds divided by 2.2
then divide by
(height in meters)2
or
[(height in inches x 2.54) / 100]2

As you can see it doesnt account for anything other then height and weight. It is good for probably 85% of people. The other 15% it not being good for are serious athletes or people with a very muscular build. The best way to find out any useful information is to get a body fat test done.

NoRacer
02-09-07, 08:12 AM
Unless you are doing about 10 hours of aerobic training a week, the BMI formula referred to above will fit most cyclist as well (or any other "athlete" doing less than about 10 hours of aerobic work a week).

branman1986
02-09-07, 08:25 AM
It puts me at almost overweight and I'm a skinny skinny dude. I don't think it works well if you're very short or very tall

garysol1
02-09-07, 08:28 AM
It puts me at almost overweight and I'm a skinny skinny dude. I don't think it works well if you're very short or very tall

Thats why I posted the question. I am 5ft 8in,33 inch waist and weigh 166 and it says I am still overweight. Thats why I was looking for a formula that may take muscle mass into the equation. I also realize there have been lots of threads on the subject but I have yet to see a real answer to the problem.

branman1986
02-09-07, 08:34 AM
I think the best thing to do is one of those underwater weight fat% tests

they're like \$25, but at least you'll have a very precise measurement

crtreedude
02-09-07, 08:40 AM
I am at just under 25 - which means I am no longer overweight. I have a chest of about 44, a waist of 34 and getting to have very little extra weight. If I can lose another 7 lbs - I should be perfect. yes, I am pretty musclar.

So, I will be on the high end of okay. Which is fine, since I have a larger frame than average too. (even for someone one height)

measuring percentage of fat is the only sure way to go - but we can get close enough. Since even thin people don't think I am heavy anymore - I guess I am getting pretty close. But, every pound loss helps on the hills.

wallybrau
02-09-07, 08:41 AM
I really wouldn't worry about what BMI. When I weighed 215 at 6'1", I asked my doctor about it.. BMI rating was saying that I was practically Obese , she basically stated that BMI calcuation was for the most part useless, since it only is using height and weight in the calculation. Anyone who has any amount of muscle mass is going to be off the charts on BMI...

race newbie
02-09-07, 08:41 AM
BMI, ShhhmmmeeeMI...get a body fat test it's more accurate for true weight. I have a Tanita scale that measures body fat- it's about 3% too high, but close enough to gauge. I've had a bone scan (like an MRI) and it happens to tell body fat % accurately so I compared.

crtreedude
02-09-07, 08:43 AM
Race_newbie - I have one of those Tanita scales too. I will have to try the fat percentage again.

NoRacer
02-09-07, 08:58 AM
Thats why I posted the question. I am 5ft 8in,33 inch waist and weigh 166 and it says I am still overweight. Thats why I was looking for a formula that may take muscle mass into the equation. I also realize there have been lots of threads on the subject but I have yet to see a real answer to the problem.

You are right on the edge, dude.

Here's a link to the scale:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v285/NoRacer/BMI.jpg

Apologies ahead of time, because this is going to sound harsh, but those who usually b*tch about the BMI are the ones who should be paying attention to it. Those who know better (i.e., those who know they are outliers) usually don't make a fuss, because the understand why they don't fit the scheme.

I thought at one time that I was in good shape and I was always athletic and sure, I had a few pounds I could lose. That's the guy on the left. He's obese according to the BMI (200 pounds @ 67 inches tall):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v285/NoRacer/contrast2.jpg

The guy on the right is at the top of the "Healthy" range on the BMI.

NoRacer
02-09-07, 09:10 AM
And, this guy is in the middle of the "Healthy" range:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v285/NoRacer/May2005b.jpg

garysol1
02-09-07, 09:10 AM
Apologies ahead of time, because this is going to sound harsh, but those who usually b*tch about the BMI are the ones who should be paying attention to it.

Not harsh at all. My issue is this. My wife, my family my friends all say the same thing...YOUR TO SKINNY...QUIT BEING SO OBSESSIVE ABOUT IT!! After a while you begin to listen to them then you look at the chart and see that you should really be 10lbs less then you are. How can that be when your wife and friends are telling you that you are too skinny already? If I were to tell my wife I wanted to lose 10 more pounds she would have fit. I am sure I am not alone in this but in all honestly I am not sure if the chart is correct and should be used as a guide or if I should just ignore the whole damn thing. I know the chart exists for a reason.

NoRacer
02-09-07, 09:15 AM
Not harsh at all. My issue is this. My wife, my family my friends all say the same thing...YOUR TO SKINNY...QUIT BEING SO OBSESSIVE ABOUT IT!! After a while you begin to listen to them then you look at the chart and see that you should really be 10lbs less then you are. How can that be when your wife and friends are telling you that you are too skinny already? If I were to tell my wife I wanted to lose 10 more pounds she would have fit. I am sure I am not alone in this but in all honestly I am not sure if the chart is correct and should be used as a guide or if I should just ignore the whole damn thing. I know the chart exists for a reason.

I heard the same thing when I dropped from 200 pounds (the guy on the left who is 67 inches tall). My co-workers thought I had cancer. They asked if I was feeling ok. My parents and siblings kept on telling me that I was too thin. But, all it was, was that I got tired of being that guy on the left and wanted to run road races, including the marathon.

And, yes, any tool should be used as a guide.

NoRacer
02-09-07, 09:29 AM
I really wouldn't worry about what BMI. When I weighed 215 at 6'1", I asked my doctor about it.. BMI rating was saying that I was practically Obese , she basically stated that BMI calcuation was for the most part useless, since it only is using height and weight in the calculation. Anyone who has any amount of muscle mass is going to be off the charts on BMI...

She probably exceeded her weight according to the BMI too, right?

Tangent: Here's a clue about weight loss clinics. If the poeple who operate the clinic are fat, then you better look somewhere else for help. The same for fitness centers.

Turboem1
02-09-07, 12:04 PM
It is very common now to look at someone who is healthy and think they are way to skinny or to look at someone slightly overweight and say they are a good weight. The average weight has gone up over the last bunch of years and people just consider the average weight healthy not the healthy weight healthy.

On a side note using the BMI, you have a weight range of about 130 - 160 to be healthy. If I were you 150 would be a very healthy weight to have and keep.

superslomo
02-09-07, 12:13 PM
At my height, I need to be under 200 to be considered "healthy". I'm over that right now, and while I personally think taking the fifteen pounds off would be good and warranted, I can definitely see many cases in which someone 6'3" would way well over 200 and be healthy. At that height, with low body fat it is definitely conceivable to be 210 and completely solid.

Again, I don't fall into that category, so never mind. However, the idea of 160 being the lower range of "healthy" at my height is a bit of madness. I've been close to there once, and I was definitely thinner than was healthy.

CdCf
02-09-07, 12:46 PM
BMI is an excellent tool - for comparing population averages! For individuals, it's useless and could be very misleading.

Using the units in the chart posted earlier, I'm 70.5" tall and currently 142 lbs. I'm very close to the border between healthy and underweight on the chart. In reality, I have a very thin bone structure and I have small muscles, so even at this weight, I have a bit of a belly and nothing at all is defined in my torso area. Got tiny love handles as well. I could easily lose another 10 lbs and still not be unhealthy at all, but not according to the BMI nonsense.

And the other thing, were friends and family tell you that you're starting to look sick and unhealthy as you lose weight, even when you're still overweight or even obese, that's due to one or both of two things.

1. People have known you to look a particular way for a long time, and they have come to regard that as your normal you. Any deviation from that will be percieved as something being wrong. Not everyone reacts this way, but it's common.

2. People see your success with your weight loss, and if they're overweight themselves, they don't want you to become "better" than they are themselves, so they will try to make you stop. Probably a subconscious thing, as I can't imagine anyone being that "evil" intentionally.

merlinextraligh
02-09-07, 02:08 PM
BMi is pretty useless. I could definitely drop some weight, but by BMI I'm morbidly obese, and I don't think many people are racing with some success that are actually morbidly obese.

I take consolation in the fact that Brad Pitt is also morbidly obese.

CastIron
02-09-07, 03:19 PM
Arnold Schwarzenegger had a BMI of 33 at the height of his bodybuilding career. Accoding to my BMI and bodyfat math, I'd be clinically dead and missing at least a hand and foot to have a healthy BMI.

NoRacer
02-09-07, 03:41 PM
I guess you guys didn't understand what I said about "outliers".

Also, I guess I was wrong about outliers not b*tching about BMI.

CastIron
02-09-07, 07:47 PM
Damn right I b!tch about it. I have to have physicals for work, life insurance, and general personal health. Every time it's the same: "I see on your chart you're quite obese." Hey bub you want to pull your head out for a looksie? That silly and pervasive chart costs me time, money, and health care at every stop. Why shouldn't I b!tch? I undertstand all too well.

terrymorse
02-09-07, 10:25 PM
I take consolation in the fact that Brad Pitt is also morbidly obese.

Sorry to take away your consolation, but Brad Pit is certainy not morbidly obese:

Height: 183 cm
Weight: 72 kg
BMI: 21.5, healthy

My BMI is 18.8, underweight. I am not concerned.

Enthalpic
02-09-07, 10:36 PM
A good rule of thumb for a cyclist’s ideal weight is 2.0 -2.5lbs/inch.

wolfgang
02-10-07, 07:30 AM
Have you heard of this one. It takes into account the importance of not having belly fat (predisposer to diabetes, etc.) Measure your hips/butt circumference at the widest point. Then measure your abdominal (belly) circumference at the widest pont. For males if your belly circumference is greater than your hips, it's trouble. For women, their belly needs to be equal to or less than 85% of their hip circumference.

wfrogge
02-13-07, 08:04 PM
According to BMI im overweight but I bet im in better aerobic and anerobic shape than 70% of the fit folks.

bruce19
02-14-07, 07:20 AM
For me to break into the "healthy" range on the chart in this thread, I'd have to get down to 160 lbs. I can tell you that will never happen. I'd be seriously ill at that weight. When I finished boot camp in 1969 and was in really good shape I weighed 178 lbs.

SSP
02-14-07, 02:28 PM
I guess you guys didn't understand what I said about "outliers".

Also, I guess I was wrong about outliers not b*tching about BMI.

LOL - that's sure true in this thread!

Perhaps those claiming outlier status could post pictures of themselves, and we could vote, "Fit" or "Fat". :D

garysol1
02-14-07, 03:31 PM
Perhaps the outliers could post pictures of themselves, and we could vote, "Fit" or "Fat". :D

Could simply soft in the middle be an option.......:rolleyes:

Sandwarrior
02-16-07, 01:58 PM
I haven't worried about a BMI for quite a while. I just use my talking scale. Everytime I get on it, It politely askes the other 2 people to get off. :D

When it starts telling me a number, then I'll start worrying about my BMI again

HardyWeinberg
02-16-07, 03:25 PM
I'm at a weight that 2 yrs ago I could not have imagined, would not have wanted, and now I can actually see room to lose another 10-15#. *Then* I would hit a BMI of 23 (from 25.5 right now). Can't really picture going below that, though.

race newbie
02-17-07, 02:08 AM
As I mentioned above BMI in athletes can be wrong. You really need to focus on body fat percentage to tell you what you need to know.

http://bmi.emedtv.com/bmi/bmi-for-athletes.html

NoRacer
02-17-07, 04:51 AM
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Just watch your mouth or I'll sit on you
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I'm too much man for you to take
The pavement cracks when I fall down
I've got more chins than Chinatown

Well, I've never used a phone booth
And I've never seen my toes
When I'm goin' to the movies
I take up seven rows

Because I'm fat, I'm fat, come on
(Fat, fat, really really fat)
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(Fat, fat, really really fat)
Don'tcha call me pudgy, portly or stout
Just now tell me once again who's fat

When I walk out to get my mail
It measures on the Richter scale
Down at the beach I'm a lucky man
I'm the only one who gets a tan
If I have one more pie a la mode
I'm gonna need my own zip code

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I'm having twenty-thirds
When I go to get my shoes shined
I gotta take their word

Because I'm fat, I'm fat, sha mone
(Fat, fat, really really fat)
You know I'm fat, I'm fat, you know it
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And my shadow weighs forty-two pounds
Lemme tell you once again who's fat

If you see me comin' your way
Better give me plenty space
If I tell you that I'm hungry
Then won't you feed my face

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(Fat, fat, really really fat)
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(Fat, fat, really really fat)
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I really sit around the house

You know I'm fat, I'm fat, come on
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And you know all by myself I'm a crowd
Lemme tell you once again

You know I'm huge, I'm fat, you know it
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And the whole world knows I'm fat and I'm proud
Just tell me once again who's fat

legrimpeur
02-17-07, 09:59 PM
come on now, do we really need a chart to tell us if we're overweight? I think a little common sense is in order here.

HardyWeinberg
02-20-07, 10:09 AM
I was looking up BMI stuff online. I can't really find it correlated w/ any index of fitness but mortality. BMI has a u-shaped curve w/ respect to mortality (too low or too high, you tend to die earlier). I was surprised to see that the curve is still dropping into the 'normal' (US defined) range (18.5-24.9), and not climbing once it leaves. In other words, a BMI of 19 predicts earlier mortality than 26. So I looked up BMI mortality curve info, since I couldn't find other stuff, and I found this paper from Australia:

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v24/n1/full/0801093a.html

There is a lot of other BMI stuff there (w/h is as good or better than w/h^2 for women, for instance, in predicting mortality, and BMI to mortality relationship is linear, not u-shaped, for men who never smoked (in Australia)). But the main point was that the bottom of the u-shaped curve, more or less, was BMI=25 (the beginning of overweight according to US standards), and that the best part of the curve is from BMI = 22.5 to 27.5.

It doesn't address quality of life, only length. So maybe BMI = 29 lives as long as 21, but is more likely to have lingering decay due to cardiovascular issues. I don't know, I couldn't find anything like that summarized. It was interesting to find, anyway.

Stacy
02-20-07, 10:42 AM
You are right on the edge, dude.

Here's a link to the scale:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v285/NoRacer/BMI.jpg

Anorexia nervosa is NOT a weight range. It's a psychiatric diagnoiis!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa

HardyWeinberg
02-20-07, 10:59 AM
I think it's the 'nervosa' part that's a psych diagnosis, categorizing one possible source of anorexia. You can browse the definitions here (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anorexia) to see how the distinction of anorexia nervosa vs other causes of anorexia is getting more and more muddled.

Stacy
02-20-07, 01:59 PM
Even if you're willing to accept the very loose definition of anorexia as "loss of appetite" that's still not a weight range. IF people want to debate what's "normal" and what's not, it might helpful to have a better chart.