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Old 02-09-07, 07:41 AM   #1
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BMI for Cyclists

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?
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Old 02-09-07, 09:07 AM   #2
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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.

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Old 02-09-07, 09:12 AM   #3
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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).
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Old 02-09-07, 09:25 AM   #4
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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
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Old 02-09-07, 09:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branman1986
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.
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Old 02-09-07, 09:34 AM   #6
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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
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Old 02-09-07, 09:40 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 09:41 AM   #8
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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...
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Old 02-09-07, 09:41 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 09:43 AM   #10
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Race_newbie - I have one of those Tanita scales too. I will have to try the fat percentage again.
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Old 02-09-07, 09:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysol1
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:



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):



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

Last edited by NoRacer; 02-09-07 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:10 AM   #12
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And, this guy is in the middle of the "Healthy" range:

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Old 02-09-07, 10:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRacer

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.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysol1
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.
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Old 02-09-07, 10:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallybrau
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.
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Old 02-09-07, 01:04 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 01:13 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 01:46 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 03:08 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 04:19 PM   #20
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 04:41 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 08:47 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 02-09-07, 11:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
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.
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Old 02-09-07, 11:36 PM   #24
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A good rule of thumb for a cyclist’s ideal weight is 2.0 -2.5lbs/inch.
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Old 02-10-07, 08:30 AM   #25
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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.
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