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BMI Body fat and the scales

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BMI Body fat and the scales

Old 07-04-14, 11:04 PM
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TXsailor
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BMI Body fat and the scales

I am no longer a clyde but still think like one. I still think I am overweight. In my head I think I want to loose another 10 lbs or so. But am I right?

Here is where I am at. I weigh 168-170 and am 5'8 nearly 62 years old. According to the bmi I am a little over weight. I am wearing 32" pants and they are pretty snug but 34" is too big. I have been back riding nearly a year and can keep up a 14-17 mph average for 30-60 miles depending on the wind and hills.

I changed jobs recently and had to have a physical for the new job. They had me get on some kind of fancy scales barefooted and said I had 8.8% body fat. From what I have read that is pretty low. From the waist down I do feel pretty "low fat" but I still feel a little flabby in the middle. Do those scales just measure from one foot to the other through the pelvis or do they give a accurate reading of the whole body? Is the flab I still have fat or just loose skin? I wonder if I tricked the scales with my legs being in better shape then the rest of me.

I want to ride the Hotter than Hell 100 in August and want to do the best I can at it. I also want to be as healthy as I can be at my age. Do I try to loose a few more pounds or just concentrate on getting stronger? Either way I am riding as much as I can and trying to eat right. I do drink more alcohol than I should but that seems to be a vice I am not very good at breaking.
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Old 07-05-14, 12:26 AM
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Your BMI is 26. That is only fractionally above the desired range, and BMI is a population measure: it works well on average, but doesn't account for individual variations in physique. If your body fat percentage is anywhere near 8% you certainly don't need to lose weight, you're in remarkably good shape.

So if I were you I'd forget about the weight. Just train, and continue to eat healthily. When preparing for an event it's a bad idea to go onto a low-calorie regimen anyway, you'd find yourself too tired to sustain the training load.

Just ride, and congratulate yourself on not being fat any more.
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Old 07-05-14, 05:52 AM
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Agreed. Forget about losing anymore body fat and just work on strength and toning. Also don't focus on the scale it's just a number. If you do train for strength you will most likely gain weight from building muscle mass.
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Old 07-05-14, 07:09 AM
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AGREED!!!! Toning and strengthening should be your focus now!!
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Old 07-05-14, 09:35 AM
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My new job or should I say the job I am doing now until I get recalled to my old one involves a lot more lifting than I have been doing. I feel like I am gaining some upper body strength in the three weeks I have been there. I also have one of those rubber band fitness machines I may start using. I hope that will firm up my upper body. If it looked like my legs I would be really happy. I am just really surprised that my body fat showed that low since I still feel flabby in the middle. I wonder if the contraption they used to check it with is accurate on someone who is a lot more fit from the waist down than all over.

I have never been very athletic (but also never been a couch potato) and am surprised that I could get so much fitter and feel so much better in just a year of riding a bike. Its new territory for me and I want to see what I have left at my age.

This forum has inspired me as I read how much others have done and I have learned a lot of little things that help me get this far. That's why I still read and post on it. Thanks for the replies and support.
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Old 07-05-14, 09:53 AM
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BIA scales can be quite inaccurate, they only measure lower body, sending current up one leg and down the other, are sensitive to hydration levels, and are basically a guess based on broad population averages. The only really very accurate test for body fat involves underwater weighing. Calipers with a skilled tester is supposed to be OK. If you are really 8.8%, you are supposed to be 6-pack ripped, compare pictures:
Body Fat Percentage Pictures of Men & Women - BuiltLean

BTW the word you want to use is "lose" not "loose", in "lose a few pounds". Skin might be "loose", but "lose" is the opposite of gain, or win.
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Old 07-05-14, 11:28 AM
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I may be wrong but at 62 I doubt you will be actually building much more muscle. You should be able to tone what you have more and strengthen it. So you are in Texas, buy 33" waist Wranglers and party on. If you are anticipating doing the hotter than hell 100 then train for it and forget about trying to train and lose weight at the same time. Your weight is fine. Own your success as a no longer clyde. If you just must lose that last ten or so then do so when you are not training for a hard ride. Do watch your calorie intake and make sure you are not gaining weight. If you like beer ride more. I think it speaks volumes at the number of clyde emeritus folks that are still posting in this forum. The tone in here is positive and supportive.
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Old 07-05-14, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
I may be wrong but at 68 I doubt you will be actually building much more muscle.
Yes you are wrong I know plenty of bodybuilders that are in their 60's.


OP: BMI scales are essentially useless and those electronic scales that measure bodyfat are wildly inaccurate.

I highly doubt that 168 lbs @ 5'8" is overweight unless you have no muscle mass.
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Old 07-07-14, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by stephtu View Post
BIA scales can be quite inaccurate, they only measure lower body, sending current up one leg and down the other, are sensitive to hydration levels, and are basically a guess based on broad population averages. The only really very accurate test for body fat involves underwater weighing. Calipers with a skilled tester is supposed to be OK. If you are really 8.8%, you are supposed to be 6-pack ripped, compare pictures:
Body Fat Percentage Pictures of Men & Women - BuiltLean

BTW the word you want to use is "lose" not "loose", in "lose a few pounds". Skin might be "loose", but "lose" is the opposite of gain, or win.
put some lotion on your feet and see how different the results are.

Fortunately calipers are cheap and there's youtube to show you how.
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Old 07-07-14, 11:27 AM
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Depending on your build, you could have 5-10 lbs to lose for optimum health, or you could be at an excellent weight already.

Some other things to consider. Extra fat around the belt line has been correlated with heart disease more strongly than general weight. As an older individual, having some extra body fat is good in that it helps you recover from illness.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:16 PM
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Hotter 'n Hell is a relatively flat course so you won't suffer badly from a few extra pounds on the climbing.
Heat/fluids/fuel management are generally easier at lower weights.
Ability to ride in an aero position and to have power to ride in headwinds will bring you to the finish before the worst heat of the day hits.

Calipers aren't the perfect body fat measurement solution either. I understand they don't measure the fat that marbles muscles or visceral fat, just the stuff under the skin above the muscles.
Even underwater weighing has its weaknesses.

I do believe you can add muscle mass. It won't be as fast or as easy as it would be in younger years, but with proper exercise, recovery, and nutrition it will happen.
Note that additional mass in muscles that don't produce power or stabilization on the bike may not work in your favor during endurance rides. They can just be more dead weight to carry.
Before and after rides, they can help with weight management and daily life demands.
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Old 07-07-14, 11:32 PM
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bmi

[QUOTE=TXsailor;16909563]I am no longer a clyde but still think like one. I still think I am overweight. In my head I think I want to loose another 10 lbs or so. But am I right?
You can weight yourself at a physiology lab. More accurate
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