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Essential Body Fat

By admin | In Challenges, Health & Lifestyle | on February 26, 2013
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Happy Birthday Andrea!!

Now that the Nutrition Challenge has officially started, I wanted to touch on a couple of things to keep in mind.  After the results of the body fat test some people asked how low they should get their body fat percentage.  The results were printed with a percentile scale on one side and a rating (essential fat, healthy range, good, fair, poor, and very poor).  Well, those of you scholastic types will look at the percentile scale and wish to be at the 90-99 percentile simply because it sounds like an elite number.  However, this is not a number that can be translated into a grade.

Instead start by understanding most men require 2.5-5% body fat and women require 10-13% in order to manage their basic functions and maintain proper hormone levels.  Wikipedia says this essential body fat “is the level below which physical and physiological health would be negatively affected…The leanest athletes typically compete at levels of about 6–13% for men or 14–20% for women.” This range accounts for different body types as some perform better with more body fat than others.

So what is ideal for you? Aim for a range in the athlete bracket above. Then take into account how you feel and perform.  If you start losing body fat and have a hard time gaining strength or feel you can’t recover well between workouts you may have discovered you don’t run as efficiently when you’re that lean.  Also assess what your main goal is.  Fat loss and strength gain may not go hand in hand sometimes, especially when you’re already on the leaner side.  I found I functioned better as a CrossFitter on the leaner end of the spectrum but as an Oly lifter I needed a bit more fat to keep up with the rigorous lifting.

Don’t just set your sights on losing body fat, strive to find your ideal body fat level to achieve your goal.


WOD 02.26.13

Power Clean 3×3

6 Prowler Runs

then, with a partner, complete:
4 Rounds
16 Total Tire Flips
32 Sledgehammer Strikes

8 Comments to "Essential Body Fat"

  • Sara says:

    February 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM -

    Happy birthday Andrea!

  • Amanda says:

    February 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM -

    Happy birthday, Andrea!

  • Jake says:

    February 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM -

    Happy Birthday Andrea!

  • Holley says:

    February 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM -

    Happy Birthday Andrea!

  • Mathew says:

    February 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM -

    Good luck to everyone on their new goals over the next 90 days.

    Happy Birthday Andrea!

  • Cristina says:

    February 26, 2013 at 3:55 PM -

    Happy Birthday Andrea! Miss working out with you! have a great day.

  • Tina says:

    February 26, 2013 at 7:20 PM -

    Thanks for the post Ruth makes a lot of sense.
    Happy Birthday Andrea! See you Wednesday!!

  • Alia says:

    February 27, 2013 at 9:40 AM -

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday Andrea!

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