You may be familiar with the Standardized Body Mass Index table (BMI) as a way to determine if a person falls into the normal, overweight, obese or extreme obesity categories. First, let’s go back to the roots of BMI, it was developed in the early 1800’s and is a mathematical equation using an individual's body weight divided by the square of his or her height to determine body fat percentage.
I don’t need to point out the obvious out-datedness of the BMI, but let’s look at a real life example just to gain a little perspective:
Herb, my business partner and fellow trainer is probably one of the most physically fit people I know. He stands 5’4” and weighs in at 155 pounds, placing him in the ‘Overweight’ category. Now, I personally measured his body fat and he weighs in at only 7% putting him in the good company of pro athletes. This is after he leaned out his muscle mass, dropping 20 pounds, and thank goodness because the BMI had him previously placed in the ‘Obese’ category and the weight he lost was muscle.
So my point you ask? My point is, if you Google BMI calculator and enter your height and weight, don’t be discouraged by the result. The BMI may be correct in some cases, but it doesn’t take into account Muscle Mass vs. Percentage of Body Fat. The best way to determine whether you are Normal, or Overweight is to have your body composition tested. A trained health professional can help you determine whether or not those pounds you are carrying around are healthy or hurtful.