Body fat measurement’s are done to test the amount of lean mass(muscle, skin organs, etc.) to fat mass ratio or percentage on your body, circumference measurements is simply put measuring the circumference of each body part.
Body fat can be measured many different ways but in the studio we use B.I.A. and another measuring device called Calipers, B.I.A. sends a small electrical current through the body(you don’t feel it) and Calipers help separate a skin folds contents of fat, muscle and water to get the body fat level separate from water and skin.
Body fat can be an indicator of health risk factors such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers due to increased inflammation rates from higher body fat levels. Inflammation is a localized reaction that produces redness and warmth, swelling and pain as a result of infection, irritation or injury. Inflammation can be internal or external.
Body fat and circumference measurements also help show progression in the body composition department, especially when the weight scale isn’t budging for people. Body fat percentage can show changes in the amount of lean muscle mass compared to fat mass. So, for instance if you did your first assessment and weighed 140 lbs. at 15% body fat and next assessment you’re still 140 lbs., but now you’re 12% body fat, you’ve had significant changes in body composition as illustrated below.
140 x 15% body fat = 119lbs. lean mass and 21 lbs. fat mass
140 x 12% body fat= 123.2 lbs. lean mass and 16.8 lbs. fat mass
This will also equate to changes in circumference measurements typically, considering 1lb. of fat takes up more space than 1 lb. of muscle, 18% more space for a rough estimate.
“Now, what is a good body fat percentage?”
These are body fat percentages based upon the American Council of Exercise. From a health perspective it would be good for all of us to strive or maintain the Athlete body fat percentage, these body fat ranges will help keep us in a good place from a cellular and inflammation standpoint considering all other aspects are in place.
Brian Aemisegger A.C.E. (American Council of Exercise) C.P.T
N.A.S.M. (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Fitness Nutrition Specialist
10 years training experience
References: A.C.E. American Council of Exercise