Visible abdominal muscles are, for many, the symbol of a well-trained body. To achieve this, you need to have a relatively low-fat percentage. But how low?
The American Council on Exercise recommends a fat percentage between 25 to 32 for women and an 18-25 body for men. Naturally, women have a higher fat percentage than men.
For athletes who may have a different ratio of muscle mass to fat mass, the recommendations are not lower than 20% in women and not lower than 13% in men. Too low a fat percentage over a long period can cause health problems.
Measurement of fat percentage
The most common and most readily available methods are to measure skin folds with a particular pinch. The clip is used to measure the thickness/amount of fat in selected places on the body. The disadvantage of this method is that it can quickly become inaccurate if inexperienced people measure or if the measuring instrument (clip) is not of good enough quality.
Bioelectrical impedance analysis is another method that measures the fat percentage. Many large fitness centers offer this measurement method.
Other methods can use X-ray measurements and water displacement. These are very accurate methods but complicated and expensive to implement.
Fat percentage calculator
Body fat percentage examples:
- Competition (“ripped”): 8-12%
- Very low fat percentage (excellent): <15%
- Low fat percentage (good): 16-20%
- Average (fair): 21-25%
- Above average (poor): 26-30%
- Major changes required (31-40% +)
- Competition (“ripped”): 3-6%
- Very low fat percentage (excellent): <9%
- Low fat percentage (good): 10-14%
- Average (fair): 15-19%
- Above average (poor): 20-25%
- Major changes required (Very poor): 26-30% +
Are you impressed with the abdominal muscles of a fitness athlete in a competitive situation?
Be aware that they have sharpened their fitness to this particular day with a special diet over a certain period. Little fluid is also ingested to make the muscles as visible as possible. As an extra effect, brown cream is applied. Athletes in such a form of competition do not have such a low-fat percentage over a long period.
If the goal is to have visible abdominal muscles all year round and healthily, it will be natural for men to lie on a fat percentage of approx. 10 to 14%. For women between 16 to 20%. Genetic preconditions help to create deviations, so this is approximate.