Measuring Body Fat Is Important for Determining Fitness

_____ gender     ________ weight lbs     ________ muscle mass lbs
_____ age        ________ body fat %     ________ daily calorie req
_____ height     ________ water %        ________ bone mass lbs

Weight alone is not a clear indicator of good health because it does not distinguish between pounds that come from body fat and those that come from lean body mass or muscle. Carrying too much fat is a condition called obesity, and puts a person at risk for many serious medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and even certain forms of cancer.

Age-Adusted Body Fat Percentage Recommendations

Women (20 to 40)Men (20 to 40)
Under 21%21-33%33-39%Over 39%Under 8%8-19%19-25%Over 25%

Healthy Total Body Water Percentage (TBW%)

The average total body water percentage ranges for a healthy adult are:
Female: 50 - 55%. Male: 60 - 65%
In the humid tropics, if your average is chronically below these ranges you have an increased risk of kidney stones.

Muscle mass

Muscles play an important role as they act as the body's engine in consuming energy (calories). As you exercise more, your muscle mass increase, which in turn accelerates the rate of energy or calories consumed. Increasing your muscle mass will raise your metabolic rate helping you reduce excess body fat levels and lose weight the healthy way.


The daily calorie intake calculates the number of calories you need to consume within a 24-hour period in order to maintain your current weight. Consume more without off-setting exercise and you will gain weight.

Bone mass

Bone is a living, growing tissue. During youth, your body makes new bone tissue faster than it breaks down older bone. In young adulthood, bone mass is at its peak; after that, bone loss starts to outpace bone growth, and bone mass decreases. But it's a long and very slow process that can be slowed down even more through calcium-rich diets and weight-bearing exercise.

Weight (pounds)< 110110 - 165165 lb+< 143143 - 209209+
Est. bone mass (pounds)

Sources: Gallagher et al. Am J Clin Nut 2000; 72:694-701. Taylor Body Analysis Model 5761BF.