One of the bootcampers asked me a question the other day as I was calculating her body fat….  She asked, ‘why do you need my age?’

If you’re not familiar with it, age is included as a variable in most of the body fat regression equations and or it’s included in the interpretation charts to convert skinfolds into percent body fat.  WHY DOES AGE MATTER?

The reason for this is because the typical older woman has more body fat than the typical younger woman.  KEY WORD is TYPICAL.  Research and statistics tell you that the average person loses 6.6 lbs of lean body mass every decade after age 20. The rate increases after age 45. By your 5th decade of life, the average person could be losing up to a pound of muscle a year, and replacing it with fat.  What they don’t mention is that AVERAGE means “couch potato”.

The use of an age variable in the body fat equations is an attempt to adjust or compensate for these statistics about body fat and age and thereby achieve an accurate body fat estimate.


The problem is, what if you are “not typical?”  What if you’re fitter, leaner and more muscular at age 40 or 50 than you were when you were in your 20’s?  A.K.A. Lorraine!!!!  What if you started training in your 20’s and have stayed fit your entire life, through your 50’s and maintained your body fat percentage throughout?  What if you’ve been training more than the average person or you’re an athlete or bodybuilder?

Although admittedly more challenging to maintain your 20-year old physique into your 40’s due to metabolism, hormonal changes and lifestyle, it’s still entirely possible, A.K.A. Lorraine!!!  If you’re one of those people already, you would be absolutely justified in questioning whether the standard (general population) body fat equations would overestimate your body fat.

Now that being said, just like the number on the scale, body fat % is JUST a number as well.  It’s a more objective and accurate way of measuring your body fat but it doesn’t measure health, happiness, fitness level, and overall well-being!  Only you can do that based on how you feel, inside and outside, how you take care of yourself and how you perform, and that’s all that really matters!

One Response to “DAY 47 – THE AGING WOMAN & HER BODY FAT %”

  1. Regina DeLuca Says:

    Please register me for 8:00AM class. Thank you


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