Your BMI tells you the ratio of fat to lean muscle in your body. Is it a measure of fitness? Nope. Is it a measure of strength? Nope. So, what is it?
what it isn’t
Your BMI is just another physical measurement of your body, like height and weight. Like height and weight, your BMI doesn’t tell you anything about your fitness level. For that, you have to assess the individual components of fitness. I dare you to tell this guy he’s fat or not in shape.
DEAD LIFT RECORD
Having a high BMI has no impact on strength. In fact many heavy-weight power lifters and boxers have a high BMI. However, when you move from the strength end of the spectrum, to the muscular endurance end, your BMI will impact your performance.
There have been numerous studies linking BMI to cardiovascular disease: stroke, heart attack, aterial schelorophis, etc. Over the long-haul, you don’t want to carry around more weight than you need to.
how to measure your BMI
The most accurate measure of your BMI is hydro-static weighing. You get weighed in a water-filled tub and you subtract that from your weight on a normal scale. Fat floats so the difference in weight is the amount of fat on your body. Divide that number by your “scale” weight, and you have an accurate BMI. Really, who is going to do that 4 times a year?
Having your doctor tell you you’re BMI based on your height and weight. First off, many of the charts their using haven’t been updated since 1950. Second, it is based on two physical measurements. That might work for 80% of the population. But, it doesn’t work for 1 out of 5. Especially physically fit or athletic types.
At 5’11”, 240 lbs and 14% BMI, my doctor informed me I was obese. I said, really? Actually I said, are you F@$&!* nuts? Stuff that height/weight chart up your F@$&!* A@$&!*! and join the real world.
a reasonable alternative
Leave it to our Armed Forces. They get millions of data points (recruits) to test their theories on. It involves logarithms and advanced math, but it’s accurate to within 1-3% points of a hydro-static test for 99% of the population. Yahoo, a reasonable alternative to tracking your BMI without the hassle of hydro-static testing. The BMI tool from Pro-Calculators does all the math. You just supply the measurements.
5 minutes, four times per year. Can you spare the time?