You’re about to see a list of the best of the best body fat percentage charts.
Do you want to improve your health?
Unlike the number on the bodyweight scale, these charts focus on fat.
On this page you’ll find great body fat percentage charts related to:
- Healthy & unhealthy body fat ranges
- Normal body fat percentages
- Body fat percentages for athletes
- Measuring and calculating your body fat percentage
- Burning body fat and reducing body fat percentage
I’ve reviewed many epidemiological studies from the best sources including the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and more.
For 13+ years, I’ve helped both men and women reach their ideal body fat percentage through our custom training plans and online coaching services.
Here is what Danielle, a certified yoga and pilates instructor said: “I am in the fitness industry and have worked relentlessly for over two years on toning my body, but nothing has changed my physique as much as working one on one with Scott.”
The charts in this guide are the same ones we use with our clients at AllWorldU, along with our Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator.
Let’s dive in.
Body Fat Percentage Charts For Women And Men
To uncover the relationship between fit and unfit women and men, we analyzed the measurements of athletes in our data set.
And we found that the typical body fat % of a women is much greater than most men. For example, a fit female may hae a body fat percentage of about 25%, while a fit male may have a body fat percentage of about 15%.
Healthy or Unhealthy?
The same is true as we get older, with men having about 15 percent body fat and women having about 25 percent body fat.
Body Fat Percentage Averages By Age Group For Females And Males
In addition to gender, age can has an impact on the bodies of both males and females.
Thus, a person will most likely have a higher body fat percentage as they get older.
Genetics have an effect too. Body types with a bigger build, aka endomorphs, add fat more easily than mesomorphs and ectomorphs (the other two main body types).
But how does this apply to athletes?
Male athletes, in general, have lower body fat levels than women, and the same is true of elite athletes.
Body Fat Percentages For Athletes
In many sports, a lean athlete has an advantage, in marathon running, high/long jumping, basketball, and most sports that require running and jumping.
In other sports, such as football, it’s not always best to be super lean.
Elite athletes, both men and women, typically fall in the leaner end of the body fat range for their sport.
Male athletes can safely go as low as 2% (compared to 10% of female athletes).
The range of body fat percentage for NFL players varies from 5 to 25 percent or higher.
What Is Body Fat Percentage?
Body fat percentage (BFP) is a measure of health and fitness. It’s the amount of fat in your body, compared to your muscles, bones, tendons, body water, your organs, etc. It’s the only measurement which calculates your relative body composition without regard to height or weight. It varies based on age and sex. Male elite athletes often have a body fat percentage of 3-5%, while female elite athletes can get as low as 7-9%.
How Do You Calculate BFP?
There are a lot of new approaches but the most popular method for measuring body fat percentage is with skinfold calipers. Other accurate methods are hydrostatic weighing, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), bod pd, 3-d scanners. From my experience, most people don’t have access to most of the methods listed above. That’s why using skinfold calipers is usually the best option for most people.
Is BMI The Same Thing?
No, body mass index (BMI) is NOT the same thing as body fat percentage. BMI assesses the size of your body while BFP assesses your percentage of fat. Many doctors use BMI to provide a general score to help patients determine if their weight is healthy or unhealthy.
At What % Do Abs Show?
Typically, females have 10% higher percentages than males. For females, abs typically show at less than 25%. And for males, abs typically show at less than 15%
How Do You Measure Body Fat With Calipers?
You can measure using calipers with the 3-site and 7-site measurements. After years of testing my client’s with calipers, I have found that the 3-site measurement is the best option when using calipers. Keep in mind: the sites you measure for men are different than those you measure for women. 3-Site Measurement For Women: 1. Triceps, 2. Above the hip, 3. Thigh or abdomen. For men, you have two options for measuring body percentage when doing a 3-site measurement using calipers. Option One: 1. Chest, 2. Abdomen, 3. Thighu. Option Two: 1. Chest, 2. Triceps, 3. Area beneath the scapula.
Healthy Percentages For Boys
Like with the chart for boys above, there are a range of percentages based on age. Blue is low and red is high. According to the US National Library of Medicine, the metabolic and cardiovascular complications of obesity are often severe and lifelong.
Healthy Percentages For Girls
Like with the previous chart, blue is low. And red is high. With children and adolescents, specific numbers are less important and should not be emphasized too much. It’s best to simply promote a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits with our youth. This chart is simply a guideline and something that can potentially motivate someone to get healthy.
More Body Fat Percentage Charts
Each of the ideal ranges below are consistent with the BMI ranges from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CSC).
High percentages doesn’t mean you will get a disease but it does increase your chances that you will.
Unlike other risk factors for health problems, such as genetics, your body fat percentage can be controlled through your healthy lifestyle habits.
Congratulations! You reached the end of this guide.