Body Fat Percentage Chart

To get started, calculate your lean body mass figure (this calculator can rely either on the body fat percentage chart or any professional body fat measure you may have).

Step 1: Calculate your Lean Body Mass Below

Note: This is not BMI (Body Mass Index).


What is the ideal body fat percentage?

According to research data, we have organized an ideal body fat percentage chart as follows:

  • Men who are between 20-40 years with less than 8% fat are considered unhealthy. The same group is considered ideal when between 9%-16% although anything up to 25% is still considered healthy. Beyond that we are starting to look at overweight and in higher ranges above 40% even at obesity.
  • Women in the same age group with less than 19% body fat are considered unhealthy although some fitness models go as low as 12-15%.. 19%-21% for women is healthy and a desired look for most women who want to look lean. Women can have 30% body fat and be considered healthy although anything above would be considered significantly overweight.
  • These are similar numbers (with small differences) in ages lower than 20 and higher than 40.
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Other ways to assess body fat levels

The calculator above will help you determine your lean mass. This will be useful to determine your ideal macro nutrients range, water amounts and more. There’s a built in weight converter inside for ease of use. When you finish the setup, you will also be given the option of completing the form for a personalized healthy eating plan to lose weight faster with the program guidelines, as included in the premium version.

The easiest way to estimate it to use the body fat chart above.

However, in the interest of transparency, there are other ways you could measure. Some better and others not so much. Below are some of the other popular method of testing your body fat.

Estimate Body Mass via Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)

You will find these devices are a good compromise. While maybe not the most accurate, it can give you a fairly good indication of progress and rough adipose tissue percentage in order to calculate your weight loss progress. They are also affordable and easy to get. We recommend using scales (rather than handheld) and ideally from a reputable company such as Tanita.

This is not the most accurate way to measure your body fat percentage levels, although it should get you close. If you buy a device, make sure it has good reviews as the cheap ones tends be inconsistent with their readings (give you a different result every two minutes). You must make sure the readings are reliable and consistent if you want to measure changes.

We highly recommend the body composition monitors from Tanita, about 15% more expensive than the competition but well worth it.

The biggest problem with these monitors is that they rely on hydration levels to read muscle mass and make conclusions towards body fat percentages. Since your water fluctuates during the day, it is important to try and stay as consistent as possible by measuring first thing in the morning at the same time.

Estimate Body Mass via Electrical Impedance Myography (EIM)

While most people tend to use simple body fat calipers, the body fat percentage chart above or a non-revealing set of bathroom scales, we used BIA scales for the longest time with great results.

But – as technology progresses, so must we. We have now moved to measure with the Skulpt Aim, up to 5x times more accurate than previous methods designed for the average consumer.

The biggest benefit to this device is its relative independence from hydration levels and stomach content, which can give you a far more accurate reading, any time of the day. The body fat percentage calculator we currently use is called Skulpt-Aim, originally developed for medical applications and adapted for everyday fitness testing.

You can see an example of this here

Body Fat Skin-Fold Calipers

As a body fat percentage calculator, it may be better than estimating using the body fat percentage chart but undeniable an outdated and invasive method. This works by averaging the skin-fold in different areas of the body but as the name suggest, grabbing and pinching pieces of skin around fat areas is not only unpleasant, it also hurts a bit.

The second problem is that it gives you a very non-accurate reading that changes depends on the skill of whoever takes the measure. A little bit to the left or to the right and you get a different number, which is highly unreliable. Other stuff that interferes with the readings are water retention under the skin, bloating or inflammation.

I don’t recommend this 🙁

Water Submerging

While significantly more effort, investment and exposure (if you’re shy) is required, this is considered the gold standard in body composition testing and the best way to do your body fat measurement. There are other very good scans such as DEXA (more like MRI), but the more common one is underwater in what recently been streamlined to a pod. A pod called bod-pod.

You can see an example of this here

What is the correct body fat percentage for abs to show?

Your required level of body fat percentage for abs to be revealed changes depending on the size of your abs. On average, men can aim for an ideal body fat of 12% and women to about 20%. In my case, I can even see my abs in 20% body fat – if this is what you’re after, check out the added bonuses (ninja option) that will show you exactly how to build enough mass on your abs so it shows under any and all conditions.

What is a healthy body fat range?

The average body fat for men is around 20% and 28% for women. Women have a higher body fat percentage than men do and so they should.

But what is a good body fat percentage for health reasons? I would say than men needs around 18% and women at around 25% to be considered fit and healthy. Going lower than that has benefits though.

There’s not always a good reason to go as low as you can. For example, supermodels are often between 19-21 percent which is the Ideal Body Fat Percentage for Women, but any lower than that, starts showing too many veins which is more female bodybuilding or fitness modeling – which is a bit too low for most women who wishes to look like a bond girl rather than a guy.

Male bodybuilders are often competing at 8% body fat or lower but are usually chubbier off the show and most athletes and male physique models are around 12% body fat (although some don’t measure correctly and end up thinking they are much less than that).

In any case, you also have to consider it’s not all bad. In fact, 3-4% are considered essential fat required to maintain healthy body functions.

A great weight loss predictor, is how much weight you have to lose in the first place. This is because the more fat you have, the more fat your body can spare for burning.

Body fat percentage chart

This is a general chart that you can use to estimate body fat in relation to your fitness level.

body fat percentage chart


The ideal body fat chart for men and women is found at the start of the table above and can be used as a bwp (body weight planner). Remember, stay away from the occasional bmi calculator and don’t worry about muscle loss (it’s all in the PDFs). We want you to work smart and reduce possible errors.

Just in case you are still wondering about a calorie calculator, please re-visit the link above.

Please note, our program, does not deal with or even mention calories as it’s impossible to compute correctly. It is much better this way and if you need a reminder why calories for weight loss are not the way forward, click here.

I hope this article was useful to you, if you need any more information on how to calculate body fat percentage, please don’t hesitate to ask and I will add it.

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