Weight and Resistance Training - BMI question

View Full Version : BMI question

Thighs Be Gone
07-24-2009, 10:56 AM
Most of you @ 3FC probably know I do not use gyms, trainers or anything external. I will admit to being very proud of my anti-consumer nature! Well, yesterday I broke down and went to see my local guru. He is a well-known trainer in my area with two studios, eating plans, etc. and is well established in a large city. I visited w/him a full year ago now. He told me one year ago I was in the bottom 10% of women my age fitness wise by using an 8 point caliper test.

Yesterday he pulled my original stats and then retested me using the same technique. He told me I needed to eat engineered proteins in addition to my current eating. He also said I should be lifting weight 3x's weekly. He told me twice I was "far, far off the charts" when it came to a body fat percentages. I inquired about the fact that I was about a 20% on traditional BMI charts. He said the chart didn't apply to me anymore.

I am asking here for some advice. I have started some resistance training at home and have done it for several months now--pushups, lunges, incremental weights, crunches, etc. Basically, things I have learned from J Michaels Dvd's. He thinks I need access to real weight whether it's his gym or a home gym.

What do ya'll think of this advice? Specifically--do I really need a gym and need the engineered proteins? Can someone explain to me why a BMI chart doesn't apply to me anymore? I would like to lose another ten pounds. I didn't tell the trainer that because I knew what his reaction would be.

ETA: The proteins he showed me yesterday are powdered form meal replacements. Can't I just eat additional egg whites to get the protein? I would rather eat than drink any day!

07-24-2009, 11:34 AM
Thighs, I think you're mixing up BMI and body fat %. They are two very different things, so let me take a stab at explaining them.

BMI is Body Mass Index. It's simply a height-weight correlation:

18 - 24 is considered normal weight
25 - 29 is overweight
and over 30 is considered obese.

BMI isn't a percentage, it's just a number. We have a BMI calculator right here at 3FC: BMI Calculator (http://www.3fatchicks.com/bmi-calculator%20/).

BMI is handicapped by the fact that it doesn't distinguish between pounds of fat and pounds of muscle (it just uses total weight) so that's where Body Fat Percent (BF%) comes into play. Your BF% tells you what your body composition is: how many pounds of fat are on your body and how many pounds of Lean Body Mass (LBM), which is everything in your body that isn't fat - bone, hair, skin, water, and muscle (the significant part).

The ranges for BF% for women are as follows:

32% and above is considered obese (or "high risk", which is a nice way of saying obese)
25 - 31% is acceptable (or normal)
21 - 24% is considered a "fitness" level
14 - 20% is "athletic"
and under 12 - 13% starts to compromise essential body fat.

There are different ranges and names for the categories, but this is what the American Council on Exercise (ACE) uses.

Once your weight is in the normal range, BF% is a much better indicator of your fitness level than scale weight. You can have two women - same age, height, and weight -- so they automatically have exactly the same BMI. But one can have a BF% of 18% and the other 30%. The one with more muscle and less fat will be several sizes smaller than the other because muscle takes up much less room than fat. And she'll be tighter and a whole lot less flabby! Yay, muscle!

If the trainer you saw used calipers, he was measuring body fat percentage, not BMI. Maybe that's why he said the BMI chart doesn't apply?

In answer to your questions, no, you don't need supplements to get more protein if you want to add it to your diet. IMO, real food is always best, thought supps can be handy at times. And no, you don't need to work out at a gym in order to build muscle. We have plenty of members who have home gyms or just work out at home. I think it's a lot easier to work out at a gym because it has all the equipment I need, but it's really a matter of personal preference. :)

07-24-2009, 11:34 AM
Seems to me that he has something to sell to you? Thighs, you have been incredibly successful all on your own. Do you really need this snake-oil salesman's stuff? I don't even want to know what an "engineered protein" is.

07-24-2009, 01:43 PM
We usually drink protein shakes (i.e. after a weight lifting work out) because it gets digested quickly and easily. I don't have a problem with you eating egg whites, but the question is how many egg whites you would need to consume to get as much protein as in a protein shake. For example, my whey protein powder supplies (in one serving) 35 grams of proteins (and 150 calories). It's sweetened by some artificial crap - sucralose, I think - I would prefer if it was less sweet but then I am person who finds almost everything in North America overly sweet.
I don't how much more protein he recommended - a tillapia fillet has somewhere around 22 grams (similar to chicken breast).

Re the exercise - no, you don't need to go to the gym. It is a personal decision. Lots of people have spectacular results with P90X (or P90 if less fit). But that's a lot more moula than Jillian's DVD. I have Jackie Warner's Work Out (you can order it off her site. www.jackiewarner.com - it is a 60 minutes workout (3 x 20 minute sections - upper, lower body and abs). If I do all three sections, at the end I am a quivering blob on the floor.

Shannon in ATL
07-24-2009, 03:40 PM
Thighs - did he say what your body fat percentage was, or just that it was 'off the charts'?

I also use whey protein, mix it with yogurt, milk and frozen fruit for a smoothie for breakfast just about every day. Mine is 120 calories, 24 grams of protein.

07-25-2009, 12:03 AM
Does "engineered" protein mean protein powder?

07-25-2009, 09:10 PM
I'm confused, was he saying your bodyfat percentage was too low, or that you need to put on some muscle? Just from what you said in your post, it sounds like he was hoping to sell you something, but maybe that's not what he was after. If you just need more protein, then you can get that with real food, yes, if you have room for the extra cals, and if your BF% is too low, you can add fats, like olive oil, nuts, salad dressing, almond butter, stuff like that, to help even things up a bit. I've not personally had the "too lean" problem, but I've heard you'll see problems like menses going out of wack, or just feeling hormonally wrecked (crying over stuff you wouldn't normally, for example, tired all the time, or like PMS all the time). If you're feeling good, if your strength gains are coming along as they should, you're energetic and not feeling loopy, then I'd either get a second opinion, or not worry about it. Impossible for me to say what's best, obviously, since I am not a doctor and don't know the full story. See a doc if you feel like you need to, and take my advice for what it's worth, sight unseen and all! Good luck! :hug:

Thighs Be Gone
07-26-2009, 02:04 PM
Thighs - did he say what your body fat percentage was, or just that it was 'off the charts'?

I also use whey protein, mix it with yogurt, milk and frozen fruit for a smoothie for breakfast just about every day. Mine is 120 calories, 24 grams of protein.

Shannon, he measured me at 8 points and most of my numbers were "4." I did have an 8 in the upper butt area--he said it was the only place I stored any fat. Honestly, I haven't read anything about the 8 point testing and know nothing about the numbers.

He said I needed to add muscle to fill out my skin better.

I wouldn't doubt he is selling something--after all, it's his livelihood. He wouldn't make any money telling me to stock up on egg whites and chicken breast--LOL--or by telling me to buy a good set of Dvd's with some resistance weights. Ultimately, it's why I haven't utilized trainers, gyms, programs or whatever. I finally got to a point where I truly learned, "this is all about ME!"

I have heard lots of good things about P90X. I know J Michaels is good too and I already have her stuff for free.

My menses are out of wack to be certain and that is a problem I haven't had before--the last two or three months have been completely wacky. I feel good though and have plenty of energy.

Thighs Be Gone
07-26-2009, 02:07 PM
Does "engineered" protein mean protein powder?

Yes. He had this gigantic red jar there he said he would "give" me. The cheapest option he has to offer me is $169 a month. Normally you have to go through his five-month program first whick is about 2K to get the "maintenance" portion. I would get to skip the initial 2K program though and work out with maintenance people that have already done it. He would hook me up with the engineered proteins and provide me an eating plan for the $169/month. In addition, you work out with him or his trainers 3x's a week for one hour.

Thighs Be Gone
07-26-2009, 02:09 PM
Thighs, you have been incredibly successful all on your own. Do you really need this snake-oil salesman's stuff? .

Thank you so very much. I feel so good about what I have accomplished alone and with the info. I have learned on 3FC. I really am going to kick this to a whole new level though and I guess I am looking around to see what that is going to be.

07-26-2009, 02:10 PM
I prefer the gym but nobody NEEDS a gym memebership. And as far as buying a home weight set, well that can get expensive too. Maybe try getting a resistance band. You can use it for a wide variety of exercises and just tie a knot in it to up the resistance. Way cheaper!

07-26-2009, 02:53 PM
Thighs, that's expensive. My Crossfit membership is $110 a month, but you have a trainer working with you every workout, six days a week, which works out to about $4-$5 a day, so IMO, totally worth it, and they actually teach you skills, like olympic lifting and gymnastics, along with the general fitness goals and buttkicking workouts. Speaking of CF, I know it's not for everyone, but the crossfit(dot)com site is free, lots of free info/videos/articles, free workouts posted, so you might get some ideas for changing up your routine at home. I was thinking you might like some of it, at least, as they use a lot of bodyweight exercises like good old push-ups, pull-ups, BW squats, etc. I was able to do a lot of the workouts at home, before going to the CF gym, with my dumbbells set, and just being creative when I didn't have the exact piece of equipment. An old garden hose tossed over a tree branch or garage rafter, then twisted around itself, makes a decent "rope" for rope climbs, for example. Another good source of free training info is Crossfit Oldtown...google "youtube Crossfit Oldtown" and it should turn up his videos...lots of nuggets there, like how to do a rope climb, olympic lifts, gymnastics, pull-ups, etc. Anyway, hope that helps give you some ideas. You might experiment with adding in a little fat to your diet, and just see if that doesn't fix your menses cycle. If you don't overdo it, and you're working out, it shouldn't affect your weight loss efforts negatively. Best of luck to you! :hug:

07-26-2009, 09:36 PM
I think you probably know that you need to find something that works for you and that you can do for the rest of your life.

Once you start taking "engineered proteins", are you going to have to do it forever to keep the physique that you achieve with it??
He might start pushing other supplements on you when you get going with him also (fat burners, stackers, etc).

So, you just have to decide: what are your goals and what do you want to have to maintain for the rest of your life?

Best wishes:)

Thighs Be Gone
07-27-2009, 02:41 AM
excellent advice from you both...

ddc--yes, exactly..I do not want to become "dependent" on anything external...this really is still about me...

Today I considering taking up additional activities that will be strength building--namely additional indoor rock climbing...also, I have always loved boxing and I am thinking to hang a bag in my garage for a while..my daughter wants to do it too..LOL...

thank you ALL again! :) Mary