In the post two weeks ago about Heidi Montag and knowing when to stop, I touched on the different ranges of body fat percentages.
I make the case that most women are officially done and rockstars at 19% body fat.
This is a pretty sharp contrast to bodybuilding oriented sites that say that a woman is fat if she isn't at 14% body fat. Which I think is totally crazy.
It's ok for a girl to still look like a girl.
I got a question about Zuzana from BodyRock.tv, and what body fat percentage I think she is at:
picture from YouTube / BodyRock.tv
Now I've never actually body fat tested Zuzana, but I'm pretty good at eye-balling body fat percentages. One of the best parts of being a Master Trainer at 24 Hour Fitness for 5 years is that I got to do body fat tests for a couple thousand people.
Just looking at Zuzana, my guess would be that she's probably in the 12-15% range.
This girl isn't messing around, she's ultra, ultra lean.
It's impressive, it's inspiring, and I totally respect it.
That being said, I don't think you need to be that lean to really be really inspired and stoked about your body.
Case in point, lets take a look at Gretchen Rossi from the Real Housewieves of Orange County.
picture credit: The Daily Fix
Gretchen looks more like the 19-20% body fat range.
Zuzana is clearly a step leaner - with more of a fitness model look. But really, who wouldn't be stoked with Gretchen's body?
Gretchen is lean, fit, and her body is super attainable.
It doesn't take anything more than a smart workout, a smart diet, and sticking to it to get down to 19% body fat.
Photo credit: www.radaronline.com
So this gives you a perspective on what we're talking about when we throw around body fat percentages.
If you're working out and you're eating right, you really should be under 26% body fat. As your workouts and diet get sharper, you should cruise right under 23%. And then continuing with smart workouts and diet, getting to 19% body fat should only be a matter of time.
Getting to the 12-15% body fat range like Zuzana is a different story. To get to that range, the food has to be really, really awesome. To even be talking about this level of fitness, I'm assuming the workouts are already on point. But there really isn't any margin for error food wise.
I like to get women down to 19% body fat for two reasons:
1.) You look like a rockstar
2.) While it takes something to get there, it's also maintainable. You can still have a normal life. You still get cheat meals. You don't have to live in the gym. It's super realistic.
And so you get to choose.
Don't let anybody choose for you. You can have what ever you want.
If you feel awesome at 23% body fat, I'm stoked. If you want to be totally fitness model-ed out at 14% body fat, don't let anyone stop you.
Losing fat and leaning up is a fairly mechanical and reliable process. Just keep refining your workouts and food until you get everything you want.
I can't emphasize this enough - You can have what ever you want.
A lot of the women have read The Stubborn Seven Pounds and have worked their way down from 25-30% body fat down to 19% body fat.
Josh Hillis is a level 2 Kettlebell Instructor (RKC2), Certified Personal Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Z-Health Movement Specialist, author of The Stubborn Seven Pounds - the most powerful system for continued fitness success there is.