Want to know what 8 percent body fat looks like for a man? Or 20 percent for a woman? These handy body fat diagrams will give you a rough idea.
Click the image above or visit this page over at askthetrainer.com to see the full body fat reference diagrams.
To find out how long it will take YOU to reach a certain body fat percentage, look at my six pack timing chart.
What Should Your Body Fat Be?
In my opinion, men should aim to maintain 8% – 10% body fat all year round and women should aim for 18-25% body fat all year round. This is achievable with a good diet and training program.
Any lower and the body will fight against you to store fat. Any higher and you lose the muscle definition needed for a killer beach body, as well as significantly increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and other health issues.
The American Council on Exercise’s Opinion
The ACE would classify you as an ‘athlete’ if you are in the body fat percentage ranges I recommend above. Nothing wrong with that! Staying in the ‘Fitness’ range of 14-17 percent body fat for men and 21-24 percent body fat for women is fine too, but you won’t look all that slender and toned (women) or defined and ripped with a six pack (men).
The Jackson And Pollock Opinion
The Jackson and Pollock ideal body fat chart is more detailed than the ACE one, because it includes an age dimension. The younger you are, the leaner you are supposed to be. Overall, the recommended ideal body fat percentages are lower than those of the ACE.
In this ideal body fat chart, an ideal leanness for men aged 18-20 could be as low as 6.5 percent body fat, right up to around 13 percent body fat.
If you need help achieving a lean body with defined muscles, then check out all the body transformation advice on this site by starting here.