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BMI (Body Mass Index) for male & female athletes

May 27, 2021
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BMI (Body Mass Index) for male & female athletes

The Body Mass Index BMI calculator, or BMI, shows the relationship between height and weight. The result is used to assess whether you are classified as normal weight, overweight or underweight.

What is the significance of the BMI?

The calculation of the BMI1 is a very good and quick way to determine which category the current nutritional status falls into. The calculation differentiates between age and gender. There are different forms of calculation.

Since only two analysis values are used to calculate the BMI, the results can sometimes differ somewhat. Neither body fat mass nor muscle mass are included. Therefore, the normal BMI tables often misclassify professional athletes or endurance athletes. Learn more about the history of BMI.

Why are professional athletes classified as overweight?

Are you one of those people who are very muscular and have a lot of muscle mass? If so, your BMI value may be considered too high. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), you are classified as overweight. Why is that and what does it mean?

Our body consists of 60 to 80 % water. This is stored in the muscles, fat and bones. Not to forget, our blood contains the largest proportion of water. Our blood plasma consists of 90 to 95 % water. Muscle is about 75% water and body fat is about 25% water. Accordingly, muscles are heavier than fat. This is one of the reasons why BMI is under criticism.

Weight distribution is crucial

The ratio between intracellular water (stored in the muscles) and extracellular water (shows up as water retention and is stored in body fat) should be balanced. Ideally, the latter is less present, because then there are no health concerns.

In principle, it is better to measure several factors, i.e. to record more body data. Because the more that is measured, the better and more accurately you can record your own transformation.

Why are healthy athletes underweight according to BMI?

Endurance athletes and bodybuilders are also partly excluded from the normal BMI tables. In this respect, other standards have to be set. In these disciplines, a low body weight can predominantly lead to better results.

A low BMI is therefore not a great risk for someone with a low body weight and a high level of physical fitness. The BMI value does not have to be considered critical.

Using BMI as motivation for sport

Many people see the BMI value as motivation for sport. After all, if you are not a professional athlete, you can take the results seriously and achieve a better value by exercising. This way you can improve not only your physical appearance but also your health.

In addition to the Body Mass Index, you can also calculate your waist to height ratio. This is a great alternative to BMI. The waist to hip ratio is calculated by dividing your waist circumference (in cm) by your height (in cm). By calculating the waist to hip ratio, you can make the relationship between the amount and distribution of body fat and your height.

How can I calculate my BMI?

BMI Rechner - das ist dein Body Mass Index

The formula is very simple: body weight (in kg) divided by height (in m). There is a division for adults, older people and children & teenagers. With the Verival BMI calculator you can calculate your BMI and see directly in which range you are.

This way you can find out whether you are in the positive or critical range. For adult women (BMI calculator women) the normal value according to the DGE (German Nutrition Society) is between 19 and 24 kg / m2. For men, on the other hand, it is between 20 and 25 kg / m2. The classification is made into underweight, including severe, moderate and slight underweight, normal weight and overweight, as well as obesity. Obesity is divided into three degrees

Weight classBMI value
Underweightless than 18,5
Normal weight18,5 – 24,9
Overweight25 – 29,9
Severely overweight (obesity grade 1)30 – 34,9
Obesity grade 235 – 39,9
Obesity grade 340 or more

1. Weir C, Jan A. statpearls. Published online December 7, 2019.