Body Fat athlete

Last Updated on January 7, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

How Much Effect Does Body Fat Athlete Performance?

I stumbled upon this excellent article by; that I would like to share with the athletic community.

As an athlete, I’m helping with a weights program that advised me to run their best 100 and 200 times at 115lbs and 120 lbs and now they feel heavy at 125lbs. It got me thinking about how much Effect Body Fat athlete performance in Sprints.

While I will next be looking at diet programs to get him down to 118-119lbs for UAAP, which this article has not yet addressed. And I will push through within my next write-up. In essence, if you can drop weight and maintain muscle and strength, you will increase performance.

body fat athlete performance

How much weight do you need to add to a horse to slow it down?

Body Fat athlete
Body Fat athlete

Yes, a horse is a 1300lb animal, but…

  • If you guessed 200lb, you would be wrong.
  • If you guessed 50lb, you would be wrong again.
  • What about 30lb? Nope, that’s not right either.

The answer is that 2-5lb is all the extra weight needed to slow down a horse to lose a race. Only 2lb extra will slow down a horse roughly 8 feet, or one horse length.

body fat athlete performance

The Analysis: Testing Body Fat Athlete & Performance With A Weighted Vest

body fat athlete performance
body fat athlete performance

After learning this intriguing information about racehorses, Dr. Todd reasoned even gaining a few pounds of fat for an athlete could have significant performance implications.

He decided to put his reasoning to the test by loading 170-pound athletes with 3.4 pounds (or 2% body fat) and having them complete power-related difficulties, which he published in a research paper.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the results:

For a 170-pound athlete, a 3.4-pound (2%) increase in body fat might cause a loss of 2 inches in vertical jump height and an increase of 0.26 seconds in the 40-yard sprint time. In the 40-yard dash, 0.26 seconds is a long time if you are unfamiliar with it.

You can read the Full Article Here

body fat athlete performance

Why does higher body fat affect athletic performance?

Initially posed this question in the context of male vs. female performance in athletics. I’m far from an expert on this interesting physiologic question but can offer one central concept.

Women have a higher normal proportion of body fat than men do, which means they have to compete while carrying around an extra 5 – 10 pounds of weight more than men. See these fat-burning supplements formulated for men that can help achieve your weight loss or training goals. 

on average, women are:

  • lighter (57 vs 66 kg)
  • have more body fat (22-25% vs. 15-18%)

According to these averages, a woman of typical size carries 2.55 kg (5.6 pounds) more fat than a guy of the same size, although being 9.0 kg (19.8 pounds) lighter.

even among high-level athletes, women carry more fat:

Range of body fat athlete %:

10-16% 6-12% canoeing
10-16% 5-13% gymnastics
10-18% 7-11% track – jumpers
10-15% 5-11% triathlon
12-18% 8-14% field hockey
12-19% 12-16% baseball
12-19% 6-14% rowing
12-19% 8-10% track– runners
14-24% 9-13% swimming
15-20% 5-14% cycling
16-24% 12-15% tennis
16-24% 11-14% volleyball
20-27% 14-20% track – throwers
20-28% 6-12% basketball

When weights are equal, women carry significantly more fat than men:
This website provides a calculator that you may use to determine your body fat percentage and fat-free body weight using fat-fold measurements (4 sites), age, weight, and gender:

body fat athlete

For individuals 17-29 years old, weighing 60 kg, with a skin fold measurement of 30 mm (normal range is 20 – 100):

  • women carry 11.7 kg (25.8 pounds) of body fat (19.5%)
  • men carry 7.7 kg (17 pounds) of body fat (12.9%)

In other words, for the same weight and fitness, a woman carries an extra 4 kg (8.7 pounds).

matched for lean body weight, women carry much more fat than men:
Assume that the fat-free body weight is the “engine” for athletic performance, and fat is an extra passenger.

For individuals, 17-29 years old, with a fat-free weight of 55 kg, and skin fold measurement of 20 mm (normal range is 20 – 100):

  • women would have to weigh 64 kg, of which 9 kg would be fat
  • men would have to weigh 60 kg, of which 4.85 kg would be fat

In other words, for the same lean body weight athletic “engine,” a woman athlete would carry an extra 4.18 kg (9.2 pounds).

body fat athlete

Imagine the Olympics … finals of the men’s 100-meter sprint … except the men have to carry more than 9 pounds of non-performing weight with them …

The answer is quite simple and one of fundamental physics more than anything else.

When I assess an athlete, I’m looking for an optimal body fat athlete percentage as it does have a direct effect on performance (speed, power, and agility).

I explain to the athlete that if I had a fixed amount of mass and produced a certain amount of force, I can move that mass (body weight) at a specific speed.

If I decrease that mass (lower body fat athlete percentage) at the same amount of force, I can move that mass faster.

If I can increase the force produced (performance training) and decrease the mass, I can move even faster.

I tell them that if they carry around 20 pounds of extra body mass in fat, it’s non-contractile tissue and does nothing but slow them down. I tell them it’s like wearing a 20 lb weight vest or backpack all day, every day. It will decrease performance and overall energy and recovery ability.


Why do most athletes have such a low body fat athlete percentage?

Body fat results in additional fat and extra luggage since it does not build muscles with the strength of the force. Because the body would be lighter, the lower the body fat, the higher the jump and the faster the run. However, body fat is required after 14 hours of fasting or after 1,100 kcal of liver glycogen has been consumed. Without fat, a body-fat athlete will use muscle for energy or break down muscle, although most sports only need a few hundred kcal of energy to participate.

Therefore, most sports do not require fat to be broken down into energy. Of course, athletes who compete in sports like shot put and sumo have a greater fat percentage. This is because the performance is unaffected by the higher fat rate. The greater muscle strength for the shot putter goes hand in hand with the excess fat. The extra weight will decrease the sumo wrestler’s center of gravity and make it more difficult for the opponent to topple the sumo wr


Does muscle provide insulation for athletes who lack body fat athlete?

Although muscle does not exactly work as insulation, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be. Heat is created through metabolism. Because of this, a lot of people with higher levels of muscle mass have a better tolerance for cold and frequently feel hot.

Punches and kicks are absorbed by muscles. even though they are not as effective as fat as insulators, from heat. In cold conditions, a 250-pound muscular individual performs better than a 150-pound obese person. However, in cold weather, a muscular 150-pound man is not preferable to a 150-pound man who is overweight.



Most fitness enthusiasts want to achieve the two elusive goals of weight loss and muscle growth. Although maintaining a healthy lifestyle can undoubtedly assist your health, there is also the aesthetic aspect to take into account. Although being healthy is wonderful, we seek more. Our goal is to improve our level of fitness. This is why it’s crucial to achieve both weight loss and muscle gain.


“Bulking” And “Cutting”

These words have probably been used by somebody at your neighborhood gym. Uncertain in its history, bulking and trimming are age-old techniques that aim to develop good muscle size and definition quickly. Although there are two stages to the strategy, not everyone agrees on which should occur first.

You will consume a lot of calories during the “bulking” period. It would be beneficial if you were also working out at this time, concentrating on weightlifting, to help your body burn more of those extra nutrients into muscle mass. Right now, don’t worry about your muscles’ definition because your main goal is to increase their size.

You will focus more on shedding fat during the “cutting” period than on adding muscle. Naturally, it would be beneficial if you avoided starving yourself during this time, but attempted to keep a small caloric deficit. You will now primarily focus on cardio activity, but you should still perform some resistance training to prevent unnecessarily further muscle loss. It has been shown that resistance training is a very effective way to stop muscle loss during fasting aerobic exercise.


Which Should I Do First?

This is not one of those situations when the order doesn’t matter. On the other hand, choosing which phase to complete first is an important choice. As you can see, the majority of people decide to bulk first, but this is not always the greatest course of action.

How thin or obese you are will have no bearing on the answer to this inquiry. You should start by cutting if you are overweight. If you are thin, you should first bulk up. The short answer is yes, but there is much more to talk about.


Find Your Body Fat athlete Percentage.

Your choice will be simple if you are exceptionally thin or obese. You’ll need to do some math if your body type falls anywhere in the middle. Let’s start by calculating your body fat percentage as an athlete using the conventional way. Remember that the figures we get from this procedure will be approximations.

We’ll start by giving you a shortcut. You can use this online calculator to compute this amount for you if you don’t want to learn how to do it yourself. To avoid relying on a website for this crucial information, it is preferable to comprehend the formula.

Here is the whole procedure for people who truly want to learn something. Get a tape measure first, and then measure the diameter of your neck. Please note it down and then measure the width of your abdomen. You must also measure your hips at their widest position if you are a female. Next, determine your height. You currently possess all of the data required to determine your body fat percentage.

You will enter the figures into the following formula:

Don’t worry if you don’t understand what “log” implies. It is merely an additional calculator button. You don’t need to comprehend this section in great detail. This formula gives you a value that represents your estimated body fat percentage. For a thorough view of your fitness level, you may also calculate your BMI while you’re at it and compare the two.


Interpreting The Results

Women often have a little bit more body fat than men, which is normal. As a result, the criteria are rather varied. The ideal range for men is between 10% and 13%. It’s more like 19–23% for women. You may determine if you are lean or fat with this line.

The last thing you want to do is enter a bulking phase if you have too much body fat. You will undoubtedly gain weight—why that’s it’s called “bulking.” If you are already overweight, you are only making your task more challenging. Before you start gaining weight, trim yourself down to a more manageable level.

Additionally, when fat levels are high, the body tends to shed weight more slowly. Your continued weight loss will go more quickly the lower your body fat percentage is. This fact has been verified by much research, including these two.

If your body fat percentage is at, close to, or below the advised levels, you should bulk first. Most likely, you don’t have a significant body fat issue and are prepared to develop your muscles.


The Importance Of Diet

Diet is crucial first and foremost. High-fat foods should be avoided, even when bulking unless they are also high in other nutrients. Do not forget that you are not only eating to satisfy your hunger. To construct a more muscular body, you try to offer your body lots of bricks and mortar. The mortar that keeps the bricks together as well as the bricks themselves contain nutrients. Fat is more akin to the rock that must first be removed to build that brick wall.

Continually consume high-protein foods for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, protein is necessary for the development of muscle. Second, the body has a harder time digesting protein than it does with carbohydrates. Even though it may sound awful, this is advantageous if you want to reduce weight. Less energy will be stored as fat since the body will utilize some of its calories to digest protein.

Read More: If you want to look younger, gain muscle, regain your health, and get the physique of your dreams, there are 5 things you MUST AVOID doing.





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