T Nation

Calculating ideal weight?

Could someone tell me how to properly calculate my ideal weight? I’ve searched around Google, but found countless formulas, many with greatly varying results. Is there a commonly accepted one?

Hi, Max. The insurance charts are old, the ones used by Metropolitan Life, I believe, and they and the others don’t take into account LBM in calculating “ideal” BW. It’s the same problem with BMI (Body Mass Index) calculations. It’s actually possible to be 5-6% BF and considered obese by the charts.



My recomendation is that you shoot for something in the range of 10% BF, which is extremely fit and lean.

Yeah, 10% BF is definitely a goal. It would still be pretty cool to know what my ideal weight is. Even though that doesn’t mean much.

Most often BMI is used to calculate where you are in relation to your height and weight compared to ideal. The formulas are as follows:


BMI =Weight in kilograms ? [Height in meters squared]


BMI =[Weight in pounds ? Height in inches squared] x 703


Less then 18.5 is underweight


18.5 ? 24.9 ? Ideal


25.0 ? 29.9 ? Overweight


30.0 and up ? Obese


You can reverse the formula to determine your proper weight for your height. For example [21.7 (midpoint of ideal) ? 703 x Height in inches squared]


That being said, if I had 0% body fat I would still be overweight, and 16% body fat would make me obese based on this scale. (There are others.) This is from www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/ bmi/bmi-adult.htm


It also has a link to a BMI chart in pdf format.

My computer shows that my division symbols have changed to question marks (?). Assume all question marks mean divide.

Mage, that’s caused by cutting and pasting. You can turn off the “smart quotes” feature in Word to get rid of most of those question marks. This happens on most forums.

Max, the problem is that you could be 165 pounds at 10% BF or 225 at 10% BF. The only difference is (if the two examples were the same height) that the later just carries more moscle. And then again the word “ideal” is a subjective term. What do YOU find more attractive? What are YOUR goals? From a health perspective, either one of the two is ideal. From a personal preference perspective, each of us is going to lean towards one or the other.

Here is an idea: Ask yourself what weight you’d like to be at, and what bodyfat percentage. That sounds ideal, doesn’t it?

Max, I would take Tampa Terry’s advice and aim for 10% or so body fat because you’re not going to find a calculation that will work for you as an individual. No calculation can accurately take into account your bone structure… which can have an enormous impact of what it says your “ideal” should be. And even if you know you’re a little larger or smaller boned, it’s still only going to be an estimate. That’s where the fault lies in any calculation you may find. Aiming for a particular body fat level would probably suit you best.

Thanks for the input guys, 10% BF has always been the goal. I don’t think i phrazed my question correctly though. What i wanted to know is what my approximate weight will be once i reach that goal. Tough question, i know, but what’s the average for a 6’1 guy with 10% BF?

Max, that?s a hard one to answer. Often ?average? is not normal, or even common. An example would be a college that advertises the average class size is less then 20. But when you get to college you find out there are a few classes that every student seems to go to, and a lot that a few go to, so all the classes you are in has a lot more students. So most students are in classes much greater then 20, but it still averages out to twenty. (I could also go into mean, median, and mode, three different ways of getting an average, but I won?t do that.)


Somebody posted this site here before for the ?Grecian ideal.?


www.sandowmuseum.com/ideal.html


You could also take your lean body mass, or what you would consider an ideal lean body mass for you, and divide that number by 0.9.