Body Fat Calculator

Your Body Fat: [ ]

Fat Mass: ______  Lean Mass: ______

American Council on Exercise
Body Fat Categorization

ClassificationWomenMen
Essential Fat10-13%2-5%
Athletes14-20%6-13%
Fitness21-24%14-17%
Acceptable25-31%18-24%
Obese>32%>25%

(Note: To determine the precise locations of measurement sites, please refer to the information below)

Body Fat Percentage Calculator Sites

Are you interested in finding out your body fat percentage? Our free body fat calculator utilizes three scientifically validated formulas to provide you with an instant estimation.

With this body fat calculator, you can estimate the body fat percentage in your body and determine the appropriate weight needed for a healthy amount of body fat.

This calculator calculates body fat percentage using the Jackson-Pollock, Parrillo Caliper Method, Durnin-Womersley, and U.S. Navy formulas.

Here, we will also give you some valuable information on the following topics:

What is Body Fat Percentage

Body fat is also known as ‘adipose tissue’ and serves multiple functions, including energy storage, hormone secretion, and providing cushioning and insulation.

Body fat percentage measures the amount of fat in the body relative to total body weight. It represents the proportion of fat mass to lean body mass.

Body fat percentage is a better indicator of overall health and fitness than simply measuring body weight or body mass index (BMI) alone.

A healthy body fat percentage can vary depending on age, gender, and activity level. Generally, men have a lower body fat percentage than women.

According to the American Council on Exercise, the recommended body fat percentage ranges are as follows:

It’s important to note that too little or too much body fat can harm your health.

  1. Having too little body fat can lead to hormonal imbalances and an increased risk of osteoporosis,
  2. Having too much body fat can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.

It is, therefore, important to maintain a healthy body fat percentage for overall health and well-being.

Body Fat Percentage Calculator.

Traditional Methods of Measuring Body Fat Percentage

  1. Skinfold Calipers Method
  2. Bioelectrical Impedance Method
  3. Hydrostatic Weighing Method
  4. Air displacement plethysmography (ADP) 
  5. DEXA Scan Method
  6. 3-D Body Scanners

Our body fat percentage calculator uses the Skinfold Calipers Method and the United States Navy method to calculate the body fat percentage.

Related Calculator: Weight Loss Calculator

What is a Body Fat Percentage Calculator?

A Body Fat Percentage Calculator is a tool that estimates the amount of fat you carry as a percentage of your total body weight. Body fat percentage calculators often use popular US Navy, Jackson-Pollock Caliper mathematical formulas to give you a rough estimate based on several measurements.

The goal is to provide an easier and more convenient way to measure body fat than traditional methods like skinfold calipers or hydrostatic weighing.

How the Body Fat Calculator Works

  1. Input Metrics: You need your age, gender, height, weight, and sometimes even circumferences of various body parts like the neck, waist, and hips.
  2. Mathematical Formula: The calculator uses a predetermined mathematical formula to estimate body fat percentage once the measurements are entered.
  3. Result: After complete calculations, you are given an estimated body fat percentage.
  4. Additional Data: These body fat percentage calculators also provide additional information, such as what category your body fat percentage falls into (e.g., athletes, fitness, average, obese). And what is the ideal range for your age and gender?

Popular Body Fat Percentage Calculators

The body fat percentage calculators are a popular tool for fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone interested in tracking their health progress. Some body fat percentage calculators have stood out due to their ease of use, accuracy, or additional features, even though they are available online like Ours.

There are several methods for calculating body fat percentage, including the U.S. Navy Method, the BMI method, the Jackson-Pollock method, and the Durnin-Womersley method, among others.

1. US Navy Method Body Fat Calculator

  • Based on the U.S. Navy method
  • Requires measurements like height, neck circumference, and waist circumference (hip circumference is also required for women)
  • Widely available online

2. Caliper Method Body Fat Calculators

  • Based on skinfold measurements taken with calipers at different sites on the body
  • Sites often include the tricep, supra iliac, thigh, and more, depending on the method (3-site, 7-site, etc.)

3. Parrillo Caliper Method

  • Utilizes a 9-point skinfold measurement.
  • Known for being detailed and thorough but requires some expertise for accurate results.

4. Durnin and Womersley Caliper Method

  • Utilizes 4-site skinfold measurements.
  • It is commonly used and backed by research but requires skilled hands for accurate results.

Percent Body Fat Norms for Men and Women

It’s important to know how much of your body fat you should have to stay healthy and fit. Women tend to have a higher body fat percentage than men due to hormonal functions and childbearing, and the percentage of body fat increases with age. 

The following table shows the ideal body fat percentage for men and women based on age and gender

ClassificationWomenMen
Essential Fat10-13%2-5%
Athletes14-20%6-13%
Fitness21-24%14-17%
Acceptable25-31%18-24%
Obese>32%>25%

Possible Side Effects of Having Too Much Body Fat

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers obesity a preventable leading cause of death, causing 111,909 to 365,000 deaths annually in the U.S. This is concerning as 36.5% of U.S. adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obesity is associated with a lower quality of life, obstructive sleep apnea, mental health issues, and leading causes of death, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes. According to researchers, obesity can reduce life expectancy.

Excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the balance and function of essential hormones, leading to negative health effects. Visceral fat produces cytokines that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and is linked to higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, lower “good” HDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

LDL cholesterol can clog arteries, leading to heart attacks, while insulin resistance can cause high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, having excess visceral fat can significantly impact a person’s health.

Importance of Measuring Body Fat Percentage

Measuring body fat percentage is important for several reasons, including:

1. Assessing Overall Health

Measuring body fat percentage is more accurate than measuring body weight or BMI alone.

A high body fat percentage increases the risk of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

2. Tracking Weight Loss Progress

When trying to lose weight, tracking body fat percentage can provide a more accurate measure of progress than simply tracking weight.

It’s important to track body fat percentage to see if you’re losing mostly fat or muscle because weight loss can be due to fat and muscle mass loss.

3. Evaluating Fitness Level

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often track body fat percentages to evaluate their fitness levels and progress.

A lower body fat percentage can indicate a higher fitness level and better physical performance.

4. Personalizing Nutrition and Exercise Plans

Knowing your body fat percentage can help you personalize your nutrition and exercise plans to achieve your goals.

For example, if your body fat percentage is too high, you may need to adjust your diet and exercise routine to focus more on fat loss.

5. Setting Realistic Goals

Measuring body fat percentage can help you set realistic weight loss or muscle gain goals. It also allows you to monitor changes in your body composition over time.

For example:

  • If your body fat percentage is currently 30%, you may set a goal to reduce it to 25%.
  • If you’re trying to gain muscle mass, you can track your body fat percentage to ensure that you’re gaining mostly muscle and not just fat.
To Know Your TDEE Click Here

Pros and Cons of Body Fat Percentage Calculator

When used properly, body fat calculators can provide general guidance and help track fat loss progress. They have limitations in accuracy and should not be used to replace medical assessments when precision is needed.

Use wisely as one tool in your health toolkit.

Pros

  1. Convenience: Easily accessible and quick to use, usually requiring just a few body measurements.
  2. Low Cost: Many online calculators are free; even handheld devices or scales are relatively inexpensive compared to medical-grade tests.
  3. Initial Assessment: Good for getting a baseline understanding of your body fat status, especially if you’re new to health and fitness tracking.

Cons

  1. Accuracy: Generally less precise than more scientifically rigorous methods like DEXA scans or hydrostatic weighing.
  2. Limited Factors: Typically use a small set of variables (like age, height, weight), potentially missing the nuances of individual body composition.
  3. Over-Reliance: Some methods may over- or under-predict body fat percentage. Easy accessibility might lead to overuse or over-reliance.

Skinfold Body Fat Calculator

There are many ways to calculate body fat using skinfold measurements, which measure subcutaneous fat thickness at specific places on the body.

The most commonly used methods for calculating skinfold body fat include:

  • Jackson-Pollock 3 Site Caliper Method
  • Jackson-Pollock 4 Site Caliper Method
  • Jackson-Pollock 7 Site Caliper Method
  • Parrillo Caliper Method
  • Durnin And Womersley Caliper Method

How To Use Calipers To Measure The Sites Accurately

1. Chest

Take a diagonal fold halfway between the nipple and upper armpit.

2. Midaxillary

Take a horizontal fold directly below the armpit at a point on the midaxillary line

3. Biceps

Take a vertical fold on the front of the upper arm, midway between the shoulder and the elbow.

4. Triceps

Take a vertical fold on the back of the upper arm, midway between the shoulder and the elbow.

5. Subscapular

Take a diagonal fold directly below the shoulder blade.

6. Abdominal

Take a vertical fold about 2 cm to the right of the navel.

7. Suprailiac

A diagonal fold should be taken above the iliac crest.

8. Thigh

Take a vertical fold on the front of the thigh, midway between the hip and the knee, with the foot flat on the ground.

9. Lower back

Take a diagonal fold at the level of the iliac crest, slightly to the right of the spine.

10. Calf

Take a vertical fold on the inside of the leg, at the widest part of the calf muscle.

Body Fat Percentage Calculator Sites

Jackson-Pollock 3 Site Skinfold Calculator

The 3-site Jackson-Pollock skinfold formula is one of the most commonly used because it’s easy, quick, and reliable.

The Jackson-Pollock method uses skin folds to measure body fat percentage. This one uses skin folds from 3 different points.

Measurement Locations for Males

  1. Chest (mm)
  2. Abdomen (mm)
  3. Thigh (mm)

Measurement Locations for Females

  1. Tricep (mm)
  2. Suprailiac (mm)
  3. Thigh (mm)

Record the measurements in millimeters (mm) and add them together.

3 Site Body Fat Formula (Males)

  • Body Density = 1.10938 – (0.0008267 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.0000016 x square of the sum of skinfolds) – (0.0002574 x age)

3 Site Body Fat Percentage Formula (Females)

  • Body Density = 1.0994921 – (0.0009929 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.0000023 x square of the sum of skinfolds) – (0.0001392 x age)

Note: age should be in years.

Use the body density to calculate the body fat percentage using the Siri equation:

  • Body Fat Percentage = ((4.95 / body density) – 4.50) x 100

Jackson-Pollock 4 Site Skinfold Calculator

The 4-site Jackson-Pollock skinfold formula is about as accurate as the 3-site formula but also tends to slightly underestimate the body fat percentage of fairly lean people (men under 15% body fat and women under 25%).

Thus, it’s best used for people with more body fat than this.

Four skinfold measurement locations (Men & Female)

  • Abdominal (mm)
  • Thigh (mm)
  • Tricep (mm)
  • Suprailiac

Note: Each skinfold measurement is taken three times, and the average is calculated for each location.

4 Site Body Fat Formula for Males:

  • Body Density = (0.29288 x sum of skinfolds) – (0.0005 x square of the sum of skinfolds) + (0.15845 x age) – 5.76377

4 Site Body Fat Formula for Females:

  • Body Density = (0.29669 x sum of skinfolds) – (0.00043 x square of the sum of skinfolds) + (0.02963 x age) + 1.4072

Use the body density to calculate the body fat percentage using the Siri equation:

  • Body Fat Percentage = ((4.95 / body density) – 4.50) x 100

Jackson-Pollock 7 Site Skinfold Calculator

The 7-site Jackson-Pollock skinfold formula is no more accurate than the 3-site formula, is more of a hassle, and tends to slightly underestimate the body fat percentage of fairly lean people (men under 15% body fat and women under 25%).

It is ideal for persons with moderate physical activity and young athletes. 

We usually recommend using the 3-site method for the general population.

Seven skinfold measurement locations (Men & Female)

  • Chest
  • Abdominal
  • Thigh
  • Tricep
  • Subscapular
  • Suprailiac
  • Midaxillary

7 Site Body Fat Formula for Males

  • Body Density = 1.112 – (0.00043499 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.00000055 x square of the sum of skinfold sites) – (0.00028826 x age)

7 Site Body Fat Formula for Females

  • Body Density = 1.097 – (0.00046971 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.00000056 x square of the sum of skinfold sites) – (0.00012828 x age)

Use the body density to calculate the body fat percentage using the Siri equation:

  • Body Fat Percentage = ((4.95 / body density) – 4.50) x 100

Parrillo 9 Site Skinfold Calculator

The Parrillo Caliper Method is a body fat measurement method that was developed by John Parrillo, a well-known fitness expert and bodybuilder.

It is important to note that the accuracy of the measurements can be affected by factors such as the skill of the person taking the measurements and variations in the thickness and distribution of subcutaneous fat.

9 Skinfold Measurement Locations (Men & Female)

  • Chest
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Subscapular
  • Abdominal
  • Suprailiac
  • Thigh
  • Lower back
  • Calf

9 Sites Body Fat Formula for Men and Women

To calculate the percentage of body fat with the Parillo method, take the skinfold measurements  (in millimeters) and perform the following equation, which applies to both women and men: 

  • Percentage of body fat (%) = (27 x sum of all skinfolds) / body weight (lbs.)

Durnin and Womersley Caliper Method

Durnin and Womersley developed this method in the 1970s, which is still widely used today.

The Durnin and Womersley caliper method assumes that the subcutaneous fat thickness at these four sites is representative of total body fat.

This assumption may not hold true for everyone, as body fat distribution can vary widely based on factors such as age, sex, and ethnicity.

4 Skinfold Measurement Locations (Men & Female)

  • Bicep (mm)
  • Tricep (mm)
  • Subscapular (mm)
  • Suprailiac (mm)

Durnin and Womersley Caliper Fat Formula for Men and Women

(D= Body Density; L= Log of the sum of skinfolds)

Log(a + b + c + d) = log(a) + log(b) + log(c) + log(d)

age (years)equations for malesequations for females
< 17D = 1.1533 – (0.0643 X L)D = 1.1369 – (0.0598 X L)
17-19D = 1.1620 – (0.0630 X L)D = 1.1549 – (0.0678 X L)
20-29D = 1.1631 – (0.0632 X L)D = 1.1599 – (0.0717 X L)
30-39D = 1.1422 – (0.0544 X L)D = 1.1423 – (0.0632 X L)
40 -49D = 1.1620 – (0.0700 X L)D = 1.1333 – (0.0612 X L)
> 50D = 1.1715 – (0.0779 X L)D = 1.1339 – (0.0645 X L)
  • Body Fat Percentage (%) = (495 / Body Density) – 450

Navy Body Fat Calculator

The Navy Tape Measure Method, or the US Navy Circumference Method, is a simple technique used to estimate a person’s body fat percentage based on body measurements.

You can use the Navy tape measure method to estimate your body fat percentage by looking at your height, neck, and waist circumference.

It is very simple, fast, and reliable since you don’t need to use calipers.

Although this method is fairly accurate, it also tends to overestimate the body fat percentage of fairly lean people (men under 15% body fat and women under 25%).

It is, therefore, best used for people with more body fat than this.

Measurement Locations for Males

  1. Height (cm)
  2. Neck (cm)
  3. Abdomen (cm)

Measurement Locations for Females

  1. Height
  2. Neck (cm)
  3. Waist (cm)
  4. Hips (cm)

How To Measure the Followings:

1. Height:

  • Stand up straight against a wall with your back and head touching the wall.
  • Look straight ahead with your chin parallel to the ground.

2. Neck

  • Stand up straight with your shoulders relaxed.
  • Use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of your neck just below the larynx.
  • The tape should be snug but not compressing the skin.

3. Waist

  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your abdomen relaxed.
  • Use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of your waist at the narrowest point, usually at or above the navel.

4. Hip

  • Stand up straight with your abdomen relaxed.
  • Measure the circumference of your hips at the widest point, usually at the level of the buttocks.

5. Abdomen

  • Place a measuring tape around your abdomen at the level of your belly button.

Navy Tape Body Fat Percentage Calculator Formula for Males

USC Units (inch):

  • Body Fat Percentage (%) = 86.010 x log10 (abdomen – neck) – 70.041 x log10 (height) + 36.76

SI, Metric Units (cm):

  • Body Fat Percentage (%) = 495 / (1.0324 – 0.19077 x log10(waist – neck) + 0.15456 x log10(height)) – 450

Navy Tape Body Fat Percentage Formula for Females

USC Units (inch):

  • Body Fat Percentage (%) = 163.205 x log10 (waist + hip – neck) – 97.684 x log10 (height) – 78.387

SI, Metric Units (cm):

  • Body Fat Percentage (%)= 495 / (1.29579 – 0.35004 x log10(waist + hip – neck) + 0.22100 x log10(height)) – 450

What Different Body Fat Percentages Look Like Visually

Different body fat percentages have distinct visual characteristics. Here is a general overview of how different body fat percentages look on men and women:

Men’s Body Fat:

  • 3-4% body fat: Ridiculously lean. Many bodybuilders drop to a body fat percentage of about 3-4% when they are preparing for competitions.
  • 6-10% body fat: Muscles are very defined, and abs are visible. Vascularity is also prominent.
  • 10-15% body fat: Abs are still visible but may not be as defined. Vascularity is less prominent than at lower body fat percentages.
  • 15-20% body fat: Abs are less visible, and some body fat may be visible around the waistline. Muscles may not be as defined as at lower body fat percentages.
  • 20-25% body fat: Waistline is noticeably thicker, and body fat may be visible in other areas, such as the chest and back.
  • 25%+ body fat: Body fat is noticeable in many body areas, and muscles are not very defined.

Women Body Fat:

  • 10-12% Body fat: This percentage is the lowest a woman should be. At this percentage, the women’s vascularity and striations are visible.
  • 20-25% body fat: Body fat is distributed evenly throughout the body. Muscles may be slightly visible but not very defined.
  • 25-30% body fat: Body fat is more noticeable, particularly around the waist and thighs. Muscles may not be as visible.
  • 30-35% body fat: Body fat is more prominent, particularly in the stomach, hips, and thighs. Muscles are not very visible.
  • 35%+ body fat: Body fat is very noticeable throughout the body. Muscles are not defined at all.
body fat percentage of men women

FAQs

How lean do you need to be to get great abs?

The level of leanness required to get great abs can vary depending on a person’s individual body composition and genetics. However, a body fat percentage of around 10-12% for men and 16-20% for women is typically necessary to achieve visible abs.

It is important to note that getting visible abs also requires a strong core muscle foundation, which can be achieved through regular exercises such as planks, crunches, and other abdominal exercises.

A healthy and balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for six-pack abs.

How much body fat should I have

As a general guideline, a healthy range for men is considered to be 10-20% body fat, and for women, it is 20-30% body fat.

It is important to note that having too low of a body fat percentage can be just as unhealthy as having too high of a body fat percentage.

A body fat percentage below 5% for men and below 12% for women is considered extremely low and can lead to health problems such as weakened immune systems, hormonal imbalances, and decreased bone density.

How can I reduce my body fat percentage?

To reduce body fat percentage, it is important to follow a healthy and balanced diet, engage in regular exercise, and get enough sleep.

Focusing on strength and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also help increase muscle mass and reduce body fat percentage.

Takeaways

The purpose of a Body Fat Percentage Calculator is to provide an easy and convenient way to estimate your body fat percentage.

The calculator uses various formulas and algorithms to estimate the amount of body fat a person has based on their input data.

Some calculators may use skinfold measurements or other physical measurements, while others may use bioelectrical impedance analysis or other advanced technologies.

References

  • Jackson, A. S., & Pollock, M. L. (1978). Generalized equations for predicting body density of men. British Journal of Nutrition, 40, 497-504.
  • Jackson, A. S., Pollock, M. L., & Ward, A. (1980). Generalized equations for predicting body density of women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 12, 175-182.
  • Jackson A S, Pollock, M (1985) Practical assessment of body composition. Physician Sport Med. 13: 76-90
  • J. Parrillo, Greenwood-Robinson. “High-performance bodybuilding” Berkeley Publishing group, New York,169-172, 1993.
  • Durnin, J.V.G.A. and Womersley, J. (1974). Body fat assessed from the total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16 to 72 years. British Journal of Nutrition, 32, 77-97.
  • Institute of Medicine (US) Subcommittee on Military Weight Management. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2004.
  • Peterson DD. “History of the U.S. Navy Body Composition program“ Military Medicine (January 2015)
  • The association between body fat and musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
  • Comparison of the Three-Site and Seven-Site Measurements in Female Collegiate Athletes Using BodyMetrix™.
  • Siri W.E. Body Composition from Fluid Spaces and Density: Analysis of Methods. Nutr. Burbank Los Angel. Cty. Calif. 1993;9:480–491. – PubMed
  • Tedford AG, Pribyslavska V, Bryant LG, Scudamore EM. A Comparative Analysis of Army Body Composition Standards for Women. Int J Exerc Sci. 2020 Sep 1;13(7):1275-1282. PMID: 33042386; PMCID: PMC7523900.
  • Wilson, C. C., Harp, C. J., & Koch, A. J. (2010). Comparison of the US Army tape test to skinfold and underwater weighing measures of body composition. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(1), 1-8.

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