Stupid BMI question

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by howlermonkey, Sep 2, 2006.

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  1. This is a stupid question but something in the back of my mind niggling me a bit.

    Is there a max BMI permissable for entry to the Army?.

    No,its not because im fat but getting too heavy.

    Basically im running 40-50 miles a week,my 1.5 mile time is in the low 9min,im losing body fat at a horrendous rate but im getting heavier?
    Im hitting the weights really hard at the moment training different body areas every day ie chest and biceps one day,then shoulders,then legs the next day etc so im putting on a lot of muscle mass.

    According to my 'ideal weight' for my height im nearly 3 stone overweight?


    Could i be barred entry for having too high a BMI even though i meet and surpass the fitness criteria?
  2. Dont know what the criteria is but would like to think (dangerous assumption I know) that the army is savvy enough to know that the old BMI tables are uterly fecking meaningless and have no basis in reality.

    for a start - muscle weighs more than fat, which helps to explain why you are losing fat, but getting heavier through your training programme.

    if they have any clue at all they will use the body fat % - either via those caliper things, or the machine that reads it via electrodes.

    In summary, BMI is bollox and shouldnt get overly concerned about it.

    Am 5'10 and weigh 190lbs and according to BMI am a fair bit overweight, which is utter nonsense.
  3. The army is fairly stringent on their weight/height limits. I know someone who was told to lose 5 lbs before going to Para depot, it may just be a para thing (jump weights etc) but I think it applies to the wider army.

    If you are 3 stone overweight, that's nearly 20kg. It's a lot mate.

    Even if this is all muscle as you say, the army will have an issue with this. If you normally do a lot of weights, it can be difficult to lose this weight and not simply replace it with fat. I would suggest continuing running and bin the weights entirely. Increase the amount of aerobic exercise you do and drop your food intake (which must be geared for bulking up) to a more reasonable level. For selection/entrance physical requirements you really only need to be comfortable doing 'bodyweight' exercises like press ups and pull ups. No one in basic or at selection is going to ask you to lift a land rover. They may very well take you on a long run though!

    A great activity for losing weight is hill work. Go out for one day on the hills a week with a daysack and tackle some good gradients for 6-8 hours. Take it steady on the ups and jog on the downs/flats. This will burn any fat that's there and prevent your excess muscle bulk turning into fat.
  4. ^

    In regards to 3 stone being a lot 'overweight' according to the old BMI.... still dont see it - necessarily - as a problem..... it should come down more to body fat %.

    Going by some BMI tables I found on another forum (and they may be older ones) I am technically 2 and 1/2 stone overweight. Which is balls!
    If the army hasnt woken up to the fact that BMI is woefully out of date then more fool them.

    But would agree that dropping the weights wrork somewhat and concentrating on cardio would be a good approach... and still watching the food intake just to be sure.
  5. Yeah, I'm not speaking about my personal opinion here mate! I'm not saying you are fat at all!

    I'm just letting you know that the army seems to view weight as weight, regardless of what it is. I know for Para training it doesn't matter if your 5 lbs too heavy due to fat, muscle or hair, it has to go!

    The thinking is, I suppose, that for the wider army they want someone who is unlikely to cause themselves an injury on long tabs/runs/assault courses due to the strain of extra weight (no matter what it is) on their joints.
  6. When I was at RSC we had a guy who was classed as 'over weight', he was not a fat git just heavy due to muscle. He passed fine, all he had to do was get the doctor to confirm he was muscle not fat.

    Hope this helps
  7. my god man, that sounds strangely like common sense, and from the army - surely not! :lol: better stamp that out before it starts to spread.
  8. The BMI for entrance in the Army is 28. They will now consider people up to a BMI of 32 if the Dr clears them at the selection centre medical and they pass the fitness tests.
  9. I just went to a Careers office and they told me I needed to lose five stone. I am not that fat. I am very broad, but the man said it did not matter as the army wanted you to look like you had just come out of a concentration camp! I think they should use the body fat % electrode weighing scales. The US Army uses the caliper test for fat measurement if you fail the BMI test. Anyway I have started running to lose it.
    The bloke said we were not like the Americans who are huge and that they could never have fought the Falklands war as they travel everywhere. Is this still relevant?
    Radox Me
  10. of course its still relevant. british army is the best army in the world, not a reputation you get for being a load of fat mongs.
    in the falklands the long march across the falklands was done because the argentines had ruled that route out as a means of attack.
    and of course its still relevant. falkands was only 25 years ago.

    whats the big deal with the US army anyway? also, if you have to lose 5 stone, surely you have a decent amount of fat. your recruiter isnt likely to tell you to lose it if he thinks its muscle.

    how old are you and how much do you weigh?

    at ADSC you will have a caliper test for your body fat, but whether its muslce or fat, your weight will cause you problems.

    spending years doing running in trainers and t shirt when your 15 stone or more will knacker your knees and ankles. now think if you add 20 or 25kg on top. if you stayed at that weight, you'd probably end up in a wheelchair.
  11. 3 stone over your ideal BMI weight? Normally this would not be cause for concern as I have long held the opinion that the BMI guide is useless for the more muscular/big boned amongst us

    But - if you are running 50mpw as you state then 3 stone is way too much to be healthy for your joints (and your run times!) If you are running that kind of mileage then you need to be as close to your BMI as you can and certainly not more than 20 pounds over - no matter how much muscle you are carrying.

    Just my twopennuth.
  12. Thank Christ for that. Am bricking it now over my weight as "unfortunately" blessed with a short powerlifter's physique that makes the BMI unfavourable for my height and natural frame :x Realise any excess body mass is bad for someone aspiring to be an infantryman though didn't fancy the "concentration camp" look :D
  13. Sorry I got you mad. I don't think the US Army is great. I would not want to be anywhere near them to be honest. I was thinking about the body fat measuring being a good idea alone.

    I have read several books on the Falklands and am in awe of the men who fought. I have written a private message as well becuase I pressed the wrong button.
  14. as i said, no need to apologise. however it came across, there was no offence taken on my part, and it takes a lot more then that to get me angry.

    the army does do a calliper test for fat, but like i said, excess weight is probably less to do with a guage of fitness or whatever, and simply to do with the fact a 18 stone guy running a lot will probably knacker themselves pretty quickly.

    if you think most competitive athletes in almost any running distance, have like 4% body fat.

    there another thread about weight loss somewhere with some decent tips.

    just as a tip, if you havent done much running before, take it very slow. for heavy guys, things like shin splints are a big problem if you go to hard.

    the above is a good site, have a look, some good running plans.

    try to follow the couch to 5k plan, then try and increase over time to the 10k plan.

    good luck, and stick with it ;-)
  15. had the same problem but recently passed the bmi thing after losing 24kg in 6month!! u will need a body fat percentage of lower than 20% which they can calculate without using the bmi bulls*it

    hope that helps