Body Fat Percentage(BFP)-What it is & How To Calculate It


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Ideal Body Fat Percentage for Men and Women according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Description Women Men
Essential Fat 10-13%


Athletes 14-20%


Fitness 21-24%


Acceptable 25-31%


Obesity >32%  



Note: It doesn’t factor in age.

Jackson & Pollard Ideal Body Fat Percentages based on age.


Age Women Men

























You might have heard your colleagues talking about using a body fat percentage calculator to check their body fat percentages.

Here, you will learn everything you need to know about Body Fat Percentage, how to calculate and understand your body fat percentage to achieve your fitness goals.

So keep reading.

What is body fat percentage?

Do you know your body fat percentage?

Well, your body fat percentage is the total mass of your body fat divided by your body mass, multiplied by 100. Storage body fats and essential body fats constitute your total body fat.

We all need essential body fats to sustain life generally. That includes reproductive functions.

How to calculate BFP-Different methods

America’s second half of the 20th century is a historical period that gave birth to ways of calculating body fat percentage. The method uses simple body measurements to calculate an estimate of your body fat.

For men, the metric system of calculating body fat percentage is

Multiply the value of ((4.95/(1.0324-0.19077* log 10(waist minus neck) + 0.15456*log10(height)))- 4.5) by 100%.

When calculating the BFP in women, the metric formula is slightly different.

Multiply the value of ((4.95/ (1.29579- 0.35004 * log10(waist plus hip minus neck) +0.22100*log10(height)))- 4.5) by one hundred percent.

When it comes to the imperial calculation of the BFP, your BFP calculator automatically performs the high-precision calculations.

Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage Below:


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Perfect body fat percentage in men

Generally, men have a relatively lower (body fat: lean tissue) ratio than ladies. Thus, a perfect explanation of the range variances. Women’s reproduction system plays a significant role in their relatively higher body fat percentages.

With that said, the following are men’s ideal BFPs, according to the ACE chart.

  • The general essential fat ranges from 2% to 5% for men.
  • Athletes have a BFP ranging from 6% to 13%.
  • Fitness men have a 14-17% BFP range. 
  • However, men’s acceptable BFP is 18% to 24%.
  • For overweight men, the overall BFP may exceed 25%.

The BFP for men may also vary depending on age. So, the body fat percentage for men with 20 to 39 years ranges from 8% to 19%. From 40 to 59 years, most men have a BFP of approximately 11 to 21%. From 60 to 79 years, men have a BFP that ranges from around 13 to 24%.

Perfect Body fat percentage in women

Women’s BFP falls under several varying categories. According to some charts, the classes can be acceptable ranges and athletes. Other charts divide the BFP by age.

So, according to the American Council on Exercise, the body fat chart has a close resemblance to the adult BMI chart. The reason is that it doesn’t include age as a factor.

With that said, women’s essential fats range from 10% to 13%. For athletes, the BFP is approximately 14% to 20%. For women who are into fitness, their BFP ranges from 21% to 24%. The acceptable range is 25 to 31%, with overweight women having a BFP of over 32%.

Limitations of Body Fat Percentage

The primary limitation of BFP is that it is not always a direct representation of the increase or decrease of your body fat. If you want to determine your overall body composition precisely, the recommendation is to list the amount of body fat kilograms you have.

That includes the amount of visceral fat and skeletal muscle mass you have. 

Should you consult a professional

Some people prefer using an online BFP calculator to determine their BFP. However, it is best to consult your doctor or personal trainer for more details about your BFP. Professionals like doctors and personal trainers will examine you and precisely determine how much your body fat defines your overall body weight.

A professional will enlighten you on the likely predisposing factors to weight-related diseases. Additionally, a professional is more likely to advise on performing several other essential tests and give you tips on reducing your BFP like the ones below.

Tips to reduce BFP

If you want to reduce your BFP, here are the essential tips that will keep you going;

  • Ensure you strictly adhere to a high-protein diet.
  • You can begin strength training.
  • You can incorporate vinegar into your daily diet.
  • Make sure you consume more healthy fats.
  • Consume healthier beverages.
  • Limit your refined carbs intake.
  • Incorporate more fibers into your daily diet. 


In conclusion, achieving your body fat percentage for fitness goals depends on how you treat your body and mind. So, it has everything to do with your lifestyle. What enters and what leaves your body.
To achieve your fitness goals, take a step toward working with a professional who will guide you through each step of ensuring your BFP is within the acceptable range.