Muscle is a denser tissue than fat, and an abundance of lean mass raises weight on the scale — which means you'll have a high BMI. However, because your excess weight comes from muscle, not excess fat, you won't have the related health risks associated with carrying too much body fat.
Yes as long as the person is declared “healthy” after a physical examination. Muscular athletes often have high BMIs but are healthy. There are many healthy people that have a higher BMI than the suggested healthy range of 18.5-24.9 due to a higher muscle mass than overweight individuals.
BMI isn't perfect
It often identifies fit, muscular people as being overweight or obese. That's because muscle is more dense than fat, and so weighs more. But muscle tissue burns blood sugar, a good thing, while fat tissue converts blood sugar into fat and stores it, a not-so-good thing.
How muscular you are: A few people have high BMIs but don't have much body fat. Their muscle tissue pushes up their weight. An example: "A football player or a body builder who is very muscular. Their BMI shows up pretty high, and yet their body fat is actually pretty low," Kahan says.
A healthy BMI for a man is generally between 18.5 and 24.9. That said, if a man is leaner and has more muscle mass than average, it's possible to be perfectly healthy despite having a BMI over 24.9. It's rare to find a man who is healthy with a BMI of less than ~17, though.
Body mass index (BMI) is measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. BMI does not differentiate between body fat and muscle mass. Therefore, body builders and people who have a lot of muscle bulk will have a high BMI but are not overweight.
Accuracy of BMI
Muscle is much denser than fat, so very muscular people, such as heavyweight boxers, weight trainers and athletes, may be a healthy weight even though their BMI is classed as obese. Your ethnic group can also affect your risk of some health conditions.
Professor Trefethen believes that the BMI height2/weight term divides the weight by too much in short people and too little in tall individuals. This results in tall people believing they are fatter than they really are4, and short people thinking they are thinner.
Your starting weight plays a key role in how fast (or slow) you lose weight. The more overweight a person is, the faster they can lose.
Although BMI can be used for most men and women, it does have some limits: It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build. It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.
For example, body builders with a high amount of muscle mass can have a BMI of >30 kg/m2, but a total body fat of about 6%.
While it's a myth that muscle weighs more than fat—after all, a pound is a pound—it is denser, which means it takes up less space in the body. This may explain why you look slimmer but the scale hasn't budged. Water weight could also be a factor, according to strength and conditioning coach Brandon Mentore.
Fitness level: If you follow a regular exercise routine and you have good muscle mass, you may have a higher BMI. A high BMI in very fit people is not associated with greater health risks. Age: A younger adult may have less body fat than an older adult with the same BMI.
People who are slightly overweight but not obese—as defined by their body mass index (BMI)— tend to live longer than their normal-weight counterparts, according to a new Danish study. But that has not always been the case.
Another study by Re and Rule (2016b) corroborated this finding by reporting that an average change in BMI of 1.33 kg/m2 was sufficient for participants to report a noticeable change in the appearance of faces.
Even though it is often used as one, it is not a true diagnostic of body fatness or of an individual's overall health. As most of us fitness-focused folks have likely heard, BMI is far from a perfect measurement.
A false negative in which an athlete is of normal weight but has a higher than desired percent body fat. The analysis of the data showed that the BMI is not an accurate measure of body fat in athletes.
That's because BMI doesn't distinguish between fat and muscle, which could be a real problem for someone who is athletic. The average football player, for instance, has a BMI of 31.35, considered obese by these standards.
The American Exercise Council on Exercise recommends a BMI at or above 18.5 and body fat of 14 percent for women and six percent for men. The best athletes in sprint events tend to have a larger mean mass and height than long-distance runners.
BMI doesn't account for body composition, which means it misses the difference between muscle mass and fat. Because muscles are more dense and heavier than fat, bodybuilders and other professional athletes like football players are often considered obese or overweight based on their BMI alone.
The difference is in total volume. 1 kg of muscle may appear to be the size of baseball whilst 1kg of fat will be three times the size and look like a wobbly bowl of Jelly. Muscle is a denser tissue that takes up less room in our bodies than an equal weight of fat.
One pound of muscle and one pound of fat weigh precisely the same––one pound. The difference? Muscle is denser than fat, and as it is more compact within your body, as you gain muscle mass, you end up looking thinner, no matter your physical weight.
Gaining Weight Working Out from Strength Training
"A common comment when looking at the scale is that 'muscle is heavier than fat,' which is misleading," says Dolgan. "A pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle; however, the volume of muscle is denser than the volume of fat and therefore, heavier."