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2009-12-31 12:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
tri-dg - 2009-12-29 12:30 PM

KathyG - 2009-12-21 6:31 PM

tri-dg - 2009-12-21 7:21 PM im 6'2" 215 currently and around 17% bf (dexa scan) it also measures your Subcutaneous (sp) fat. the fat around your organs as well as the cutaneous fat the stuff that people can see this is measured by easily by calipers According to this I am 10-12% BF. Im starting my base training next monday for a half and then IM Louisville. I am going to try to get to 190 race weight for IMLV. My Lean muscle mass will drop as well as the BF. From talking with several research Dr.'s in a weight loss management lab that I work at 6-8% is a good to be around for endurance type events such as Ironman. Ill be doing Dexa and Caliper measurements through out my training to see how they differ and see how my body comp changes along the way.


17% via dexa scan vs calipers at 10-12% is pretty big difference....interesting. It will be intersting to see how they change over time. Did the lab you work at say anything about the variation?

I've done calipers, dunking, and impedance all within 3 months and they were all within 1% body fat so I figured it was pretty close but sort of thought from how I looked they had my body fat lower than it really was. I got a new IM scale, well won it at IMLP as biggest loser, and used it for first time recently and it is way off the other methods...I don't see how my lean body mass could have dropped 20 pounds from a year ago with my weight close.


the variation comes from the visceral fat that lines your organs and the cutaneous fat that that is on the outer parts of your skin... vs just the cutaneous fat that is measured in calipers

Training starts today so I'm going to try to sneak on to the DEXA to get a baseline measurement.


Exactly correct. Dexa also tells you other great things like what your bone density is... which is especially important for women.


2010-01-05 12:10 PM
in reply to: #2557233

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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..

How much impact does your BF% have on your ability to use fat as fuel over an IM distance? 

I raced IMCDA at around 160(5'11") and 7% body fat.  I felt strong at this weight and suspect that I could go even lower without losing any strength/speed.  However, I've wondered if calorie intake during an IM has to go up to offset the fact that you have less fat available to burn? 

Does that even make sense or am I way off the mark?

2010-01-05 12:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
AndrewMT - 2010-01-05 1:10 PM

How much impact does your BF% have on your ability to use fat as fuel over an IM distance? 

I raced IMCDA at around 160(5'11") and 7% body fat.  I felt strong at this weight and suspect that I could go even lower without losing any strength/speed.  However, I've wondered if calorie intake during an IM has to go up to offset the fact that you have less fat available to burn? 

Does that even make sense or am I way off the mark?



Even a very lean individual has plenty of stored body fats to get through an IM.  You'll still need to take in carbs to help burn them, but the amount is probably no different at 7% than at 5%.  Whether dropping to that level is a good idea for you or not, I have no idea.
2010-01-05 12:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..

JohnnyKay - 2010-01-05 12:20 PM
AndrewMT - 2010-01-05 1:10 PM

How much impact does your BF% have on your ability to use fat as fuel over an IM distance? 

I raced IMCDA at around 160(5'11") and 7% body fat.  I felt strong at this weight and suspect that I could go even lower without losing any strength/speed.  However, I've wondered if calorie intake during an IM has to go up to offset the fact that you have less fat available to burn? 

Does that even make sense or am I way off the mark?



Even a very lean individual has plenty of stored body fats to get through an IM.  You'll still need to take in carbs to help burn them, but the amount is probably no different at 7% than at 5%.  Whether dropping to that level is a good idea for you or not, I have no idea.

I definitely don't know the physiology behind it.  I just know I struggle to take in enough calories and my wife insists it's because I'm too lean!

2010-01-05 12:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
AndrewMT - 2010-01-05 1:23 PM

I definitely don't know the physiology behind it.  I just know I struggle to take in enough calories and my wife insists it's because I'm too lean!



That I can help with.  Eat more and more calorie dense foods.  Beer can help as well.
2010-01-05 12:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..

JohnnyKay - 2010-01-05 12:25 PM
AndrewMT - 2010-01-05 1:23 PM

I definitely don't know the physiology behind it.  I just know I struggle to take in enough calories and my wife insists it's because I'm too lean!



That I can help with.  Eat more and more calorie dense foods.  Beer can help as well.

Can Scotch be substituted for beer?  Wait...don't' answer that.  I'm going to assume the answer is yes and start my Iroman diet tonight!



2010-01-05 1:18 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
AndrewMT - 2010-01-05 1:28 PM

JohnnyKay - 2010-01-05 12:25 PM
AndrewMT - 2010-01-05 1:23 PM

I definitely don't know the physiology behind it.  I just know I struggle to take in enough calories and my wife insists it's because I'm too lean!



That I can help with.  Eat more and more calorie dense foods.  Beer can help as well.

Can Scotch be substituted for beer?  Wait...don't' answer that.  I'm going to assume the answer is yes and start my Iroman diet tonight!



Nah.  At 7%BF you will pass out before you can get enough calories in.  Mix with eggnog and you might be OK.
2010-01-05 3:42 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
where are these dexa scans found at? i cant find it on google for athens ga.
2010-01-05 8:34 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
i work at the university of Kansas and we have 2 of them in Lawrence, 1 at KU Med and 1 at a local hospital.

My guess is that they are located at hospitals or university's in the exercise phys labs (university of Georgia Public Health department might have one)


I ahve also talked to some people that at 8% you are at optimal body fat for IM... this is coming from a masters in Exercise physiology and an X- USA cycling coach from the 80's... ill ask some of our professors and see what they think the optimal BF is for Endurance sports / IM
2010-01-05 8:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
tri-dg - 2010-01-05 8:34 PM

i work at the university of Kansas and we have 2 of them in Lawrence, 1 at KU Med and 1 at a local hospital.

My guess is that they are located at hospitals or university's in the exercise phys labs (university of Georgia Public Health department might have one)


I ahve also talked to some people that at 8% you are at optimal body fat for IM... this is coming from a masters in Exercise physiology and an X- USA cycling coach from the 80's... ill ask some of our professors and see what they think the optimal BF is for Endurance sports / IM


Can you ask about percentages for women too? Just curious. Not as if I'm anywhere near optimal.
2010-01-06 9:10 AM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
There is no single "best" number.  People are different and the best you can do is provide a range.  8% may be the average for competitive male triathletes, but some may be best with a bit lower while others will do best a bit higher.

FWIW, I have seen ranges for triathletes of roughly 5-12% for men and 10-15% for women.


2010-01-07 4:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
yes. there is no specific perfect race BF and it varies by person to person.

I talked with our Dr. - Professor at the Exercise Physiology Lab about what he thought to be the optimal BF for endurance athletes (he was a elite cross country skier)

Men-
Skin fold 8-10%
Dexa Scan 13-17%

Women
Skin fold 13-18%
Dexa Scan 18-22%


also today i went ahead and jumped on our dexa and I came out at 25.2% and got our experienced doctoral student to do a skin fold and came out at 19.47%. a difference of 5.73%. (yes i put on some BAD weight this winter but dont really care.) Im going to try to do this every other month to get a good idea of how training and eating better will change my body.

I also talked to our Exercise Phys. Dr. about how much the cost of doing a dexa scan would be he said they charge $90 for the test also includes bone mineral density. He also said these are mainly made for experiments that they have going on and one way that you could get one done is to ask your DR. to get one done cause your "worried" about your bone density.

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  • 2010-01-07 5:04 PM
    in reply to: #2601360

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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    tri-dg - 2010-01-07 5:54 PM yes. there is no specific perfect race BF and it varies by person to person. I talked with our Dr. - Professor at the Exercise Physiology Lab about what he thought to be the optimal BF for endurance athletes (he was a elite cross country skier) Men- Skin fold 8-10% Dexa Scan 13-17% Women Skin fold 13-18% Dexa Scan 18-22% also today i went ahead and jumped on our dexa and I came out at 25.2% and got our experienced doctoral student to do a skin fold and came out at 19.47%. a difference of 5.73%. (yes i put on some BAD weight this winter but dont really care.) Im going to try to do this every other month to get a good idea of how training and eating better will change my body. I also talked to our Exercise Phys. Dr. about how much the cost of doing a dexa scan would be he said they charge $90 for the test also includes bone mineral density. He also said these are mainly made for experiments that they have going on and one way that you could get one done is to ask your DR. to get one done cause your "worried" about your bone density. .02


    Good post thanks.

    Insurance (at least where I practice) would not pay for it because you are 'worried' though
    2010-01-08 9:23 AM
    in reply to: #2557233

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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    it was more of a joking around "worried" but some doc. would let it go through...

    If any one wants to know what my plan is going to look like im doing Triathletes week by week guide level 4 for HIM (texasman) and level 3 IM for Louisville.

    Some other useful tools that can help determine caloric intake would be Resting Metabolic Rates and Energy Expenditure tests
    2010-01-08 12:53 PM
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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    PennState - 2009-12-14 10:13 AM
    trishie - 2009-12-14 11:59 AM
    bryancd - 2009-12-14 10:59 AM
    Gritty - 2009-12-14 9:40 AM

    As an aside here, what type of body fat test is usefull?  Calipers, weight scale, something else?  I've always wondered what my percentage would be but the only test I've ever done is with calipers.  Not sure how accurate those are.

    Calipers are pretty accurate.


    ... but only if the person using them knows what he or she is doing.

    The most accurate way to get yoru BF% is an autopsy but short of that, I think the water displacement way is the most accurate.
    . Ummmm no. Dexa scans are now considered the gold standard. Very few labs are using water displacement anymore.


    I thought Dexa scans measured bone density - no?
    2010-01-08 7:53 PM
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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    velcromom - 2010-01-08 1:53 PM
    PennState - 2009-12-14 10:13 AM
    trishie - 2009-12-14 11:59 AM
    bryancd - 2009-12-14 10:59 AM
    Gritty - 2009-12-14 9:40 AM

    As an aside here, what type of body fat test is usefull?  Calipers, weight scale, something else?  I've always wondered what my percentage would be but the only test I've ever done is with calipers.  Not sure how accurate those are.

    Calipers are pretty accurate.


    ... but only if the person using them knows what he or she is doing.

    The most accurate way to get yoru BF% is an autopsy but short of that, I think the water displacement way is the most accurate.
    . Ummmm no. Dexa scans are now considered the gold standard. Very few labs are using water displacement anymore.


    I thought Dexa scans measured bone density - no?


    Yes they measure bone density... which is there primary clinical purpose.

    They also measure BF% (very accurately I might add).


    2010-01-09 7:58 AM
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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    I got a Dexa Scan the other day. My body fat scale reads 8.x in athlete mode and 18.x in normal mode. At checkin to ironman KY last August their scale showed 12%. I also had a caliper test done last year and it was 16 %. I would have been happy if the Dexa Scan spilt the difference.

    I was very frustrated with the results. The Dexa Scan indicated that my body fat was 17.5 percent. I was surprised that it was that high. My friend – who is a faculty member in the Human Performance Department at the university was very surprised it was that high. I mean I can see my ribs and some of my abs (very vague but they can be seen in just the right light). There is slight definition. But the Dexa Scan is very accurate. What are you going to do?

    On a positive note I now have my scales offset (in the athlete mode I need to add 9.2 or in the normal mode I need to subtract 1.3 – it would appear that my bathroom scale is pretty accurate in the normal mode) and while my body fat is higher than I want it – it is a vanity number – my body fat composition is normal. I do not have any disproportionate body fat in my torso or anything – and my bone density is fine.
    2010-01-09 8:03 AM
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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    which university did you have it done at?

    ps cool blog too!

    Edited by phatknot 2010-01-09 8:05 AM
    2010-01-09 12:47 PM
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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    Thanks -

    I work at the University of Southern Mississippi (IT department) and just happen to know a lot of people in the Human Performance College - fellow triathletes.

    2010-01-09 4:09 PM
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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..

    I always wondered how accurate those bathroom scales were at body fat. Our scale has that function and I have no idea if it's right or not, or even close.

    In any case, a look in the mirror of how I feel on a run usually tells me if I am at or near my goal race weight, I just go by how I feel. Try not to get too caught up int he numbers

    2010-01-09 4:47 PM
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    Subject: RE: Ironman Ideal Race Weight..
    riorio - 2010-01-09 4:09 PM

    I always wondered how accurate those bathroom scales were at body fat. Our scale has that function and I have no idea if it's right or not, or even close.

    In any case, a look in the mirror of how I feel on a run usually tells me if I am at or near my goal race weight, I just go by how I feel. Try not to get too caught up int he numbers



    I agree, Sally, and I think it actually may not be as "lean" as some people think.


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