With all of the emphasis on weight loss and being skinny these days, it’s no wonder that people are forgetting about an important aspect of being healthy: having a lean body mass.
But what exactly is lean body mass? It’s the amount of muscle, bone, water, and organs in your body and does not include fat tissue. Having a high lean body mass is important for many reasons. It helps with everything from balance and coordination to metabolism and bone density.
This blog post will explain lean body mass, how to calculate it, and the benefits of having a high lean body mass. Let’s get started.
Why Is Lean Body Mass Important?
LBM is essential to our health for many reasons. Carrying too much body fat has increased the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers.
Moreover, having a higher LBM can help improve your athletic performance and reduce your risk of injury. You may also find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and body composition if you have more lean tissue.
Easy Ways to Calculate Lean Body Mass
There are a few different ways to find your lean mass. You can also use a lean body mass calculator.
1. Calculate Using Height And Weight
First of all, use your height and weight to calculate your LBM. Even though it’s not a perfect measurement, it’s still a good way to estimate your body fat percentage.
Use the following equation:
For men: Lean body mass = (0.32810 × W) + (0.33929 × H) − 29.5336
For women: Lean body mass = (0.29569 × W) + (0.41813 × H) − 43.2933
W is your weight in kilograms, and H is your height in centimeters.
1 pound = 0.453592 kilograms and 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.
2. Calculate Using Body Fat Percentages
To calculate your lean muscle mass, you’ll need to know your body fat percentage. You can use several different techniques to determine your body fat percentage. Once you have that figure, divide it by 100 to convert it into a decimal. Then, multiply that number by your total weight.
For example, you weigh 200 pounds, and your body fat percentage is 20%. To calculate your lean body mass, you would multiply 200 by 0.20. This gives you your fat in pounds (200 x 0.20 = 40 lbs). Subtract that from your total weight to get your lean body mass; in this case, 200 – 40 = 160lbs of lean body mass.
It doesn’t matter if you calculate your weight using pounds or kilograms as long as you use the same measurement throughout your calculations.
3. Calculate Using Skin Fold Assessment
Using calipers, a skilled practitioner can estimate your body fat mass percentage by pinching and measuring the skinfold thickness in three, four, or seven different body parts.
Then, plug these numbers into a formula or use a conversion table to find your body fat percentage. The accuracy of this method varies as it depends on the experience of the practitioner and the number of skinfold sites measured.
4. Use Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)
BIA uses a very low electrical current to estimate total body weight and composition. The current passes through your body, and resistance to that current is used to estimate your body fat percentage.
There are two types of BIA: whole-body and segmental. Whole-body BIA is the more common type, giving you an estimate of your total body fat percentage. Segmental BIA uses four electrodes placed on different body parts to give you a more detailed analysis of your body composition.
BIA is generally considered accurate, within 2-3% of total body fat percentage, and it’s a quick and easy way to estimate your lean and skeletal muscle mass.
5. Try Hydrostatic Weighing
Hydrostatic weighing may be a good option to measure lean body mass. This method is submerged in water and then compares your weight on land. With the help of a skilled technician, your body fat percentage can be calculated. Although this is an accurate method, it could cost an average of $40 to $60. You may be able to find a research lab or performance center that offers this service near you.
Also known as “bod pod,” air displacement plethysmography is another option that uses air instead of water. This machine is pretty accurate for people close to a healthy BMI but could be less accurate for those very lean. Again, try researching this method online or in your area to see what options are available.
6. Get a DEXA Scan
With a DEXA scan, x-rays are taken of your body to estimate your muscle, fat, and bone mass. This method accurately calculates lean body mass but can be expensive and difficult to access. Also, because DEXA uses x-rays, there is a small amount of radiation exposure involved. You can talk to your family doctor to see if a DEXA scan is right for you.
Benefits Of Ideal Lean Mass
Some benefits of having an ideal lean body mass include:
- Faster Metabolism: For every pound of muscle, your body burns 50-70 calories daily. This means that a person with more muscle mass will burn more calories.
- Increased Strength: More muscle = more strength. This is because muscles are responsible for producing force. The stronger your muscles are, the more force they can produce and the more weight you can lift.
- Better Joint Health: Strong muscles help to support and stabilize your joints. This can help to prevent injuries, as well as relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis.
- Improved Posture: Good posture requires strong muscles. If your muscles are weak, they will not be able to support your spine properly, which can lead to slouching and other posture problems.
- Better Balance: Strong muscles help you to maintain your balance. This is especially important as you age when muscle loss and weak muscles can lead to falls and injuries.
With all of the information above, you should now understand how to find your lean body mass. This number is important for many reasons, including helping you determine how many calories you need to eat daily and how much protein you need to consume. Use the method that best suits your lifestyle and fitness goals to find your lean and fat mass and use it to help you reach your fitness goals!