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The composition and proportions of the body are one of the most important parameters influencing the results achieved in sport. Therefore, people who train do not pay much attention to overall body weight, but to fat and muscle mass. Each unnecessary kilogram of fat can affect the results.

High levels of body fat reduce both your speed and endurance performance. Athletes in most disciplines (e.g. running, cycling, gymnastics, figure skating, football, tennis, bodybuilding) take the fight to its excess, often using inappropriate diets on their own.

Fat tissue tipping point

Although excess body fat is not recommended, not every athlete can lower body fat to the calculated values. It also happens that after achieving a very low level of adipose tissue, there is a drastic decrease in exercise capacity.

Often it is not possible to maintain a low level of fat in the body for a long time and, as a consequence, there is a new increase in body fat. This phenomenon is very well described by the theory of the "fat point of adipose tissue".

A drastic diet will not help you lose weight, at most it will mobilize the body even more to protect fat stores.

According to her, each of us has genetically encoded reserves of adipose tissue, which the body aims at through various regulatory mechanisms. For example, due to an excessive reduction in fat levels, the shrinking fat cells will stimulate the hypothalamus neurons, which are responsible for regulating food intake.

Also, limiting calories too much will not be conducive to building energy-costly muscles, because the body will want to save fat at all costs. A drastic diet will not help you achieve your goal, at best it will mobilize the body even more to protect fat stores.

Functions of adipose tissue in the body

In addition, be aware that a certain amount of fat is essential for maintaining he alth. Because fat meets, among others, the following tasks in the body:

  • participates in the synthesis of cholesterol andcertain hormones
  • is required for the transport of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)
  • is an important component of cell membranes, myelin sheaths and the brain
  • surrounds the internal organs, thus providing them with protection and thermal insulation

Of course, there is a possibility of reducing the amount of fat in the body, but these changes must oscillate around a genetically determined tipping point. Both too little and too much fat in the body adversely affects he alth and worsens the body's exercise endurance.

Fat content in the human body

There are currently no standards for the body fat content of the human body. However, it is assumed that the basic fat (i.e. essential for the proper functioning of the body, it does not include the spare fat) should constitute approx. 3-5% of the body composition of an adult man and 8-12% of the weight of an adult woman.

The greater the amount indicates the amount of spare fat you have. In the case of women, these values ​​are higher because fat accumulates in the mammary glands and on the hips.

The table below shows the norms for fat content for physically active people and for comparison - for non-training people. For athletes, lower norms are recommended precisely because of the improvement of training possibilities.

Norms for the percentage of adipose tissue in non-training and physically active people (Lohman et al. 1997)

untrained peoplepeople traininguntrained peoplepeople traininguntrained peoplepeople training
18-40 years old8513102215
40-65 years old10718112518
65-85 years old10916122318
18-40 years old201628233528
40-65 years old252032273833
65-85 years old252030273533

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