Learn about body mass index and compute your own with this simple calculator.
So What is Body Mass Index?
Like other tools, such as body fat or weight, BMI is simply another method to help assess your level of fitness. It is not the only tool available, and certainly should be taken in the context of your overall fitness levels. While statistics show that the BMI is a great predictor of general health factors, it does have one disadvantage: it does not take into account the amount of lean mass (non-fat, including muscle) you have.
You must learn your body fat percentage in order to compute this. Since BMI functions by comparing your height to your weight, for the general population, this makes a great indicator of your general shape or condition. However, someone with an extraordinarily large amount of muscle mass, such as a bodybuilder, may seem to be at risk (due to the heavy weight) when in fact they are perfectly healthy.
For another, similar method that uses your lean mass rather than your total weight, check out the Fat Free Mass Index.