How important is BMI?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Mindcandy, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. Hi folks, I've been lurking for a while and wanted to say thanks for some of the advice I've read whilst here - it's been very useful so far. I do have a question now though which I hope someone can answer:

    How important is it that I am within BMI?

    I am looking to join the Navy as a CISSM and passed my recruit test yesterday (yay), I'm training hard for the fitness test but 12 years of working in I.T. has really taken it's toll - I'm 33 years old, 5'10" and 17 stone which puts my BMI score at 35.

    Thing is, I CAN do the required number of sit up's, push up's and make the run time (though I admit it ain't pretty!).

    I'm dreading being told I can't join up unless I lose over 4 stone in weight which is what would be required to get my BMI score to within the 'normal' range. Losing that much weight 'safely' would take me a minimum of 4 months, more likely 6.

    Any advice welcome.

  2. BMI is very very important - i am flying with them on me jollies
  3. Rugby-playing types with a lot of extra muscle do confuse the BMI scores, and MOs can easily tell if the high BMI is down to muscle, and pass people who fall into that category.

    However, it sounds like yours is all lard, so it'll have to be shifted.
  4. jockpopeye

    jockpopeye Badgeman Book Reviewer

    Very important, although it can be skewed by large amounts of muscle.

    As a benchmark I had a medical to join the RNR in January and at 29 years old, 6'0'' and weighed in at 15.5 stone was told that my BMI was too high. As an accountant it was / is lard.

    Was told to loose 7 kg which is about 15lbs.

    I can imagine that you will be asked to loose rather more than that so get cracking with it now.

    I am down from a maximum of about 17.5 stone at the start of 2008, so it is not impossible.

    Loosing weight is not as easy as you might think, I would expect it to take you while to loose as much as you will be required to.

    I would advise you to go to weight watchers (or something similar) as it will give you a diet to follow and then add plenty of sport / cardio on top of that.


    PS if you are single weight watchers is full of fit women, who have no need to be there, as probably the only bloke you will be something of a novelty, happy hunting!
  5. In Service language, you are a fat knacker!! Get on a reducing diet and stick to it. Exercise will get you "fit" but only diet will get you to the slim handsome sailor you want to be. Joining a weight watchers club will give you resolve and advice; as you come down in weight you will gain great regard for yourself and an immense boost in self-confidence. This could be where your life changes for ever!!
  6. Hi there,

    If you BMI is over 30 then you will definitely be asked to lose weight. Our Naval Medical examiners have some options to waiver slightly higher BMI based on size/amount of muscle.

    If you want a career within the RN then you will need to get your weight down and be able to pass the annual fitness test (1.5 mile run in set time).

    Your careers advisor should be able to give you a rough target weight based on BMI.

    Hope this helps and good luck with the weight loss.


  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    As SM states, even mahoosive, big framed, muscle-bound hunks such as myself need to meet at the very least a maximum BMI of 28 in order to join. If you really are absolutely mahoosive, then the odds are your CV fitness is not good enough to undertake phase one recruit training.

    After completing training it's up to the individual if they wish to body-build.
  8. BMI is outdated, archaic and wildly inaccurate. I am 6 foot, 13 and a half stone with not an ounce of fat on me and my BMI is 28 which says "Fat cnut".

    I can't believe people still use it.
  9. So your saying your 100% Muscle? :)

    Im taking a guess but if your BMI is in the 'Fat Biatch' - 'Obese' Range and you LOOK built(Muscley) then im guessing the doc would see your body fat/muscle. But i dunno.
  10. MLP is a bloater MLP is a bloater, :D :wink:
  11. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Some arguments against BMI:

    1. It lumps all overweight or obese people into the same few categories. The problem with this is that there are varying degrees of being overweight as the excess weight is often distributed differently amongst individuals. That being said, to have one measure for everyone doesn’t take body type or other related factors into consideration.

    2. It doesn’t take elements such as bone or muscle into consideration with its measurement. To go along with the different body types, a “one size fits all†type of approach doesn’t take into consideration the fact that some people have muscle that automatically makes them bulkier. An athletic body type for example may make somebody appear to be bigger or unhealthy if you look at their BMI alone.

    3. It improperly classifies certain groups of individuals. For those who carry their weight in certain places, they may be classified as overweight when really they aren’t. Genetics certainly play a part in how people carry their weight or even gain their weight and you can’t fix one number to everyone without considering all of these factors.

    4. It wrongfully benefits the insurance industry through higher premiums, often times unjustly assigned. When insurance companies look only at a BMI as some do, they are only getting one piece of the puzzle and this is not a fair measurement. This can cause inflated premiums for people who have a higher BMI number but who are in all reality perfectly healthy individuals.

    5. It acts as one overall average when there are varying degrees and special circumstances that should be taken into consideration. Again it goes to show that everybody has an individual genetic pattern, make up, and ways in which they carry their weight. If you only take certain measurements and assign a given number to it, you are skipping over the many other factors that describe a picture of a person’s health.

    6. It’s a method by which too many doctors or nutritionists put their faith into. There are some doctors or even nutritionists who use a BMI as their main source of measuring a person’s health and weight. This may result in improper diagnosis or unnecessary treatment if other factors aren’t taken into consideration. While BMI can certainly be a part of measuring the health of an individual, it certainly shouldn’t encompass the whole thing.

    7. There’s no such thing as the “average†man or woman that it is mathematically based off of. The “average†woman is a size 14 but that’s not the “norm†that you see walking down the street. The point is that there’s no such thing as “average†because that’s just taking the population and dividing lines amongst it. A person can weigh more in theory but then in reality may carry a great deal of muscle mass with them. When we deal with averages such as BMI does, we get into dangerous territory.
  12. You just have to burn more calories in your daily life than you shovel into your mouth. Doesn't matter if that means eating 4000 calories and burning 5000 - although you may have to ride the Tour de France etc to achieve this sort of burnage with any regularity - or eating 1500 and burning 2500. Diet alone isn't particularly helpful, as without increasing your exercise level you'll have to eat nothing but cress and raw carrot in order to actually lose weight.

    Increase exercise, decrease food. If I were a minor celebrity I would drag this advice out over 700 pages and charge £20 for it.
  13. You cant be BMI 28 if you weigh that much, i weigh 13.42 stone and i am 6 foot as well and my BMI is 25.5 so you will be in the normal range, anything above 26 is classed as overweight
  14. Way before the days of BMI I did the aircrew survival course. One mate was about 2.5 stone overweight, but always pulled through on the compulsory runs etc at Dartmouth.

    He lost a good stone in 6 days of no food in the New Forest in February, and quite enjoyed the new, slimmer version of himself.

    So, Mindcandy, take a tent and a water bottle to your nearest country park, and walk around for six hours a day, but don't eat, until you've shed the required lard. Make sure it's around 0C (as it was in Feb 1979) to ease off the pounds that bit faster.

    Don't do as matey mentioned above then did, and put it all back on again on with the help of Sam Smiths OBB, as he did when we went to Yorkshire for flying training.
  15. Haha - I was expecting a certain amount of 'Fat Bloke' gags - glad to see you didn't let me down!

    I'm not afraid to admit I'm overweight - I know it! the issue I guess is whether I'm likely to be told 'come back once you've lost 4 stone' or whether they'll say that since I can already make the run times that it's ok to join up now and lose weight during my stint at Raleigh?

    Guess it can't hurt to start dieting now regardless... do they make low cal big macs?
  16. What time are you required to get for your PJFT?
  17. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yeah. They're called 'salads'... 8O
  18. 13mins 18 secs is the time for the pre-joining test at my local gym but I understand this comes down to 12mins 8 secs once I'm at Raleigh. I'm currently training with the intention of doing it under 12mins on the day just so I know I can do it but it's been hard.

    I know a lot of people on a lot of forums talk about being able to walk it in those times - not exactly helpful comments though. Fitness was never an issue for me until I decided I wanted to do this job so I'm fighting 12 years of accumulated flab, I've been held back by shin splints most of all. Good trainers, Deep Heat spray and Ibruprofen are mostly what gets me through!
  19. Everyone carries fat - like cholesterol, it performs a vital metabolic function.

    My BMI is 31 but i'm not a lardy - 98% of the extra weight is brain tissue..... situated round my waist! :biggrin: :roll: :wink:

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