Quick post to clear up a misconception I see quite a lot online.
You probably have an idea of approximate body fat levels. Perhaps you’ve read something like “less than 10-12% bodyfat to see 6 pack abs” or that “ripped bodybuilders usually get to 4-6% bodyfat”.
However as is often in the fitness industry information can be presented from a Male centric point of view.
The actual reality is that Women have around 8-9% more body fat than men for any given criteria.
This is completely natural, and largely due to hormonal differences and women having greater reproductive responsibilities. It’s quite common for females to stop having their monthly menstruating cycles once they drop below a certain body fat level. Much in the same way men’s testosterone levels will drop when they get super lean.
This in no way means that women cannot get ripped, they simply operate within a higher bodyfat spectrum than men.
So for example:
A shredded bodybuilder: Male 3-5%, Female 11-14%
Average range to see good abs: Male 10-12%, Female 18-21%
So if you ever see a lady saying she is below 10% body fat, this is unrealistic. It likely just means they have based their measurements on male body fat standards.
In any case, when measuring body fat levels, the most important thing is to use as close to the exact same procedure as possible. So if you get your PT from the gym to take your measurements with calipers, try to use the same person and process each time. This way you can track you progress relatively based off your previous readings.