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Thread: how do you measure your body fat?? page

  1. #1
    fra0039's Avatar
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    how do you measure your body fat??

    So, I know the theory behind the different ways of measuring body fat, but what method are you guys using? I have a scale like this at home, from Omron:
    Weiterleitungshinweis
    and also have the classic accu-measure caliper

    but am not that happy with the reliability of the measurements I get...

  2. #2
    norak's Avatar
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    The simple answer is: you don't.

    Personally I use a combination of weight and waist measurements to monitor my progress. I don't know the exact body fat percentage, but if the waistline is going down, I know I'm probably progressing, even if the weight isn't moving too much. You could also measure other body parts (i.e. chest, thighs, arms), depending on where your body prefers to store excess fat (this varies between individuals).

    I've also done a test similar to the one provided by your scale at a fitness center, but even if that is also inaccurate (although assumed more accurate than a (cheaper) home device), the absolute measurements are not really all that relevant. What is relevant is comparing measurements over time.

    Say, for example, that you measure your BF at 30% and then, six months later, you measure it again at 25%. You don't know if you're actually 25%, since the measurement is inaccurate, but you know you have less BF now than the last measurement.
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    I once did a hydrostatic body composition test in a university body performance lab. It's a test where you get submerged underwater and weighted. Some say it's one of the most precise body fat tests but also quite expensive and time consuming.

    I meant to buy one of those smart scales but after reading users' reviews and how inaccurate they were I opted not to. Once in a while I used calipers but they can be +/-3% off. So now I resort to the mirror as my body composition tool. If I like what I see, I'm happy.
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    I use a Tanita Ironman Body comp scale for trend analysis but never rely upon it for accuracy. If I want an accurate test, there is a truck that comes to my health club every 3 months that has a hydrostatic dunk tank in the back and for $30 you get a pretty accurate measurement.

  5. #5
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    I use an on-line calculator which computes based on tape measurements of various locations. It's not precise as far as actual body fat percentage, but it does give me a fairly accurate picture of improvement relative to previous measures.

    LG




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  6. #6
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    Even hydrostatic weighing can be highly inaccurate, as Mark showed: The Value of Lab Values | Mark's Daily Apple

    I just use my calipers every now and then to see if the measurements has gone up or down. I don't bother to computer my percentage.

  7. #7
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    Men, hold your crotch. Women, hold your boobs. Jump up and down in front of the mirror. The amount of wobbly bits is how much fat you have.

    This method measures your body fat down to .00005 of a percent.

  8. #8
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    I have a hand-held body fat measurer and one of my scales does it too. The difference between the two is about 6%

    So it's basically best to take constant measurements and track the change.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by norak View Post
    Say, for example, that you measure your BF at 30% and then, six months later, you measure it again at 25%. You don't know if you're actually 25%, since the measurement is inaccurate, but you know you have less BF now than the last measurement.
    This is probably the easiest. I have a Tanita scale that measures body fat. Who knows how accurate it is, but I weigh myself under the same conditions every day, so as long as the trend over time is going downwards, I feel pretty good about it.

    Hydrostatic testing, DEXA body scans, and getting pinched by a personal trainer who has a lot of experience with calipers are probably the three most accurate ways to get tested.

    Some people like using the at-home calipers... but again, there's a learning curve in figuring out how to take measurements consistently every time.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fist View Post
    Men, hold your crotch. Women, hold your boobs. Jump up and down in front of the mirror. The amount of wobbly bits is how much fat you have.

    This method measures your body fat down to .00005 of a percent.
    This.
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