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Thread: Tips for Using At-Home Body Fat Calipers? page

  1. #1
    MissJecka's Avatar
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    Question Tips for Using At-Home Body Fat Calipers?

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    I bought this set of Accumeasure Body Fat Calipers about a year ago or so -- Amazon.com: Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper: Health & Personal Care

    I decided to dust them off and measure my body fat so I can concentrate on tone rather than weight. I followed this tutorial and had my boyfriend do the measurements -- Health-calc - Skinfold D and W

    According to this calculator, I'm 25.3% body fat and my lean mass is 106.8. I expected something about that, so I'm not really surprised at that number. My question is, however... how accurate is this?

    I know calipers are supposed to be the best way to do body fat % calculations (other than the pricey tank thing you can do in a lab) but neither my boyfriend no I are professionals at using these things!

    Have you guys found these calipers to be accurate? Or this method of 4-spot measuring? Should I bother doing 7-spot?
    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
    >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
    >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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    Greenbeast's Avatar
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    i think it's about as accurate as you can get at home, as long as you're doing a 4-point (which requires a second person)

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    MissJecka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbeast View Post
    i think it's about as accurate as you can get at home, as long as you're doing a 4-point (which requires a second person)
    Yeah, my boyfriend did the measurements for me, and did three measurements at each of the four points just to make sure he was being as accurate as possible.
    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
    >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
    >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    More measurements = more accuracy (generally). There's a ton of websites that will do the calculation for you.

    The hard part is consistently getting the right pinch of skin and fat, being able to put the caliper far enough from your body but not too close to your fingers, and being consistent.

    This method is far more accurate and consistent than a BMI impedance scale. With an experienced "pincher," I believe it's the best available method to cheaply determine or monitor body fat percentage levels at home.

    But all the different formulas will still give you pretty varied numbers. You might be 25% on the 4-site test and 20 or 30% on a 7- or 9- pinch test. So pick one you feel is going to be easy to replicate and stick with it.

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    MissJecka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    More measurements = more accuracy (generally). There's a ton of websites that will do the calculation for you.

    The hard part is consistently getting the right pinch of skin and fat, being able to put the caliper far enough from your body but not too close to your fingers, and being consistent.

    This method is far more accurate and consistent than a BMI impedance scale. With an experienced "pincher," I believe it's the best available method to cheaply determine or monitor body fat percentage levels at home.

    But all the different formulas will still give you pretty varied numbers. You might be 25% on the 4-site test and 20 or 30% on a 7- or 9- pinch test. So pick one you feel is going to be easy to replicate and stick with it.
    Yeah, I'm a very data-driven nerd. Hell, I'm an Engineer - I think and dream numbers, and analyze everything!

    I figure as long as I have a baseline and do this the same way as the first time, I can still get a good trend going.

    Thanks for your comment.
    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
    >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
    >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

  6. #6
    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissJecka View Post
    Yeah, I'm a very data-driven nerd. Hell, I'm an Engineer - I think and dream numbers, and analyze everything!

    I figure as long as I have a baseline and do this the same way as the first time, I can still get a good trend going.

    Thanks for your comment.
    You're welcome. May your r-squareds approach 1.

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    MissJecka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    You're welcome. May your r-squareds approach 1.
    Now I suddenly want to plot this on a graph to see if my R2 does approach 1! Eep!
    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
    >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
    >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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