My scale says I'm 20% body fat, but looking at example pictures, I look nothing like the guys with 20%. I'd say I'm probably closer to 17% or 18%.
So obviously, something is off. Does anyone have suggestions for getting my BF% more accurately?
asked bypaleohacks (78467)
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on May 14, 2010
at 01:04 AM
Any bodyfat measurement can go awry. A "state of the art" hydrostatic measurement of Mark Sisson last year pegged him at 16.9% BF, while the average guess in his "guess my bodyfat" contest was 6.7% ( http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-value-of-lab-values/ ).
The most important factor in measuring your bodyfat is directional--is it going up, down, or sideways? Most types of measurement are consistent enough to give you a directional indication, even if the actual number is off.
I use two indicators to estimate my bodyfat: (1) a mirror and (2) an online calculator ( http://www.bmi-calculator.net/body-fat-calculator/ ). It's probably not accurate, but I know which direction I'm going.
on May 15, 2010
at 04:34 AM
about.com Body Fat Calculator which uses the navy method works pretty good, and is supposed to be comparable to calipers, best part is all you need is a measuring tape or something you can wrap around yourself and than measure.
Granted, consistency in the spot you are measuring is key, but its always worked out to be the same measure as other methods for me.
found another one via Marks daily apple that not only has the tape/navy method but several caliper methods as well so there's a couple to try and get consensus if you have the time.
on May 14, 2010
at 01:12 AM
If you are unable to find a hydrostaic body fat setup to get an accurate %, try to find a trainer/coach/anyone with EXTENSIVE body fat testing experience using the skin calipers.
I have seen most of the electronic systems that you hold in your hand, or stand on, and I have seen people go mad chasing those #s. Gimmicks at best in my honest opinion.
If you know someone who can do skin caliper testing accurately and methodically, I'd venture a guess and say that that is the most accurate "home" system you can get outside of the hydrostatic dunk tanks.
on May 13, 2010
at 10:51 PM
The electrical impedance based testers can be off by about 3%. I have used one by Omron & it tends to be at least 3% higher than a caliper based (skin fold) test. Here is the first body fat calipers I found online: http://www.accumeasurefitness.com/products/fitness3000.html $20