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View Full Version : Measuring body fat with accuracy..is it possible?



MD2000
06-30-2003, 05:23 PM
I'm thinking about getting the calipers..which seem more reliable then simply standing on a scale or holding something to get the body fat..

Anyone know the best way to measure body fat?

Goosse_Man
06-30-2003, 05:29 PM
Look up the Parillo 9 Site Formula.

You will probably do it wrong (I'm pretty sure I do) but as long as you consistently do it wrong you will see your changes in BF levels. BF measuring is a bitch I personally hate it with a passion but itís something that has to be done. I would post a link for you but its just about time for me to head out. Good luck!

Goose

Ironman8
06-30-2003, 10:16 PM
I think underwater weighing is the most accurate.

aka23
07-01-2003, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by MD2000
I'm thinking about getting the calipers..which seem more reliable then simply standing on a scale or holding something to get the body fat..

Anyone know the best way to measure body fat?

The most accurate way to measure body fat is probably the Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiom test. This test is very expensive, so it is probably not available to you unless you are doing some type of medical study or have a severe medical problem.

The next most accurate is probably underwater weighing. However, it still may have errors for persons with atypical bone density. They offer this at my gym a couple times per month. Perhaps you have something similar.

The scale you mentioned probably uses bioelectrical impedance to measure body fat. The people who make these products claim they are more accurate than skin callipers, but Consumer Reports found that it overestimates body fat in women by an average of 8% and in men by 3%. They also have often have problems with inconsistent results. Personally I would trust skin callipers above these. I think the biggest problem with bioelctrical impedence measures is that they vary greatly with hydration. This produces inconsistent results depending on meals timing, exercise timing, water rentention, and hydration status.

I would suggest using skin callipers. Every gym that I have been a member at (24 Hour Fitness , Golds, and College Gym) has offered these skin calliper tests at no additonal cost. I think that skin callipers are most useful for consistent measures and tracking changes. If accuracy is desired, there are better methods, such as underwater weighing.

A skin calliper test is only as accurate as the forumula you use. Each formula tends to overestimate or underestimate certain groups. The Jackson-Pollock 3-site (chest,abs,thigh) is one of the most common ones. It tends to underestimate totals in younger weightlifters. When I measure my body fat, I take the median of seven formulas using an Excel spreadsheet. This spreadsheet does the calculations automatically after you type in the skin fold measures. You can download the spreadsheet at http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=493036&highlight=jacksonpollock#post493036 . Save it to your computer by right-clicking.

MD2000
07-01-2003, 07:17 PM
Cool..I'm thinking about trying this one..its pretty cheap..
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2937319946&category=33165

drew
07-02-2003, 11:10 AM
One of the universities nearby offers the submersion method. Going to look into getting it done.