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View Full Version : BF% vs. muscle...



Beavereater
11-29-2004, 09:49 PM
This is kinda hard to explain. The gym I work at has had this new big ass body fat machine, that tests all sorts of other stuff in your body I didn't know could be tested. You stand on, they strap stuff to your hands, you stand there for about 3 minutes and it prints out the results.

Anyway, I knew my bf was high (I'm fat) but everyone got confused when they looked at one portion of this massive chart. They have an outline of your body, and it's colored where there is good or bad muscle growth. If your body is ALL red, your a monster (A pro) I was the one color below that which is orange (Very atheletic)...the shades go down another 5 colors to purple (Get your fat ass off the sofa color).

Anyway, long story short...why would I have such muscle, and be fat? My bf is 37%...(I know, got a long way to go)

Vido
11-29-2004, 10:40 PM
Chances are the machine just isn't accurate...simple as that.

Patz
11-29-2004, 10:40 PM
maybe you just have a large muscle structure by nature under your fat..i kinda do..my bodyfat (as measured by one of those little home scales where you wet your feet and step on it) was 22% a few months ago, but thing may not be accurate..i thin it cost about 100 bucks..and i'm 6'1 and 240..i've never seriously worked out til the last 2 months..you may carry a lot of leg muscle or something..that's where i carry most of mine..i could always max out the leg machines in school, but i couldn't bench anything..who knows?..just use it as motivation to know that somewhere in there is a rippped monster waiting to bust out and take no prisoners!

PizDoff
11-29-2004, 11:34 PM
please explain "good or bad muscle growth."

Beavereater
11-29-2004, 11:44 PM
Chances are the machine just isn't accurate...simple as that.

I think it's pretty accurate. The machine is used in hospitals and nutrient centers (Or so they say)


please explain "good or bad muscle growth."

I may have mistaken the way I worded it, what is says is Muscle Mass Balance, and the scale they use goes from RED which reads as the high fitness level, and moves down the scale to purple which reads as low fitness level.

Vido
11-29-2004, 11:47 PM
I think it's pretty accurate. The machine is used in hospitals and nutrient centers (Or so they say)

It's clearly not accurate if you know you are in the 37% range, and it's telling you that you have a "very athletic" build.

Beavereater
11-29-2004, 11:58 PM
It's telling me, under the fat, that I have an atheletic build. It says that I am fat, that I need to lose weight, so on and so on...but are you saying that it's not possible to have a atheletic build under fat. Or is it, if you are fat, you are mostly fat and have no muscle. I lift more than some of my more physically appealing friends do...

EDIT: I should also add that I don't do any cardio and only muslce training. I was hoping to lose the weight (Fat) through mostly diet. After losing enough, I wanted to get my cardio in by running. I ran before, but I screwed up my knew (I don't know if it was the running or another exercise)

EDIT2: I lost 6KGs since September doing this. AND gained definition in my arms, something I never really had before.

Vido
11-30-2004, 12:13 AM
It's telling me, under the fat, that I have an atheletic build. It says that I am fat, that I need to lose weight, so on and so on...but are you saying that it's not possible to have a atheletic build under fat. Or is it, if you are fat, you are mostly fat and have no muscle. I lift more than some of my more physically appealing friends do...

I see what you're saying, I guess. I still am not totally convince of the accuracy of the machine, but I misinterpreted what you meant initially.


EDIT2: I lost 6KGs since September doing this. AND gained definition in my arms, something I never really had before.

If you have any definition in your arms AT ALL, you are not 37%.

Beavereater
11-30-2004, 12:53 AM
If you have any definition in your arms AT ALL, you are not 37%.

When I say definition, I mean SOME definition, but not a whole lot. More than I have seen since I was a kid. Without posting an embarrasing pic of myself its hard to explain. All my fat is around my waist, and thighs...but like mrelwooddowd I can lift serious weight with legs, but only recently been able to lift more with my upper body.

Any advice on the best way to keep the muscle and get rid of the fat ASAP.

Dirt
11-30-2004, 01:03 AM
When I say definition, I mean SOME definition, but not a whole lot. More than I have seen since I was a kid. Without posting an embarrasing pic of myself its hard to explain. All my fat is around my waist, and thighs...but like mrelwooddowd I can lift serious weight with legs, but only recently been able to lift more with my upper body.

Any advice on the best way to keep the muscle and get rid of the fat ASAP.

What you are saying is impossible. Considering you're unlikely to have definition anywhere when you're 20+% BF, the fact you claim to be 37% with definition in your arms is absurd. 37% BF is severely obese, if you have 37% you have no definition anywhere. So either you have definition and are therefore not 37% BF or you are 37% BF and have no definition. They are two mutually exclusive things. End of discussion.

Vido
11-30-2004, 01:03 AM
Any advice on the best way to keep the muscle and get rid of the fat ASAP.

If retention of muscle is either a primary or secondary goal you basically can't "get rid of the fat ASAP". You have to diet slowly to keep muscle. Track your calories, lift weights, do some cardio and just make sure you're eating below maintenance (hopefully fairly clean foods).

UD2 does exactly what you want (fast fat loss with retention of muscle), but it's a fairly hardcore approach and is usually recommended for those 15% or under. Most people at your bodyfat are not really concerned with muscle retention so basically a simple low calorie diet will allow them to lose fat.

Vido
11-30-2004, 01:05 AM
What you are saying is impossible. Considering you're unlikely to have definition anywhere when you're 20+% BF, the fact you claim to be 37% with definition in your arms is absurd. 37% BF is severely obese, if you have 37% you have no definition anywhere. So either you have definition and are therefore not 37% BF or you are 37% BF and have no definition. They are two mutually exclusive things. End of discussion.

Maybe a little harsh, but I can't say what he's saying isn't true.

Beavereater
11-30-2004, 01:16 AM
What you are saying is impossible. Considering you're unlikely to have definition anywhere when you're 20+% BF, the fact you claim to be 37% with definition in your arms is absurd. 37% BF is severely obese, if you have 37% you have no definition anywhere. So either you have definition and are therefore not 37% BF or you are 37% BF and have no definition. They are two mutually exclusive things. End of discussion.


OK...well, I'll have to stand on the machine again I guess. Maybe my perception of definition is a little different at this time. I'm not talking about being cut...but anyway

oph40
11-30-2004, 06:09 AM
There are two ways to reasonably measure body fat. One is with calipers using a nine point measurement. (You can buy calipers for $20 on the internet, ie accumeasure, comes with instructions). Or you can have water submersion measurements. (A third way, once you have measured several times and are good at guestimating, is looking in the mirror).

The machine you stepped on would measure arnold schwarzenegger as 30% body fat in his prime. The calculations are based on averages, and if your not average, its a random number generator.

Patz
11-30-2004, 09:13 PM
dude..what is your height and weight..i was thinking after my post that 37% is a lot..i'm (maybe)22%, and i carry a good bit of fat..i wonder if it screwed up the bodyfat measurement, and maybe not the muscle structure thingy?

The_Brick
11-30-2004, 11:32 PM
Calliper test or submerged body test is the only accurate methods for measuring BF%.
There's no way it measures your bodyfat accurately by strapping electrodes to your hands, they may as well claim it can transport you back in time.

geoffgarcia
11-30-2004, 11:51 PM
without knowing the model/manufacturer of the unit your not giving us much room to assist you in any way other than the naysayers pointing out that they disagree with BIA.

oph40
12-01-2004, 05:14 AM
"NIH PANEL EVALUATES BODY FAT ANALYZERS
A panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health today recognized the potential value of monitors frequently used to measure body fat, but they cautioned against misinterpreting the values derived from these devices.

Machines using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are commonly believed to measure body fat. However, BIA actually determines the body's ability to conduct an electrical current, which reflects the total amount of water in the body. This measurement is then used to determine an estimate of body fat levels.

The panel recognized the importance of BIA in assessing the body composition of healthy individuals and of those with a number of chronic conditions. However, the panel expressed concern about the lack of standardization of these devices, especially in light of their wide use in health clubs, physicians' offices and hospitals.

These machines are preloaded with software to calculate body fat based on the measurement of body water. Within each machine there are built-in assumptions about individual characteristics with regards to age, ethnicity, body size and fitness level.

BIA can give estimates of body fat levels, but it's unlikely that it will measure short-term changes in body fat or muscle as a result of increased physical activity or changes in diet. While standardizing BIA machines may improve their accuracy, we must also focus on improving the technology itself," said panel chairman Dr. John Rombeau, professor of surgery at the Hospital University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

During BIA, electrodes are placed on a wrist and ankle, and a very low electric current, which cannot be felt, is passed through the body. The change in voltage between electrodes measured and used to determine the person's total body water. Calculations are then made using this information, which results in an estimate of body fat.

Before undergoing BIA, certain requirements for testing should be met. The panel recommended that persons being tested should be lying down at least several minutes and have not eaten for at least 4 hours. Other factors the panel identified as affecting the test results include recent moderate to strenuous exercise, dehydration, and skin and room temperature. This test may prove to be less accurate in assessing extremes in body composition.

Among their recommendations for future research, the thirteen member panel emphasized the need to learn more about how BIA works and the scientific principles upon which it is based. The group also recommended that the equations used to derive body ft estimates be made available to researchers and clinicians in an effort to allow more uniform application of BIA. Additionally, the experts recommended further studies to determine if population-specific equations may be needed to estimate body fat in older people as well as in the very lean, the obese, and ethnic groups."

If the above report from NIH convinces you that BIA is accurate then use, I will use calipers.