Navy formula for body fat %

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2010 7:33 PM GMT
    Hey all,

    I wanted to know what your thoughts were on the formula the navy uses to calculate body fat %. Is it accurate and worth doing or do I need to buy an expensive machine to get it?

    Thanks.

    Here is the calculator: http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/body-fat-percentage-calculator
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2010 8:02 PM GMT
    Don't know if the device is worth it or not. . . but according to the calculation of the website, my BF is 7.4%.
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    Dec 09, 2010 8:08 PM GMT
    I had mine measured last night with the hand held monitor. Its measurement was 18.5%
    According to the website mentioned above it is:
    "20.70 % using the U.S. Navy body fat formula, or 20.01 % using the formula developed by the YMCA."
    I got mine down from 24% at its highest this past summer by being more aware of what/when I eat and cardio. Though I never obsessed about it, I worked too hard and gave up on foods to want to use that web formula above.
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    Dec 09, 2010 10:49 PM GMT
    Here's the deal with any body fat composition unit (calipers, machine, electro-readers, homeo-static readers, water submersion) use them as a tool and that is it.

    Everyone in the fitness world agrees getting dunked is the most accurate test for composition. Calipers are a measuring tool and trainers can use up to 99 different formulas to calculate a %. The electro readers (hand, feet, whatever) are the least accurate to be honest as too many factors interrupt the single frequency (water, food, fat, bone density etc...).

    Nonetheless, when someone wants to use one of these devices as a tool I encourage them to use it as a simple too. What that means is, if you were to invest in some calipers, let's say, you would use them to measure the fat in a certain area on your body.

    Let's say it is January, you start a HIIT cardio program coupled with 3 days of weight lifting for tone. You measure your stomach, tricep and thigh. You get X reading.

    Now let's say it is March, you have been faithful to your plan and you remeasure the same spots and get Y results. What is more important is the difference between X and Y then the end computation.

    The same is said for any "body fat" monitor. Be aware of the difference, not the number and always try to mimic the conditions of the first measure.
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    Dec 10, 2010 12:12 AM GMT
    I had a scale that measured my body fat and it was way off. I had it measured by a trainer at the gym - I came out at 4% and he said it was too unhealthy, should be at 8-10%

    Reasoning... is that in a blunt force accident your internals could rupture.
  • novemberfox1

    Posts: 32

    Dec 10, 2010 12:26 AM GMT
    Haha with my body fat I would prolly break the damn thing...icon_razz.gif
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    Dec 10, 2010 12:29 AM GMT
    Just based on the measurements, I would not think it is too accurate. Check this site out for more accurate formulas, but they require some skill in taking caliper measurements of skin folds:

    http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

    You should use a good quality caliper for reliable pressure. (Two good ones are Lange and Harpeden - but they measure a bit differently due to spring and frontal area - these formulas are probably based on Lange, but you could check the reference ACSM Guide to be sure)

    This may be much more than you're interested in but anyway:

    The ideal thing would be to get an underwater test and compare with skin fold tests to calibrate, then use the skin fold tests as required.

    Even the underwater weighing is not generally more accurate than the skin fold if your residual lung capacity is approximated using formulas. If you could get to a lab that measures this via gas mixtures that you breathe, that would be the most accurate.
  • mmmm_mmmm

    Posts: 1658

    Dec 10, 2010 12:56 AM GMT
    Hmmm -- it says "7.35 % using the U.S. Navy body fat formula, or 3.81 % using the formula developed by the YMCA".

    This seems reasonably accurate. When I had myself tested at the Olympic center in Park City, UT, I has around 4%.

    Oh yeah -- a machine at a health fair recently said I was 43.5% BF lol
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    Dec 10, 2010 4:54 AM GMT
    CaliBoySwag saidI had a scale that measured my body fat and it was way off. I had it measured by a trainer at the gym - I came out at 4% and he said it was too unhealthy, should be at 8-10%

    Reasoning... is that in a blunt force accident your internals could rupture.


    I've heard that in case of sickness or accident/hospitalization the body has a food reserve. The response you got seems reasonable too.
  • UnluckyTitan

    Posts: 106

    Dec 10, 2010 5:46 AM GMT
    I think it depends on your goals, if you just want to loose and or track your body fat it's probalby OK. As long as you use the same messed up way of measuring each time you're still comparing apples to apples. If you just want an accurate measurement then I would find some place that does DEXA scans.
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    Dec 10, 2010 1:59 PM GMT
    CaliBoySwag saidI had a scale that measured my body fat and it was way off. I had it measured by a trainer at the gym - I came out at 4% and he said it was too unhealthy, should be at 8-10%

    Reasoning... is that in a blunt force accident your internals could rupture.


    You stop producing Semen under 3%
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    Dec 10, 2010 9:52 PM GMT
    Chainers saidHey all,

    I wanted to know what your thoughts were on the formula the navy uses to calculate body fat %. Is it accurate and worth doing or do I need to buy an expensive machine to get it?

    Thanks.

    Here is the calculator: http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/body-fat-percentage-calculator

    Why are you concerned about BF? You look really lean in your pics. I'm gonna guess under 12%.
    If you're applying for the Navy, I don't think you'll have any problems meeting their height/weight requirements.