Picturing Body Fat Percentage

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    Aug 24, 2012 4:00 AM GMT
    Last week, after not having done so in quite a while, I got my body fat tested at the gym using a 5-point ultrasound system. I was a little surprised by the result because I would have thought it was a few points higher based on where I've been historically and what I see in the mirror. I just came across this article that has clinically-verified pictures of different body fat percentages on both men and women. It's interesting to try and figure out where people would fall based solely on their appearance, and much harder than you'd think. (Queue a "guess the body fat percentage of the guy above you" thread. icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif )

    Check it out: http://paindatabase.com/bodyfat/
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    Aug 24, 2012 6:08 AM GMT
    18%
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    Aug 24, 2012 6:10 AM GMT
    I'm attracted to the 25.5% guy's build. A lot...

    I've never heard of ultrasound technology measuring body fat %. Is that new as of 2 months ago? Never had that discussed in any of my kines classes. Can you link to the method used?

    I have been measured and range from 12-15% myself (DEXA, BIA, calipers).
    When I swam competitively, I was 155 lbs and 3.4% body fat. Now I am 180 and 12-15%...I prefer my current build because it feels healthier and my muscles have some bulk as opposed to being purely lean and striated. I also don't bruise as easily. One time I was swimming in the school's pool and some bodybuilder was coming the other way and we slapped the backs of our hands in passing...My hand swoll and turned purple for a month. Now I have some fat padding icon_smile.gif

    Also note that health/fit/athletic body fat percentages are a huge range. When people strive for under 7% it really isn't something to brag about from a health perspective. All it's good for is taking pictures of your abs and posting them on the Internet.
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    Aug 24, 2012 6:15 AM GMT
    4.5%
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    Aug 24, 2012 6:15 AM GMT
    That article was definitely interesting to check out.
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    Aug 24, 2012 10:39 AM GMT
    GAMRican is 4.5%
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    Aug 24, 2012 10:42 AM GMT
    I go by the mirror instead of numbers.
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    Aug 24, 2012 10:43 AM GMT
    6%
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    Aug 24, 2012 10:49 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    paulflexes saidI go by the mirror instead of numbers.


    You do, do ya?

    After you deck yourself out?
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR-c4lHQH551IH6GLyFEx7
    After I undeck.
  • Rowing_Ant

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    Aug 24, 2012 10:50 AM GMT
    A shameful 22%

    It used to be as low as 13.5%

    And WILL BE AGAIN. stupid desk jobicon_evil.gif
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    Aug 24, 2012 11:14 AM GMT
    MMTM - You'd be 6-8% max.
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    Aug 24, 2012 11:30 AM GMT
    This guy gets my vote!...

    6725725296.jpg
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    Aug 24, 2012 12:25 PM GMT
    Hmm interesting feature.

    I used to think I was attracted to guys based on how muscular they were but what I've realized is that I actually like guys with low bf % even if they don't work out.

    Something kinda sexy about being able to see all of their muscles/veins that gets me going icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 24, 2012 12:41 PM GMT
    I use the omron handheld device and i am usually between 13% and 16 %
  • 24hourguy

    Posts: 364

    Aug 24, 2012 12:49 PM GMT
    OK' I guess I will working out this morning!
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    Aug 24, 2012 2:13 PM GMT
    bluey2223 saidI'm attracted to the 25.5% guy's build. A lot...

    I've never heard of ultrasound technology measuring body fat %. Is that new as of 2 months ago? Never had that discussed in any of my kines classes. Can you link to the method used?

    I have been measured and range from 12-15% myself (DEXA, BIA, calipers).
    When I swam competitively, I was 155 lbs and 3.4% body fat. Now I am 180 and 12-15%...I prefer my current build because it feels healthier and my muscles have some bulk as opposed to being purely lean and striated. I also don't bruise as easily. One time I was swimming in the school's pool and some bodybuilder was coming the other way and we slapped the backs of our hands in passing...My hand swoll and turned purple for a month. Now I have some fat padding icon_smile.gif

    Also note that health/fit/athletic body fat percentages are a huge range. When people strive for under 7% it really isn't something to brag about from a health perspective. All it's good for is taking pictures of your abs and posting them on the Internet.


    Bluey, they used this system for the measurement: http://www.intelametrix.com/update/BodyMetrixSystemPro.html. I had never used it either, and they didn't have it when I did my last measurement about six months ago.

    I think you're absolutely right that extremely low body fat percentages are not ideal health-wise. What a lot of guys don't realize is that these fitness models and physique competitors that many of us try to emulate do weeks of pretty ridiculous carb unloading/loading, sodium spiking/flushing, fluid restriction and calorie cutting to get photoshoot-ready abs. Of course, knowledge of that doesn't make me want to stop trying to push myself down to 6% (I am at 8.5% now). icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 24, 2012 2:23 PM GMT
    I am a bit of an expert on this subject. The ultrasound method is one of the more reliable body fat assessment methods. The DEX method is full of error, along with the Bodpod, etc. The electoimpedance method is an absolute waste of time since it has up to 10-20% error. If your gym does the handheld electrical method don't do it because it will be completely a waste of time and can screw you up because you could be lean and it tells you your body fat is over 20%.

    I would recommend using the caliper method and have the same person do it every time. There is still error but the reliability is better . In the end use the pinch method. If you can pinch more than an inch you need to loose some fat.
  • NashRugger

    Posts: 1089

    Aug 24, 2012 2:26 PM GMT
    14%
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    Aug 24, 2012 2:28 PM GMT
    That was an interesting read.
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    Aug 24, 2012 3:06 PM GMT
    SF79 saidCheck it out: http://paindatabase.com/bodyfat/

    Interesting info on that site with pics. While i work on my showy abs I'd go for that beefy 25.5% guy. So long as a guys belly size is less than his butt size. icon_razz.gif

    Whenever I look at a profile I check out height and weight and over the years I've become fairly good at guesstimating bf%. Most people grossly underestimate their bf%.

    And yes, most people don't realize that competition level is a whole different ball game. It is like if you go biking every week, don't expect to compete in the Olympic cycling event. Similarly even if you are a regular gym rat, don't expect to look like a comp level or the guy on a magazine cover. It takes a whole different level of work to get there.
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    Aug 25, 2012 2:47 AM GMT
    Thanks for the news. I hadn't heard of ultrasound and it looks like it's near DEXA. At the PhD guy from Illinois who is an expert (are you a kines professor? icon_smile.gif???), why do you say the DEXA is inaccurate? It is considered a standard for research--of course the inaccuracies can come in if it is not calibrated and your university didn't buy the Fat Block to calibrate it.

    SF79...no way you're 8.5% at your height and weight. Are you on any "supplements?" You've got a hot body either way...but that number seems quite low for an adult of your height and weight.
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    Aug 25, 2012 9:12 AM GMT
    Id say you are about 11%

    And wow, some guys are shootimg low. Do you know what about 4% body fat looks like??? Im at 11.5% at the moment and look at me.

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    Aug 25, 2012 9:17 AM GMT
    FitSportsman saidMMTM - You'd be 6-8% max.


    Never. That is really really cut. Like very low. A hard training athlete would have that fat %, or a bit lower. 11-13 would be more accurate as a guess.
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    Aug 25, 2012 9:51 AM GMT
    i have only ever done the caliper method (21 points) and have been as low as 11% and as high as 17%.

    i'm not sure i really care about the numbers though. i'd rather go by what i look like.

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    Aug 25, 2012 10:03 AM GMT
    I checked out the link the OP posted and saw physiques with BF levels in the single digits up to about 21% that I thought looked good.

    Guy above me I am guessing is at around 15 to 17% in his current profile pic. He looks good! icon_wink.gif

    BTW, before looking at the site the OP posted, I probably would have guessed more like 12 to 14%