Help me estimate my body fat %?

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 16, 2014 3:20 PM GMT
    I'd gotten out of the habit of lifting weights for a while -- I spent the spring and summer running outdoors, and rarely hit the gym -- and now I'm back into trying to get a bit serious about it. I'd find it useful to get a good estimate of where I'm starting from. And so for that, I ask for the wisdom of the crowd. Can anyone help me estimate my general boy fat % from a couple of images?

    ea5c94e7f092f94a8e49f81f7df57421.jpg
    a0cc13e44a3975917f845253ace8ad43.jpg

    Measurements which might be helpful in estimating:
    Height: 6 foot
    Weight: 159 pounds
    Waist: 31 inches at navel
    Chest: 36.5 inches at nipples
  • vhotti26

    Posts: 287

    Sep 16, 2014 3:25 PM GMT
    Looks like around 15%.
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Sep 16, 2014 4:45 PM GMT
    Yeah, I'd say about 15%. Although if you wanna know where you're starting from, I assume this is for further comparison and validation of progress.

    Hence, you should probably get it measured for real. Because, you know, "I have 3% less body fat mass than what these random dudes on Realjock thought I had based on 2 pictures, 2 months ago" isn't suuuuper accurate neither encouraging.
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    Sep 16, 2014 4:59 PM GMT
    malebodyfat11.jpg

    menbodyfat2.jpg
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 16, 2014 5:06 PM GMT
    Disasterpiece saidYeah, I'd say about 15%. Although if you wanna know where you're starting from, I assume this is for further comparison and validation of progress.

    Hence, you should probably get it measured for real. Because, you know, "I have 3% less body fat mass than what these random dudes on Realjock thought I had based on 2 pictures, 2 months ago" isn't suuuuper accurate neither encouraging.


    Eh, less for encouragement than a) to make sure I'm not delusional, and b) to give me a moderately-useful baseline for estimating things like BMR. Exercise and diet are recreational for me, rather than me being a competitive athlete, and thus my student budget doesn't always prioritize spending the money on something with greater reliability.
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    Sep 16, 2014 5:18 PM GMT
    Use this OP

    http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/bodyfat
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    Sep 16, 2014 5:36 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd said
    Disasterpiece saidYeah, I'd say about 15%. Although if you wanna know where you're starting from, I assume this is for further comparison and validation of progress.

    Hence, you should probably get it measured for real. Because, you know, "I have 3% less body fat mass than what these random dudes on Realjock thought I had based on 2 pictures, 2 months ago" isn't suuuuper accurate neither encouraging.

    Eh, less for encouragement than a) to make sure I'm not delusional, and b) to give me a moderately-useful baseline for estimating things like BMR. Exercise and diet are recreational for me, rather than me being a competitive athlete, and thus my student budget doesn't always prioritize spending the money on something with greater reliability.

    You cannot estimate body fat % from a photograph. One of the problems is deep body fat, embedded within your muscles, like a cut of striated beef you get in the supermarket. Fat isn't all in visible love handles and beer bellies.

    When I taught college PE I began each new semester with a strength test and body fat analysis of my students. What amazed me was that some very buff young guys had fat percentages in the 20%+ range. And yet they had 6-packs and all. Not surprisingly, those good-looking muscles weren't so strong, either, when I measured their performance. Because they were riddled with useless fat.

    The simplest method is the caliper pinch test. Many gyms can do that for you. Some home scales now have electronic methods of estimating body fat as you stand on them, but their accuracy can be poor. More accurate than either is underwater weighing, but that requires special facilities, sometimes found in university athletic programs.

    But eyeballing a photograph is very dubious, pure guesswork in my opinion.