How to test/measure body fat

  • Goodluckyman

    Posts: 104

    May 02, 2015 10:00 PM GMT
    Someone help me, HOow do I measure body fat in a less expensive way?
  • Prototypex

    Posts: 35

    May 03, 2015 1:02 AM GMT
    I got this small portable device called Aim by SKULPT. It cost me $199 and works like a charm. It gives you a target fat percentage of a muscle or your overall fat percentage. You can measure all day all weeks and I find it costing much less for the long run. Google it.
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    May 03, 2015 5:08 AM GMT
    Prototypex saidI got this small portable device called Aim by SKULPT...
    the electric current or impedance devices have been around for years. Only moderate accuracy but some information is better than none. As your body fat gets low your taking a risk with these devices.

    water submersion is more accurate
  • Goodluckyman

    Posts: 104

    May 03, 2015 5:28 AM GMT
    You guys are super. I appreciate you.
  • oldfart

    Posts: 328

    May 04, 2015 5:29 AM GMT
    Our Y has a Tanita electronic scale that seems to be pretty good. If you can find a gym or a trainer who uses one of these you could ask for an assessment - but you will have to listen to their sales pitch that they want train you (and you would pay them for that program of course.) So know that going in.

    I am curious if anyone else here uses that equipment. Ours is a 300A I believe. It seems fairly accurate, but the last 5 months I've been in recomposition and I can see muscle gain and fat decrease, but the scale does not show much. It does have two settings, one for 'average build' and another for 'athletic build.' These give radically different results (it uses different calculations.) How do I know when to switch body type on that setting?
  • Goodluckyman

    Posts: 104

    May 04, 2015 1:00 PM GMT
    Thanks.. Am going to ask at the gym whatever theyhave
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    May 04, 2015 3:51 PM GMT
    The scales and other devices that use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are not good because they are dependent on many factors that can fluctuate widely, such as your degree of hydration. I had a good one that I used as soon as I got up in the morning and the measurements were far from consistent. Also, many of them have you set a mode (e.g. athlete, non-athlete) that can cause the results to change significantly. If you are on the border between their criteria to set the mode, picking one verses the other can be arbitrary, with significantly different results.

    Calipers can be good if done consistently by someone experienced. They are not all that accurate but they will give you a trend. Some argue you can get the same trend by taking photos of yourself.

    Underwater weighing used to be considered the gold standard if done properly. A good lab as part of the protocol measures your residual lung volume, needed for calculations. Some of the trucks that used to go from club to club in my area just approximated this measurement, which led to their underwater weighing not more accurate than calipers.

    The most accurate today is thought by some to be the dual-energy x-ray absorption (DEXA or DXA) scan. It can range from $40 on up. Some are now questioning its accuracy. You can google that and see example of its reports. It is used for bone density measurements, but also for body fat composition, with different software and reports.
  • Goodluckyman

    Posts: 104

    May 05, 2015 4:13 PM GMT
    Oh my! It never occurred to me that it can such a complicated endeavour. I thought it would be as simple and accurate and objective as other measures. Anyway, I will still follow up to see what us there.

    I appreciate your input
  • tennsjock

    Posts: 349

    May 08, 2015 12:02 PM GMT
    The cheapest solution is just a body fat percentage calculator that uses your measurements--waste, neck, thighs, etc.--to determine your body fat percentage. Both the YMCA and the Navy have developed their own formulas for converting your measurements into body fat percentages.

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

    This is not as accurate as water submersion, but should at least give you consistent results, so you can monitor progress.
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    May 08, 2015 7:20 PM GMT
    Have a handsome doctor take measurements of your naked body...
  • umphreak

    Posts: 43

    May 12, 2015 2:53 PM GMT
    I'd find a Bod Pod near you. The packages aren't all that expensive. It's extremely accurate if you follow the instructions (not eating/drinking before your measurement, etc.). Check yourself once a month--i found it extremely helpful.

    Whatever means you use--be consistent. Test the same time of day, under the same conditions, etc.. Even if you use one of this scales that test body fat (they're horribly inaccurate), you'll still probably see trends.
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    May 13, 2015 1:37 AM GMT
    umphreak saidWhatever means you use--be consistent. Test the same time of day, under the same conditions, etc.. Even if you use one of this scales that test body fat (they're horribly inaccurate), you'll still probably see trends.

    ^
    This. I figure most methods have a margin for error. Just today, 30 days from my first testing, I was assessed at the gym, same time, same conditions, with the same "zapper," which showed that in that time I lost 20 lbs, only two of which were muscle. Supposedly that's very good, even accounting for a wide margin of error. I think the point is, aside from maybe a digital scale to keep you on track as to how what eating habits affect you, not to micromanage the testing but look for trends over time. Using the same tools under the same conditions.
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    May 13, 2015 3:09 AM GMT
    PINCH MORE THAN AN INCH.....FAT!
    FRONT.....SIDES....