Body Fat % Calculation...

  • xspot21

    Posts: 56

    Apr 23, 2009 7:11 PM GMT
    hey people! so I want to find out what my body fat percentage is but I'm not sure what the best and most accurate approach is. I tried thumping my tummy and counting the seconds 'till the ripples stopped, but I can't find the equation to convert that to a percentage. Any suggestion on gadgets or gizmos?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 23, 2009 7:57 PM GMT
    Underwater Weighing

    I took the time to google on this for you.

    http://www.new-fitness.com/body_fat_analyzing.html
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    Apr 23, 2009 7:58 PM GMT
    xspot21 saidhey people! so I want to find out what my body fat percentage is but I'm not sure what the best and most accurate approach is. I tried thumping my tummy and counting the seconds 'till the ripples stopped, but I can't find the equation to convert that to a percentage. Any suggestion on gadgets or gizmos?


    LOL. they have machines, electric ones, at most gyms.. no?
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    Apr 23, 2009 8:07 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    xspot21 saidhey people! so I want to find out what my body fat percentage is but I'm not sure what the best and most accurate approach is. I tried thumping my tummy and counting the seconds 'till the ripples stopped, but I can't find the equation to convert that to a percentage. Any suggestion on gadgets or gizmos?


    LOL. they have machines, electric ones, at most gyms.. no?


    Electrostatic measurements / galvonometers are horrible at accuracy. They show me at 30% when I'm in contest shape. BMI is even WORSE. Tape measurements can be WAY OFF, depending on who is doing it, and the chart they're using.

    Take time to read the link I posted above.
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    Apr 23, 2009 8:25 PM GMT
    the electronic one i have can flucuate 5% in a day! I guess it depends a lot on how much water you have in your system. The water weighing would be better.
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    Apr 23, 2009 8:48 PM GMT
    Oh Chucky you are a sweety icon_rolleyes.gif . Of course I know about the water stuff. It´s just not as easily available in most of the world. In fact I have no idea how I could get it here.
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Apr 23, 2009 8:50 PM GMT
    chuckystud said
    Lostboy said
    xspot21 saidhey people! so I want to find out what my body fat percentage is but I'm not sure what the best and most accurate approach is. I tried thumping my tummy and counting the seconds 'till the ripples stopped, but I can't find the equation to convert that to a percentage. Any suggestion on gadgets or gizmos?


    LOL. they have machines, electric ones, at most gyms.. no?


    Electrostatic measurements / galvonometers are horrible at accuracy. They show me at 30% when I'm in contest shape. BMI is even WORSE. Tape measurements can be WAY OFF, depending on who is doing it, and the chart they're using.

    Take time to read the link I posted above.


    30%? only?

    i was gonna go with 33% at least. icon_eek.gif
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    Apr 23, 2009 9:29 PM GMT
    Hey Chucky (or anyone else for that matter),
    Do you guys monitor your fat with underwater weighing on a constant basis? It seems like it could be expensive. I'm getting it done tomorrow for first time for $50 although I noticed there's some lifetime fee where you can do as many as you want.

    I ask because my nutritionist wants me to use something other than just a scale. She actually recommends bioelectrical impedance as long as it's throughout the whole body, but stupid 24 Hour Fitnesses don't even have that. So I'm just looking for where I might do any kind of fat % monitoring conveniently and cheaply.
    Thanks!
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    Apr 23, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
    Either body composition analysis where you are weighed and then submerged in a tank to see how much water you displace (calculating your density) or using Xrays in something called DEXA will tell you with a high level of accuracy what your body fat percentage is. They are both extremely time consuming and expensive.

    The other option is skin caliper analysis. I'm sure I'm going to get raging posts about how inaccurate it is, but in the absence of paying $50-200, it's the best alternative. It might not hit the nail square on the head, but it should give you a good idea ... and is a TON better than impedance analysis (the scales that measure with the electric current). Also, it's a really good way to track your progress and see if you're actually losing body fat. A lot of gyms will have people who can do the skin caliper analysis for you.

    Couple of pointers
    - Make sure they were trained and know what they're doing. They should be pinching folds of skin and measuring about 1/2" into the skin fold. (And no, they're not just pinching your fat to be shitty and make you feel self-conscious. Lol.)
    - The more sites where they take a reading, the better the accuracy. I recommend at least 7.
    - For every site, they should be taking 3 readings and using the average
  • JohnDallas

    Posts: 87

    Apr 24, 2009 12:05 AM GMT
    Under water weighing is the most accurate. However as an alternative I agree with the above post. With one exception the more sites that are tested the larger the margin for error therefore I recommend 4 site testing. There is less margin for error and it is also the most commonly used.
  • wave173

    Posts: 45

    Apr 24, 2009 12:59 AM GMT
    Noone mentioned the Bod Pod, what's up with that? The Bod Pod is a decent measure of body composition. It's not as accurate as DEXA or underwater weighing, but it's definitely better than skin calipers and bioelectrical impedence.
  • ArmsandLegs

    Posts: 125

    Apr 24, 2009 1:48 AM GMT
    If you decide to use the calipers/ skin fold, try to schedule the same person to take the measurements each time. That way there is atleast some consistency, even if they are doing it wrong, they are doing it consistently wrong and there will be less fluctuation.
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Apr 24, 2009 8:32 PM GMT
    JohnDallas saidUnder water weighing is the most accurate. However as an alternative I agree with the above post. With one exception the more sites that are tested the larger the margin for error therefore I recommend 4 site testing. There is less margin for error and it is also the most commonly used.


    4-site testing?
    ive never heard of 4-site. 3 and 7, yes. 4, not so much.
    and only do 7 if you're under at least 15% otherwise its a waste of time. i get 3 done when im getting checked. try to eliminate all other variables. use the same guy using the same machine at the same time with the same circumstances surrounding that moment of the day. you shouldn't do anything metabolic for 3 hours prior. that includes eating, coffee, walking, running, working out. basically. the distance from house to car. car to gym door's is the most you should be moving. its like getting your RMR checked, the closer you do it to the moment you wake up, the better.


    and yea, thats your best bet. dunk tank is optimal, air displacement is optimal, but they're also not usually available at your gym.

    above post about calipers is correct. make sure they're pulling up, not pushing in to pull up. they should usually do it and hang on to the skin for longer than a millisecond. sometimes, the best people will do three analysis jsut to make sure, or three grasps of the skin to make sure.