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what to use to measure body fat(4 posts)

what to use to measure body fatGall
Oct 5, 2002 8:24 AM

Whats a good tool to measure body fat? Scales or those body fat calipers?

The only totally accurate measurement is an autopsy ...Humma Hah
Oct 5, 2002 8:37 AM
... but I'm willing to bet nobody posting here has done that. The second most accurate method is a NMR technique requiring about half a million dollars worth of equipment, which can be done at some university research centers.

Many gyms either have a service that comes around several times a year, or can refer you to, someone who does total immersion weighing. This method is fairly accurate, but not quite as good as the first two. It typically costs about $45 or so, not bad for an annual check, but pricy for a monthly measurement.

AFTER you have a good starting value of bodyfat, THEN you can use calipers, a bodyfat scale, or just a tape measure around your middle to track progress.

Calipers are difficult to use properly by yourself. If you have a partner who can learn to use them, they give a fairly good measurement. But if you have a physical trainer at the gym using them on you, expect the measurements to come with a tedious sales pitch, and maybe to get fudged high a little.

I use a Tanita scale, but it was a bit of a disappointment at first. Once I learned how to read it properly (measuring at the right time of day and with consistent hydration), it gave reasonably good values, about 1% lower than my "dunk test" measurement. The readings can shift 3% or more in a single day if you're not careful with the conditions of measurement.
re: what to use to measure body fatmoabbiker
Oct 5, 2002 4:55 PM
I have one of those Tanita scales that measures the body fat (bought on sale). While it does a wonderfully accurate measurement of weight, the body fat % readings are not the best; but it does give you good baselines to work with. Just don't expect ultra valid readings.
Calipers are not very useful.elviento
Oct 7, 2002 6:35 AM
Some people's fat goes on the belly, others' goes on other parts of the body, like arms and legs. Personally my fat is kinda spread out so my caliper reading is always lower than the actual fat percentage.

Just look at yourself in the mirror, and you can tell right away what shape you are in. If you don't look like an underwear model, you got work to do.