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Official Matrix Nutrition Rep
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, i am just wandering how accurate bodyfat percentage scales are?

I would imagine that they are not that accurate but they must give at least a rough figure otherwise why would scales have this?

How do you guys find out what percentage bodyfat you have?

Many thanks :thumb:
 

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EFBB Winner
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Jock said:
They are crap mate, get some calipers or go get a hydrostatic water test.
bloody right on...cannot fault calipers...they are pretty much 0.1% as accurate as most of the gold standard methods...bod pods,water weighing(as jock says hydrostatic weighing),dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA and ultrasonic waves!!!

i used harpenden calipers in my project at uni,testing 60 odd people with skinfolds etc and my study of obesity related to alcohol and non alcohol drinkers...was just as good as any gold standard methods!!!!!

trust me the calipers are as good as they get,cheap and easy to use...cant beat it

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/nhanes3/cdrom/NCHS/MANUALS/ANTHRO.PDF
 

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Official Matrix Nutrition Rep
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17,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool, cheers for the help. I have looked on ebay and there are lots to choose from like manual ones, digital etc etc.

Do you have a prefferred one or are they all pretty much the same??
 

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Massive improvements made, cant wait to compete ag
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Unless you have someone to do it for you make sure you get ones you can do pretty easy yourself!!

It would be more benificial to do the 6 point BF sites but for that you need someone else and need to make sure that same person does it every time and you are testing at the exact same 6 spots every time!

But i think with the normal calipers you can just test the abdomen and that should give you a good enough reading!!
 

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Massive improvements made, cant wait to compete ag
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ElfinTan said:
You'd be better off asking the tooth fairy what your BF is rather than going on scales!
hahahahah that made me giggle :lol:

agreed they are ****!!

I remember i jumped on them once about a year ago when i was about 17% bf (from 2 weekly caliper tests) and it said i was like 29% or something!!

also those hand held ones are worse, i used them at the same time and because i have implants and it judges the reading on going through tissue/objects etc it said i was 30%
 

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EFBB Winner
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here's some info from one of my very first posts..."bodyfat% terminolgy and pictures"

i did a project using calipers and working out bodyfat %...which was to do with obesity...and here is the jackson & pollock equation i used to calculate bodyfat percentage in the correct way with 3 skinfold measurements:[abdomen is 2-3inches to the right of the belly button,suprailiac is about 2 inches above your hip on the right and triceps would be the most meatiest part,pinched all the way to the muscle,mid upper arm muscle(MUAM)]

There were 4 skinfolds (supposed to be )taken where 3 skinfolds were used (Abdomen, Suprailiac and Triceps) for the Jackson and Pollock 3 skinfold bodyfat % equation to calculate bodyfat % using:

% body fat = (0.39287 x sum of three skinfolds) - (0.00105 x [sum of three skinfolds]2 ) + (0.15772 x age) - 5.18845

= (0.39287 X _________) - (0.00105 X [________] 2) + (0.15772 X_______)

(skinfolds) (skinfolds) (age)

- 5.18845 = _________% (Jackson &Pollock1985).

(the sum of 3 skinfolds is the first 2 blank spaces,then the age is for the last blank space,it doesnt quite come out ok on here as it did in my thesis)

i know that this equation if used correctly with values input correct,will give you within 0.001 % correct bodyfat %.......(skinfolds) should go under each underlined bracket,with age under the last underlined bracket...this is what i used,i'm sure if you hunt around there would be much easier or different sum of skinfolds etc,such MUAC (mid upper arm circumferences) or some other positions

better than any bathroom scale machine or gym facility!!!

i cant give you the gold standards,but next best thing would be the bodpod at your nearest uni that runs bio-sciences,sports science or human nutrition!!!!!

anyway...hope this helped for getting correct calculations for bodyfat %...as a scientist i think some values are badly calculated and mis-represented way off the truth!!!

just be careful how you use bodyfat % and how its determined by lets say the gym rat idea as oppose to a scientists definition!!!

dont mean to be a bummer...just i couldnt believe anyone being 2-3% bodyfat level...this would mean your very close to death's door.looking very emaciated and bony...taking into account internal organ fat as well....serious medical conditions arise from this kind of starvation which i studied from people suffering from mal-nutrition or under-nutrition in poorer under-developed countries!
 

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Gym Addict
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I'd like to get some skinfold calipers, but one of the reviews says you shouldnt use it if your obese. I have a proper belly on me, is it really going to be able to pinch it lol? It hardly pinch an inch with me
 
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