ok so I started the boot camp program offered at my gym today. They measured our body-fat % today and I am confused about the results. From what I found online this seems to be a general guideline:
Body Fat Rating Scale for Women
Exceptionally Lean 10-15% (Elite Athletes)
Very Lean 16-19%
My question is this- they measured the back of my arm (tricep area), area where my hip bones..should be lol, and mid-thigh. My measurements for my arm and hip area were at 16% and 11% and my thigh at 21%. How can there be that much difference? Also, in that range some of my numbers are in the exceptionally lean and trust me, im not! I am 5'4" and 144 so the numbers don't really make sense to me. Can anyone clarify the body fat percentage ratings for me?
They shouldn't be measuring body fat that way, so no wonder you're getting confused.
It is correct for them to take several measurements. From there, they should be plugging it into a spreadsheet or a program that will tell them your overall body fat percentage. I've never seen or heard it done any other way.
If they're saying you have X% of body fat in a specific area, I'd be wary of it. It almost sounds like the next pitch might be for spot reduction.
Body fat testing also depends on the prowess of the person behind the calipers as well as the accuracy of the tool. If they used an actual set of metal calipers, those are pretty danged good, BUT only if they've been calibrated correctly.
I'd go back and ask them to run the numbers again, and give you the overall body fat percentage, not the per site numbers.
You can get your own estimate of % body fat a couple of different ways. There are some on-line sites. I use this one. You can get yourself a scale that will estimate your %body fat based on an electrical measurement together with your sex, height, age and weight.
I am in a healthy BMI but my body % is like 30%...but I must say it is a subject that has kindof confused me.
How exactly do you lower your body percent? Sorry if that is such a dumb question!
laurenhf, those numbers are probably millimeters, not percentages. those numbers have to be run through a formula to generate the percentage (which maybe they don't want to tell you).
I just bought that same monitor on ebay (new - shipped from mfg) for $25.
These don't really work for me. They measure body density with the weight you enter into the system. When I do mine I am like at 30% which means I am obese, but when I do the pinch measurement done by my PT, I am at 14%. I am 6' 1" about 240 give or take 5 pounds. Most of extra weight is around the middle. I hope that starting my boot camp class it will help drop that, along with my other cardio and weight training I do. I am happy with my 14% but would like to get a little lower...
I just checked 2 different random sites. At 25yrs, 5'5" & 160 pounds my scale says I am @ 29% BF- - according to 1 site that makes me obese and according to the other I am "average/healthy".
I don't really get it but as long as it goes down (and the chunk comes off) I will be happy.
Original Post by rcflyr:
Yeah, I realize they aren't 100% accurate, but they do give you a number to track your progress. I'm curious to see what mine places me at - I'm 6'2" 196lb and all of my fat is around the middle... My brother is at a disgusting 8% (after police academy), but I can still whoop him.
Why is 8% disgusting? I have been at a healthy 4% for prolonged periods without starving myself. In fact, I have gained muscle at 4%. A strict diet and exercise program can keep a male less than 5% year round.
The device says that I have 33% body fat, but...I wear a size 6 and my hip bones aren't getting any smaller and there's little, if no fat covering them. Granted, my thighs are bigger then average, but I've got some massive muscles in my legs (from carrying around over 300 lbs for 40 plus years) and I've got big breasts for my frame. The online guides actually say I am obese!
I don't even bother with them any longer because just make me frustrated. As long as I see the scale moving and my clothes fit well, I'm a happy camper.
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Caliper test need to be done by some one that is properly trained, certified(ACSM would be the best since you have to do a clinical test which includes the caliper test as well as written to be certified) and the calipers need to be calibrated as well. If there is that much difference between a Caliper test and Bioelectrical impedance device such as the hand held’s there is something wrong. There a lot of factors that play into the BEI Device that could through it off. Also remember BF% is just that so it is possible to have a higher BF% if your skeletal muscle is low. If you are 120lbs at 30% you would necessarily look fat but it means that you have 36lbs of fat and 84lbs of every thing else. So especially in females if they tend to have larger breasts, which are primarily made of fat cells you will have a higher BF%. There probably is not much you can do about that. Try this article it has some useful info on different ways to measure and what your % means. Msrobbyn at your age acording to the chart your 33% would be in the healthy range.
I tried a bioelectrical impedance device when Gold's Gym was trying to sell me a membership and it came up at 18% which seems like it's on the lower end, yet, I still see tons of fat on myself and I've lost 5 pounds since then and actually gained a visible muscle in my arm.
How does this work?
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