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Old 02-06-08, 11:11 AM   #1
CdCf
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Body fat percentage calculation came out strange...

So, today I bought a body fat caliper. Nice little thing.

As soon as I got home, I started measuring, and then entered it all into the different calculators on this page:
http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

The strange thing is that the percentage came out A LOT lower than I had expected, and lower than I feel is reasonable. But maybe it's correct, I don't know...?

These are my skin fold thicknesses (all in mm):
Chest: 6
Abdominal: 16
Thigh: 11
Bicep: 6
Tricep: 4
Subscapular: 9 (estimated based on finger pinch, but not far wrong - within 2-3 mm)
Suprailiac: 10
Midaxillary: 8
Lower back: 11
Calf: 6

(They're all "averaged" from 2-4 measurements per site.)

Age: 28
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 66 kg

Neck: 35 cm
Abdomen: 81.5 cm

With all this data, you will be able to fill out all the fields on the page, and calculate.

The first three come out between 9 and 10 %.
The Parillo method gives a whopping 32 %, which is clearly very wrong.
The Durning/Womersley gives just over 12 %.
Finally, the tape measurement method says 16 %.

Of the six, the tape measurement method is closest to what I expected, but perhaps I'm not as fat as I thought? I don't know what to think...

What do you all think? Caliper is often claimed to be the most accurate method for home use, and I can definitely say that my skin fold measurements are good enough.
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Old 02-06-08, 12:47 PM   #2
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It can be hard to do it on yourself so I would try to find someone that can do it if you want to be sure.
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Old 02-06-08, 12:50 PM   #3
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The only one that's at all difficult is the subscapular one, but even if I double that value, it's only about one percent more in the final result.

Besides, I don't have anyone else to do it for me.

And before this, I thought I was at between 18-20 %, so I'm VERY far from what I expected. That's well outside even a massive margin of error...
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Old 02-06-08, 02:30 PM   #4
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As a reference, I'm 72 inches tall and (during race season) 143-144 pounds. I've had my body fat calculated at between 8-9%. You're 70.5 inches tall and 147 pounds, so your BMI (body mass index = weight/height) is only 7% higher than mine. So, in theory, I'd be inclined to believe to 9-12% numbers above. Definitely not 18-20, unless you are extremely sedentary.
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Old 02-06-08, 03:21 PM   #5
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No, I guess they're about right, then. It's probably just that most of my fat seems to be stuck around the belly. I've got very veiny arms and lower legs, but no definition at all on my torso. Not a hint of abs showing (not even the "divide" - the alba linea). I've almost got boobs even!
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Old 02-07-08, 09:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palesaint View Post
As a reference, I'm 72 inches tall and (during race season) 143-144 pounds. I've had my body fat calculated at between 8-9%. You're 70.5 inches tall and 147 pounds, so your BMI (body mass index = weight/height) is only 7% higher than mine. So, in theory, I'd be inclined to believe to 9-12% numbers above. Definitely not 18-20, unless you are extremely sedentary.
I tend to agree with this, with the provisio that there are some "fat thin" people who don't look fat but still have a relatively high body fat.
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