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Accurate body fat measurements

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traineo Guru
Posts: 1057
Member since
Jun 6, 2010
Posted: October 28, 2010
Hello. I stopped in to a local gym yesterday to see about getting my body fat measured. They said they would do it for free if I would agree to have a tour of the place and stuff like that. So the first thing they did was to weigh me and then measure my waist. He took only those two numbers, plugged them into a formula, and it came back as 27% body fat. He said that I am considered obese.

He then went on to explain everything that their gym could do to work with me and how I could hire a trainer to help improve that number.

The whole time I am thinking-- really? Obese? You've got to be kidding me! I am by no means Mr. Skinny, but obese? I am 5' 10" and weight about 180. I don't look very overweight.

How accurate is a body fat percentage when it's only those two numbers (weight and waist size)? Do you think that the number could have beeen exaggerated to get me to sign up for a gym membership there?

Brian
traineo Guru
Posts: 1706
Member since
Apr 29, 2008
Posted: October 28, 2010
According to the CDC's BMI scale you are overweight not obese. BMI is also open to interpretation based on bone mass, waist to hip ratio, etc.
BMI
Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

interesting website for some basic info

http://home.fuse.net/clymer/bmi/
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traineo Guru
Posts: 3012
Member since
Aug 12, 2010
Posted: October 28, 2010
Karen, I went to that website and according to their calculations I have 23 % bodyfat - but I don't believe that for a minute! I have never had the "caliper" measurement but at a site Apollo mentioned AND also according to that measuring apparatus you simply hold in your hands, (don't know what it's called, but you know what I mean) the outcome was 30 % - a lot more realistic in my view...
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traineo Fanatic
Posts: 313
Member since
Nov 14, 2009
Posted: October 28, 2010
yeah, according to that site, my boday fat is 19%.

my bathroom scale stays at about 27-28%

i've been keeping track of it using this site
and i'm right about 24% according to it.

either way,
it almost sounds as if they were more concerned about selling you on the gym membership.
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traineo Guru
Posts: 3012
Member since
Aug 12, 2010
Posted: October 28, 2010
I believe your site, Melinda, they said 28 %.
My last measurement with the holding instrument was 15 pounds ago...
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traineo Guru
Posts: 3012
Member since
Aug 12, 2010
Posted: October 28, 2010
Although Appolo's site was more recent
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traineo Guru
Posts: 1706
Member since
Apr 29, 2008
Posted: October 29, 2010
LOL...open to interpretation... according to the site I posted mine is 26.9 % which is the same as my scale and all my calcs, the Dr. Sears site said I was 32.18 %, which at 136 pounds seems a little high...I'm having my assessment at my gym tonight so I'll let you know what the actual numbers are! (I'm already a memeber so they aren't trying to lure me in)
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traineo Guru
Posts: 1057
Member since
Jun 6, 2010
Posted: November 08, 2010
So I had my body fat measured using the skin calipers. It came out as 17%. Way different than the 27% that the other gym said. Strange that was so different. I guess I trust the calipers more.

17% isn't that bad of a number, so I'm pleased with it. Of course, I want it to drop, but I think that I'm at a good starting point.
traineo Guru
Posts: 1057
Member since
Jun 6, 2010
Posted: August 31, 2011
Hey, I am reviving this really old post of mine (almost a year old). The point of the original message was that I felt like this gym purposely gave a me a bad body fat percentage in order to get me to sign up and hire their trainer. They called me obese (which, no offense, but I am far from being obese). They also spoke really badly about the gym I do go to.

Anyway, I drove by this gym again yesterday and noticed that they had gone out of business! Not that I would wish bad on anyone, but apparently I am not the only one who had a bad feeling about that place. I thought it was kind of ironic!
traineo Guru
Posts: 1301
Member since
Mar 25, 2009
Posted: August 31, 2011
The body fat game is played by many gyms. Forget about it. Forget the scale too. Can you imagine thinking a woman is hot based upon her body fat percentage or scale weight? Oooh, she's smoking! She's at 12% BF! Nah. You decide by LOOKING at her.

Take most of your clothes off. Take a picture of yourself from the front, side and back. Repeat every 2-4 weeks. Are you moving in the right direction? While the rest may provide some information, the camera will tell you all you need to know.

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traineo Guru
Posts: 1947
Member since
Jun 4, 2009
Posted: August 31, 2011
Oooh, she's smoking! She's at 12% BF!


You haven't met some of the geeks I know...
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traineo Guru
Posts: 1939
Member since
Apr 21, 2009
Posted: August 31, 2011
The one that my Dr has been using is the BIA - Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis

Here is the chart that I posted on my results thread, but it shows the things that are measured in the test:



Here is a quick article about the accuracy of the BIA method. My opinion is that I am using the same method to measure my progress as I continue on my program. As long as I do not change the method, I can at least measure my progress against previous measurements.

This is much like weighing myself. I only like to use my scale at home and at the same time of day. If I go to the gym or my Dr office, the weight may be different. So I just use the same scale every morning.
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traineo Team
Posts: 4585
Member since
Jan 3, 2008
Posted: August 31, 2011
Hahaha! Site says I'm 11.6%. If I were a man, it'd be -4.9%. Ummmm, not hardly!
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traineo Guru
Posts: 1526
Member since
Sep 11, 2008
Posted: September 06, 2011
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