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ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (196,755)
Fitness Minutes: (192,153)
Posts: 15,854
12/24/12 9:48 A

that picture is awesome, I used to tell my clients something similar verbally.

People would try to tell me I'm below 20% bodyfat, I knew instinctively without any calculator that was BS.

RUN4FOOD Posts: 1,434
12/23/12 9:40 P

17.5%. Not sure I'm actually this low, but I'll take it.
Guess I'll ask at the gym I go to if they offer the skinfold test with calipers.
I'll check the site M@L mentioned in 3 months to see if there is any progress.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/23/12 9:35 P

Thanks for the replies. Turns out my gym does do the calipers test (I just asked where I could get it done and they told me they could do it right then). The girl doing it didn't seem very experienced, but I got a measurement of 25%, which is average and probably roughly where I am.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,451
12/23/12 9:23 P

Why would you test this? Well, because BFP is a far more meaningful measure of overall health than bodyweight alone. Most people experience an increase in their lean mass if they exercise regularly, and the increase can potentially be significant if they strength train regularly. So there can be little change in the scale, even as people are burning fat.

The link someone has posted above with the photos at various BF percentages in a great visual, but I think we all have a little difficulty in judging ourselves against these photos.

Online BF calculators are free and easy to measure, although they are not all that accurate in an overall sense. But they do make a good way to track your progress over time.

One compromise might be to use an online calculator on a regular basis, then 'calibrate' it against a more accurate method every 3-6 months.

The skinfold test with calipers is a pretty good compromise between accuracy, cost and ease of testing. Most gyms offer this for $10-20.

For an online calculator, try the 'tape' tab at


BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/23/12 3:12 P

I'm very close to my goal weight, and once there I want to focus on body fat % numbers.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
12/23/12 8:44 A

RUN4FOOD - it's more valuable than knowing your bodyweight, but it's not the most important piece of information ever. Once you're out of the 'danger zone' (over 35% for a woman I think) it's just personal preference (lower body fat can make it easier to excel at sports, and be more attractive) and knowing what, say, 20% looks like can make it possible to set a goal for yourself.

RUN4FOOD Posts: 1,434
12/23/12 7:11 A

Not sure of the value of knowing your % of body fat.
Based on the pictures NAUSIKAA shared I guess I'm between 25% and 30%.
What is the value of knowing this percent?
Is a hydro or skin caliper test of value?

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/23/12 6:16 A

I am very critical of my body, so I think I'm fatter than I probably am. I have no idea which one I look like, except for knowing I'm not at either extreme. I'm probably in the middle row, which still gives me a range from 25% to 35%

Edited by: BUBBLEJ1 at: 12/23/2012 (06:18)
NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
12/23/12 6:08 A

Okay please don't see this as facetious or something, but honestly this is how I measure my own body fat percentage and I find it to be extremely accurate (I know this is not what you meant, but having been many of these % myself, this really is accurate for me):

as well as the article from which it comes:

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/23/12 5:17 A

Is there an online body fat calculator that is fairly accurate? I have used 3 and have gotten 22%, 26% and 29%. I don't know where to get a skin fold test done (which I know is more accurate), and there is no where in NZ that goes the hydro one (I have googled my heart out). Is there such a thing as an accurate online calculator?

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