Body Composition

  1. Body Composition

    I work at an athletic club and we use a Tanita scale there. If some of you saw my pics in that forum then you saw that I started off at 32% bf and have now dropped to 20%bf. This is all related to what the Tanita scale is telling me. I know that they are horrible measures for accurate bf readings.

    Well I am an exercise science/health promotion major at the College of Charleston and we had to get tested today using skin fold calipers. In order to be able to stay in the program we have to be able to pass a fitness test and be under 20% bf. Well I was kind of worried. But when the CSCS administered my test he added up the numbers and said that I had 15% bf.

    Now I know that I am not that low, but I didn't complain because I want to stay in the program.

    Time for the question. I know that hydrostatic weighing has been the gold standard for the last few years, but a bodybuilding friend of mine told me that there is a new machine out called the Bod Pod that is almost perfect.

    Has anyone heard of this? And why is my caliper reading so far off from my tanita reading? What machines do you guys use to measure yourselves?

  2. I have a Tanita scale & my own set of skin calipers. The Tanita scale is a complete piece of garbage for BF readings. My tanita scale says I am anywhere from 19%-23% BF. Skin calipers have me about 10%, which is about right.

    A few months ago I was tested with calipers using every different formula & # of fold sites I could find. I ranged from 8.3-9.1%. The dumb scale still said around 20%. Not sure why it's off so much, but I don't even bother with it anymore.

  3. Here is why I say not to rely on %BF:
    (Taken from another thread I wrote) I was just posting my opinion on body fat testing because I always read so many different things about bodyfat testing and people claiming Xbf%. First off, I have been tested by just about every method and I have tested people, this includes hydrostatic weighing, bioimpedance and calipers. Bf% range greatly just simply by who is performing/running the test. Typical individuals have not been trained/instructed how to accurately run the tests and the person getting tested rarely has the guidelines to follow before testing. People often claim that hydrostatic is the most accurate but this is not always true. A novice administrator has great trouble reading the scales at the precise point thus leading to an off measure. Also the subject often can have trouble fully expelling all air from within the lungs which is a must. Therefore, while this test can be very good, it can also be very off. Another method of testing, bioimpedance, also is not always a good measure because certain guidelines must be followed before testing if one wants the results to be accurate. This including fasting for 4-6 hrs before the test and the body must be at a proper state of hydration. Also you have the caliper method which again can give various results depending on who is doing the measuring.
    My suggestion is that if it is that important to you then get all 3 done and take the average.

    I would not be surprised if the bod pod falls into the same category as these.

  4. Calipers also depend on what type of calipers are used, the ones you get at Wal-Mart suck. Mine are Lainge and they cost about 350, I also have them calibrated quarterly. Most tests, except for Hydrostatic and Caliper, are innaccurate at the extreme ends of the scale meaning 10% and below or 40% and above (yes measuring someone at 40% is disgusting).
    As Size said it also depends on who does the testing, I would find someone who is competent with the calipers and have them test you at normal intervals, that is if youre trying to lose BF. I'm lucky I have my wife who can test me.
    Also Calipers have a +/- 2% rating
    Good luck

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