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sarahduke

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 73

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Posted: 12 Apr 2012, 22:40
HELLO! How does one figure out what a "nomral" healthy body fat percentage is? Does it change with age, body type? Any one with any ideas? Thanks!
“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” ~ Woody Allen
kingkeld

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1,995

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Posted: 12 Apr 2012, 22:45
It's a great question. I'm curious about this too - and about how we get about getting a proper measurement. I have a scale that supposedly does it for me, and it's even one that "does it right", the type with a handle you hold and it shoots a current through the entire body - not just upper or lower, but both. This SHOULD do it right, but mine is ridiculously low, even for my weight. Or at least, so I think. I see that mine is usually around 5-6%, and when I look at pictures of super lean people (and I don't look super lean with all my loose skin) I see much higher percentages.

I hope the smart people on this will pitch in. Smile

Keld.

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"Losing weight is never about eating as little as possible"
- Kingkeld.
"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
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I went from morbidly obese to being the owner of TABDIG - a weight loss coaching service that helps people worldwide losing weight. It's been an amazing journey. From October 4th 2010 to April 3rd 2012 I lost half my body weight - 80 kilos/170 lbs. Since then, I have had two cosmetic surgeries to remove excess skin. I have now quadrupled my strength, gained several kilos in muscle mass, and today I focus on building muscle, optimizing my diet, living healthy and helping people to reach the very same goals. I am stronger, healthier, thinner, happier! If you feel that you need help losing weight, don't hesitate to send me an inbox message.
Kate GB

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 168

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 00:18
For women:
essential bf - 11-14.9%,
lean - 15-18.9%,
fitness - 19-22.9,
healthy 23-26.9,
moderate health risk - 27-31.9,
high risk >32.
For men:
essential bf - 3-5%,
lean - 6-10.9%,
fitness - 11-15.9,
healthy 16-19.9,
moderate health risk - 20-24.9,
high risk >25.
--> I work mine off so I can kick yours!
Kate GB

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 168

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 00:27
As far as the best device to measure, all of em are a little off. In my opinion handheld devices are way off and the best one is skin fold method. There is still 3-4% error but still u can at least see and feel ur body fat changes. More professional and more expensive wud be hydrostatic weighing, where they put u on a scale under water. Some gyms or clinics do that and it cost about $100.
@kingkeld, I wudn't trust that device, do a skinfold and see the difference.
@sarahduke, bf does change but it is not related to age, unless u get old lazy and don't work out lol But bf% depends on sex, higher in females unfortunately cos we need more fat to give birth etc + hormone influence, not that much testosterone in our bodies. Easier for guys to keep bf% down cos they have a lota testosterone.
Hope it helps Smile
--> I work mine off so I can kick yours!
Miranmao

Joined: Feb 12
Posts: 15

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 03:56
My body fat % today is 13.8, yesterday it was 14.4. I measure it with a scale which does this for me, like Kingkeld does. But I see this measurements just as crude values, nothing more. There are a lot of circumstances which take influence on these measurements, for example how dampish your feet are while weighing.
gerdik

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 38

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 06:22
I like this thread. I actually measure in three ways. Scale with BF reading (Taylor), Handheld BF reading (Omron), and 3-point pinch test (chest, abs, thigh - Jackson Pollock with digital calipers). What I have found after doing this for over a year is each method has their variations in accuracy. Pinch test is definitely the most accurate so long as you are consistent with location and familiar with proper pinch methods but you will improve over time/experience the more you do it. I am usually at a 2-3% bf difference between scale and handheld. What I do find interesting is the hand held and pinch test are within 1-2% bf difference. Regardless, the key is seeing the variance from week to week. Whether your reader is giving you 4, 6, 10% bf what matters is seeing the up and down relative to that - that is the indication of whether or not your diet/exercise is effective.
NCSF - Certified Personal Trainer (Oct 2010)
NCNOLE

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,218

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 08:17
I use my scale and the information just to let me know it is moving in the right direction. I got my scale in June 2011 and a starting BF% of 32 and am down to 19%. It has been a gradual change and I never saw significant fluctuations from day to day. I still have 20-25 lbs to lose and know that I still have excess fat, despite working out. I don't really think my BF is that low, but at least it is lower than when I started. One day I will have to get skin fold test or pay $$$ for the more accurate test if I really feel the need. What good will it do to know that number if I don't routinely follow up and have it tested - so probably not worth the extra money??
Kate GB

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 168

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 09:02
@Miranmao, also time of the day and water intake influence ur bf measurement.
--> I work mine off so I can kick yours!
klbarcaskey

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 133

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 12:38
I also find the handheld to be bizzarely low, when i used one at the gym it said I had 11% but the calipers put me at 17% when i do the three point test. I carry a lot of fat on my thighs though and i think that might effect the accuracy of the test. You can order the calipers online for next to nothing too, got mine for five bucks, way better than paying for an expensive device.
Kate GB

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 168

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Posted: 13 Apr 2012, 23:39
Handheld actually shows me more bf% than calipers, showed me 23%, calipers 16%. There is no way I'm close to 23% maybe a year or 2 ago lol
--> I work mine off so I can kick yours!
klbarcaskey

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 133

      quote  
Posted: 14 Apr 2012, 12:18
At the gym they said it isn't effected by where your body fat stores itself, and that it runs through your whole body, but i still felt like it must only run through your arms and chest, I was doing a lot of weight lifting at the time and i have really strong lean arms, but much weaker and softer lower body... i swear it contributes to it.
paperiniko

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 343

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Posted: 14 Apr 2012, 12:57
23% for a woman I would think is normal, below 20 it would be very lean. Men have a lower range of about 5-6 percentage points.
Anyway as it has been already noted what matters it is the change of bf percentage, not the absolute accuracy, even if the tool is off 6%,provided that it is consistent it should show an improvement acoording to the lifestyle improvements
Kate GB

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 168

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Posted: 14 Apr 2012, 17:42
@paperiniko, good point!
--> I work mine off so I can kick yours!
coachcj8

Joined: May 11
Posts: 382

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Posted: 14 Apr 2012, 17:45
Get your hydrostatic bf testing done. It's the most accurate. The caliper said I was 27% - hydrostatic said 21.7%
Cort
coachcj8

Joined: May 11
Posts: 382

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Posted: 14 Apr 2012, 17:46
I paid $40 for hydrostatic. Google it online. You might be able to find someone who will do it for a good rate. I got my done at the local community college.
Cort
sarahduke

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 73

      quote  
Posted: 14 Apr 2012, 20:30
My scale read my bf% anywhere between 23% to 30% on any given day, AND it can very from morning and night. So I was just wondering if I should be putting any thoughts to it- doesnt seem like it can be acurate if it fluxuates so much...
“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” ~ Woody Allen
paperiniko

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 343

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Posted: 15 Apr 2012, 04:14
does it change when you weigh yourself at the same time of the day? There are a couple of things one needs to pay attention to get consistent results, measure at the same time of the day, do not weigh after drinking water and/or taking a shower.
I always weigh every 2-3 weeks when I wake up without drinking water and the bf readings seem to be very consistent. I am sure that water content vary during the day and therefore the bf readings can vary accordingly



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