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Doin' your own measurements: calipers and stuff.. Any recommendations?

Discussion in 'General Health/Fitness & Injuries' started by Justitia, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Well I am coming towards the end of my year of surgeries and illnesses. I have a few more surgeries, but not on the scale of this past year.

    So I want to get started again on solid ground... I want to get measurements of all sorts as my base line.

    So I was looking into tapes, etc to not only take measurements of girth but also body fat. I saw what John recommended on his favorite things but Amazon is not offering it anymore.

    I don't want a Tanita scale. I just want to use tapes and calipurs... Anyone recommend any they find particularly good? A good site to guide for taking measurements, etc.?
     
  2. Happy Monster

    Happy Monster Well-Known Member

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    I have a MyoTape based on John's recommendation and I have to say it's brilliant. Simple design, but very effective. :)

    Good to hear you want to get back into things next year. :nod:
     
  3. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Justitia. This is what I use.

    http://mybodycomp.com/bodycomposition/new_profile.aspx

    You have to register. I only use the body compostition part but it's good for keeping track of measurements and it tells you where to take them. It can figure %bf as well.

    I bought a MyoTape bundled with an inexpensive plastic caliper on Ebay. I never learned how to use the calipers. I suppose the hand-held electric calipers would be better. For %bf, I just use multiple bf calculators on the internet and average them. It comes out better than my Tanital scale.
     
  4. leftyx

    leftyx Senior Member

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    See this post. It's a request for bodyfat% calculator and wehre to measure. Here is the link I think the women's measurements may be slightly different in one place. But it's easy to figure out where to measure once you understand the concept.

    I'm heading into surgery, for my elbow problems, and your idea to take baseline measurement before starting up fitness again makes good sense to me. I'll try it myself.
     
  5. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    I don't like the mybodycomp site. (It's called fittogether.net now) It's good for storing your measurements, but beyond that, it's not reliable. It keeps insisting that I'm prone to several health risks because I have a high waist to hip ratio. (The location it tells you to measure your hips is really weird.) It also says I'm the same body fat percentage now (4 percentage points higher than what my scale reads) that I was two years ago, even though I weigh less, my waist is the same size, my hips and thighs are smaller, and my chest, shoulders, and arms are bigger. :confused:

    These are the correct caliper measuring sites. There are several different formulae you can use for converting the skinfold measurements into a body fat percentage. The Jackson/Pollock 3 site method is not applicable to women, who should use triceps, thigh, and suprailium, instead of chest, abdomen, and thigh.
     
  6. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Thanks for the spreadsheet, Leftyx.

    Now looking at the site that Guava linked to (which is very clear, thanks Guava...:tucool: ) they are selling calipers with myotape and a CD to explain things. (Though I may not need the CD with Leftyx's spreadsheet.) The two that intrigue me are the most expensive one (of course :rolleyes: )

    Accumeasure FatTrack Gold Digital Skin fold Caliper with Myotape & CD Price: $56.95 (with a $5 discount if I get it before New Years.)
    But it is not clear to me that you can use it with the Jackson/Pollock method for women as Guava points out. But I am mostly interested in it because I think I can become more reliable using it.


    Slim Guide, MyoTape and Body Tracker CD-ROM, Price: $41.95 My guess is this takes more time to master. $5 off if ordered before New Years...

    Lange Skinfold Caliper, I guess is the top of the line... at $200!!

    This is the one that intrigues me the most:

    FatTrack PRO DIGITAL Body Fat Measurement System for $70 (but no myotape) at BB.com... but everywhere is out of it. Plus I put in a call to see if it can be reprogrammed for the women's version of the Jackson/Pollock method.

    And there is a new version of theMyotape coming out for $10 .....





    and the middle one And I have found some others at other sites.
     
  7. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    OK... so I am doing my own body measurements and I have no sense of what is grabbing the skinfold. I look at drawings and the software that came with my Fatrack Pro but I could make a huge difference in the measurements by going wider or narrower. I bruised my thigh trying to figure out how to take a skin-fold... :o :rolleyes:

    Anybody got any help?

    According to the measurements I took (and I was really trying to be as accurate as I could understand to be) my bodyfat is 17.92%. I just can't believe it is that low.

    I also took tape measurements. Is there anyway, with tape measurements, height and weight, to estimate BF%. I am more confident of the accuracy of my measures for those.

    I used the US Navy formula which is height, weight, waist, hip & neck and it came out with EDIT:32% BF (I used the wrong height by mistake -- see post of mine below this one that explains.) The professional measures I have had but they are 8-10 months old was between 28% and 30%. But I have done a mix of working out, surgery, lots of cardio and on and off of weights since then, though my weight hasn't changed.
     
    #7 Justitia, Mar 12, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  8. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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  9. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Thanks for the videos... they were very useful for the triceps and thigh measurements... which were the ones I was having the most difficulty with.
     
  10. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Whoops!! I just noticed that I put in 55" for my height in the formula instead of 65". (I am 5'5" and somehow in my mind that translated into 55" :lol: )

    SO here are my actual body fat % according to various measures:

    1.YMCA ( uses Height, weight & waist) = 26.5%

    2. US Navy (uses Height, weight, waist hip and neck) = 32%

    3. Body fat calipers (Jackson & Pollock 4 site: weight, Abdomen, Suprailiac, Thigh, Tricep) 17.92% <--- but this was my first time and I had no idea what I was doing -- I was so concerned that I was taking in muscle that I did not get the full skin-fold. I will try again in a few days, now that I looked at some videos on taking them.

    Right now, I give the most credence to the US Navy measures.

    Replicating the US Navy from the measurements I have from almost 2 years ago (I had to make up my neck measurement which I just assumed it was the same as now), my body fat % was 26.32%. I weighed more but it was also after I had been pretty consistent (not great but fairly regular) for the previous 6 months in terms of weight work-outs.
     
    #10 Justitia, Mar 12, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  11. john0087

    john0087 Active Member

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    Justina,

    Ha, I just got my fattracker gold digital caliper in as well and attempted to do my measurements on Sunday.

    How did yours work? I had the darndest time trying to get a measurement. Sometimes, it would beep and give me a number before I even got a chance to make contact with my skin....:mad:

    I wasn't too impressed, but I think that it is a combo of user error and my size. I read that they are not too accurate for males with BF over 25%, which I am over. I think that a non digial caliper may have been a better buy.

    I will have to check out that vid when I get home and see if i can improve my technique.

    John
     
  12. chris0374

    chris0374 Active Member

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    Fat Track takes a looong time to master because it's button is so sensitive. I practiced so much that there are black spots on some parts of my skin.:p When you do get it though, it's very useful. Keep practicing.
     
  13. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Yep, black marks!!! :nod: :nod: :lol:

    BTW the link above to BB.com videos on taking caliper measurements have 3 version: BB competitor, a female fitness model and a regular guy. The last one in comparison to the figure competitor made it clearer to me how much skin I should be taking in....
     
  14. boLa8

    boLa8 Active Member

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    i bought a cheap calliper from ebay for 1$ (i kno im cheapo :lol:) and it says i have 10mm bodyfat, in the instructions says thats average with 8mm been "lean" but it doenst give bodfat % just this silly scale..


    anyone can help?
     
  15. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried the One Site Skinfold test? I used to do the 9 site to get more accuracy but it became a pain having to rely on someone elso to try it. When I used the One Site Skinfold test, reccomended by Venuto, I found that they were very close, within 1 percent. Anytime I use the 3 site my body fat comes out extremely low.

    Even if it is wrong its important to be consistent, I think it is easier to be consistent with one site than it is with 3. You pinch the Illiac Crest, right above the hipbone. You can find it by putting your index finger on the hipbone and then use the thumb to pinch the fat above it. You can take the measurement 3 times and see if it differs, you'll see you will get better at it. You can use the chart that comes with the Accumeasure, you can also find the chart on their website.
     
  16. boLa8

    boLa8 Active Member

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    :lol: thanks i checked here unfortunatelly my reading is way too low (11.6%) the caliper i got is very similar to the accumeasure one so i dont think im going to bother buying another. thanks mate:tucool:
     
  17. featherz

    featherz Well-Known Member

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    I just do my three site caliper check, record the mm measurements and go by that. The formula when used with the way I am calipering, even though it seems to be correct, puts me at some ridiculously low number (12%?!! - it's more like 18%) but knowing the mm #'s at each location helps me to see 'up or down' which is more important than an actual number, at least where I am now. :)
     
  18. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    As I've previously written about and so many have also noted I believe that the bf% readings from my FatTrack calipers are too low. I still use them because despite the absolute number being incorrect I'm still able to track the trend of the numbers. I know that my technique is consistent so the feedback about the relativeness is correct and useful.

    I just went to the site that Robert2006 linked and I noticed that I've not been doing my chest measurements correctly. I just did a comparison of the measurements from where the site recommended and from where I've been doing it and using their placement my readings would be (very) slightly lower. Go figure.
     
  19. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    Really? I'm guessing that you are in the 21 to 25 age range and you pinched about 10 to 11 mm. That is pretty lean, I think, are you pinching correctly?.

    I just checked your journal. I don't think you pinched right. NOT trying to be mean or anything but I think you might want to pinch a again.
     

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    #19 Nowhereman, Mar 17, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2007
  20. boLa8

    boLa8 Active Member

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    Yes im 22, and yes 10mm is silly reading for me:lol:

    i had my bodyfat tested yesterday by a "pro" who said has done 1000's of this 4point calliper tests, i got a result of 19% bodyfat which compared to what my scales say its very different (26-27%bodyfat).

    a little anegdote from yesterday:
    i was talking to this guy that did the test, he said theres was someone last week that had a test done, and the results were aound 30%bodyfat, when in his "other" gym it was 14% :lol: but aparently this guy was way fatter than me, he had a beer belly and stuff... the result? he decided he prefered to stay in the other gym,where they said he was 14% bodyfat :lol:

    anyway im not that kind of person, im here to improve as a whole, and lies dont get u anywhere! :nono:
     

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