T Nation

Accuracy of Calipers?

Hi guys, I am looking to cut a bit for the summer. I’m around 5’11", 16 years old and weight 190 pounds. Because sites say things completely different, I am unaware of my body fat. Anywhere from 6-12 it seems.

the picture i have posted here is for the parrillo method, and my results in mm. This turned out to be 10.05%. However, the jackson/polluck 7 site method turned out to be less than 4.25%. Obviously I’m not 4.25 body fat, but I’m wondering if anyone has had any past with calipers and their accuracy and if anyone can guide me in the right direction in terms of formulas or what and what not to believe.

using this calculator: http://www.gain-weight-muscle-fast.com/body-fat-calculator.html

and a 3 site pinch, I have gotten results that were 5% lower than a “true” reading from a Bod Pod.

thanks man, thats probably about right. it gave me 4.7 and im probably close to 9 or 10.

most calipers are useless shit and readings are way off. the only test of BF level is the mirror.
calipers should be used as an indicator of progress only.

Im with hanban, use the mirror rather than BF%. You might be 15% but look good, so why drop to 7% in an attempt to ‘look good’ if you already do?

[quote]hanban wrote:
most calipers are useless shit and readings are way off. the only test of BF level is the mirror.
calipers should be used as an indicator of progress only.[/quote]

I think I agree with what you mean, but would state it like this…
The BF% calculated from the readings is useless when comparing one person to another or for arriving at a true BF%. When used with the mirror and scale acurate caliper reading can be helpfull as one indicator of progress.