T Nation

BF% Confusion


#1

When I do a tape test the calculations have my bodyfat around 18%, Using calipers my bodyfat is around 19% and the electric scale as me at 24%. I do not have anyplace near me to try a more accurate method. I am wanting to see my upper abs and I am told that happens around 15% bodyfat. I am curious what bf% you all think I am? My stats are 275lbs, 6'2.


#2

Easily above 20% would be my guess. However, the more important point is this: It doesn't matter. If you ask this to know how much weight to lose to see your abs, I'm sorry to disappoint you but that's nearly impossible to predict. Most people also lose a fair bit of water, glycogen and a bit of muscle while dieting so they always end up having to lose more weight than they thought they'd have to. Time to go to work.


#3

Are you happy with your leanness? If you are, no need to worry. If you're not, then time to get to work.

Focus of the important things, not meaningless numbers.


#4

Use the tape measurements to track progress. You have a starting point and all you need to do is continue to improve relative to that baseline. Knowing the exact percentage won't change anything.


#5

I am wanting it so I can have an educated guess on how much body fat I am going to need to drop to meet my goal.


#6

25%


#7

If that's true, you want to get it professionally measured. Eyeball estimates are the worst measurements you could employ in this regard. I estimated my own bodyfat% to be almost twice what it actually was.


#8

I live out in the middle of nowhere so I will have to drive 2.5 hours to the closest facility for hydrostatic weighing. I think I am just going to have to keep on my current path and realize when I can see my abs I can see my abs. I just like to put timetables on things and if I loose 1 lbs of fat per week and I am currently 19% body fat, it will take me 10 weeks to get down to 15%. But if I am 24% it will take me 24 weeks to get down to 15% bodyfat.


#9

There is also no guarantee you will see your abs at 15% bodyfat, so you have that wrench in your timetable to factor in.


#10

I've never understood why this matters. General discussions about it are ill informed to a degree bordering on absurdity (XYZ NFL player is walking around at 3% bodyfat!!!).