T Nation

Body Fat Estimator

I found this link:

http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/bfb

You enter in various measurments and it gives a BF% based on the U.S. Navy body fat formula and one using the formula developed by the YMCA. Are these both good measures? Any thoughts on one being better than the other?

the most accurate body fat test out there is the shoe method, i trust nothing else

The neck, height, weight, age and waist measurement work pretty good.

[quote]njworkoutguy wrote:
the most accurate body fat test out there is the shoe method, i trust nothing else[/quote]

Thanks,

WookieBalla3

[quote]TheWookie wrote:
njworkoutguy wrote:
the most accurate body fat test out there is the shoe method, i trust nothing else

Thanks,

WookieBalla3

[/quote]

HAHA!

One another note, I’ve used the neck, height, age and waist method too - not sure how good it is though.

the military uses this type of test for those who go over the BMI. I keep telling them I can pass the PT test with ease but they never listen to me :slight_smile:

That method isn’t accurate at all.

I’ve seen built guys fail the standards in the Navy, and in the same day, a tall, skinny-fat guy pass it (who looked to be over 30% fat).

The correct link for the calculator is this:

http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/bfb

In my case, the US Navy number is more or less correct. The YMCA number is too low.

I use a formula from the US Army (that someone posted here) which uses neck and waist measurements, and gives me pretty good results. I’ve got it in a spreadsheet to help me track progress. Let me know if you want me to dig it up for you.

I found this to fairly accurate. The us Navy version of course.

Any bodyfat measurement derived from a simple neck to waist ratio is rediculous. Skinfold shows me at 12%, the neck/waist ratio shows me at 20%. They’re about as useful as the BMI. Some people just have thick waists regardless of actual fat (will show a false fatness score). Some guys have naturally huge necks (will show a false lean score). It’s a waste of time and a lot of really good people have been kicked out of the military based on this caveman technology.

Tried the link provided and couldn’t find the calculator.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Any bodyfat measurement derived from a simple neck to waist ratio is rediculous. Skinfold shows me at 12%, the neck/waist ratio shows me at 20%. They’re about as useful as the BMI. Some people just have thick waists regardless of actual fat (will show a false fatness score). Some guys have naturally huge necks (will show a false lean score). It’s a waste of time and a lot of really good people have been kicked out of the military based on this caveman technology.[/quote]

Yep, I agree it’s ridiculous, yet I seem to have the body that’s appropriate for this type of estimate, so it works for me. I started using it because skinfolds put me at ~7% while the neck/waist method gave me ~15% (which is closer to what I would have estimated had I had a shoe in my hand).

I still use skinfolds, as the total mm measurements don’t lie :slight_smile:

Just out of curiosity, I calculated my ideal weight on that website. Here’s what I got, and bear in mind that I weigh 187 lbs:

[i]Ideal Weight Calculation:

Results:
According to your height of 5’ 8" your ideal healthy weight is 154 pounds. Your recommended weight range is between 131 and 164 pounds.

This was calculated using Hamwi formula, a simple formula commonly used by many clinicians.

These are recommended weights. Talk with your doctor about what weight is best for you and before undertaking any new diet or exercise programs.[/i]

Yeah, I’m going to run to the doctor right now.

I love these calculators! :smiley:

[quote]njworkoutguy wrote:
the most accurate body fat test out there is the shoe method, i trust nothing else[/quote]

Anyone wanna guess my bf%? (jk)

Look, before you dismiss any bf methods as ridiculous, you have to assess why you need a bf calculation anyway. If you want an accurate measurement for boasting, it may not be the best method. If you want a method that approximates bf quickly and cheaply, the U.S. military tests are accurate enough (“close enough for govt work”). Keep in mind that the military processes over a million servicemen and women a year, so they need a quick, easy method. If you’re taking measurements to monitor your body composition progress (i.e. before and after a training phase), it is likely a good enough measurement as well because it will show progress.

As for the military height/weight standards, don’t confuse not meeting the standard with failing the tape test. This is a common misinterpretation of the standards. The height/weight charts are a general guideline that are a quick way of identifying overweight individuals. Bodybuilders typically do not fall within the prescribed targets and have to undergo a tape test. If you fail the tape test, you are likely fat, plain and simple. The guideline is pretty lenient (I think 22% bf for males). A cut bb’er is not going to fail the tape.

DB

[quote]kheaslim wrote:
njworkoutguy wrote:
the most accurate body fat test out there is the shoe method, i trust nothing else

Anyone wanna guess my bf%? (jk)[/quote]

We can’t accurately assess your bf from this picture because you cropped off the toe of the shoe. Repost the full pic and I will get back to you.

DB

there isn’t anyone except you that can measure body fat. The people that try are kidding themselves. Even the gold standard of underwater weighing can be fallible. Use one or any tool to measure change. Thats all. I chuckle every time I read, "I am 17.245% body fat and I use a strict 40:30:30 breakdown, of P:F:carbs, I use 83% of my 1rm, and I use a 4:1:2 tempo…people are kidding themselves. In terms of scientific accuracy, they aren’t even close.

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
Look, before you dismiss any bf methods as ridiculous, you have to assess why you need a bf calculation anyway. If you want an accurate measurement for boasting, it may not be the best method. If you want a method that approximates bf quickly and cheaply, the U.S. military tests are accurate enough (“close enough for govt work”). Keep in mind that the military processes over a million servicemen and women a year, so they need a quick, easy method. If you’re taking measurements to monitor your body composition progress (i.e. before and after a training phase), it is likely a good enough measurement as well because it will show progress.

As for the military height/weight standards, don’t confuse not meeting the standard with failing the tape test. This is a common misinterpretation of the standards. The height/weight charts are a general guideline that are a quick way of identifying overweight individuals. Bodybuilders typically do not fall within the prescribed targets and have to undergo a tape test. If you fail the tape test, you are likely fat, plain and simple. The guideline is pretty lenient (I think 22% bf for males). A cut bb’er is not going to fail the tape.

DB[/quote]

I’ve been in the military for 14 years. I’m the guy who has had to kick out some really good guys because of their waist to neck ratio and nothing else. Some people do have naturally thick waists and no amount of cardio and diet is going to change that. Conversely, some guys have big guts and huge necks, look like crap, and meet the standards. I’m one of those guys with a thick waist (34"), visible abs, and a fairly skinny neck (16"). I come out at 20% on the military measurements. 12% on skinfold.

Here is a similar tape measure test for body fat that I have found to be more accurate than most.

This is for me.