T Nation

Body fat measuring

I just got a pair of body fat calipers. The instructions only say to measure the suprailliac. I believe Ian King said that he measures several sites. Which areas should I measure and how do I use those results to get my LBM?

According to Coach poliquin here are the best way to measure for bodyfat.

There are several steps need to chart your gains and losses of bodyfat. To accurately assess your body fat levels, it is best to hire a skilled exercise physiologist to do a skin caliper, or look into any teaching hospital and see if there is someone in their dietician department who can do it. If you choose to do it yourself the best way is to use the sum of 11 sites, can monitor accurately changes in body fat. Do not bother trying to convert the sum of skinfold into a percentage bodyfat as the validity of most formulas is often questionable. The eleven sites that Poliquin recommends are: chin, cheek, pec, biceps, triceps, subscapular, mid-axillary, umbilical, supra-illiac, patella and medial calf.

1. Try to measure bodyfat at least once a week, no less than once every two weeks.

  1. Preferably measure your bodyfat every Monday at the same time.

  2. Use 11 different sites to measure.

  3. Write down everything you eat, and what time you eat them.

  4. By lunch time you should have consumed at least 50 grams of protein. For women shoot for 60% of this or around 30 grams.

  5. Shoot to lose some millimeters each week .

You must have the AccuMeasure calipers. I don’t know if you’re male or female, but for males the best sites are chest, ab, thigh (which are used in one of the common Jackson Pollock equations), but I’d measure your hip (suprailiac) too. There are different equations to use, but I’d just watch your millimeter measurements and monitor your lifts-if your lifts are maintaining and your mm. are going down you aren’t losing much, if any, muscle. I use the JP 3-site (chest, ab, thigh) which goes like this:
1.10938 - (.0008267sum of chest, ab, thigh in mm)+ (.0000016sum of chest, ab, thigh squared) - (.0002574*age in years)

Take the above result and divide it into 457, then subtract 414.2 and this will be your estimated bf%. To calculate LBM, subtract your percentage of b.f. from your total bodyweight. To calculate fat weight, multiply total bw by your percentage. This assumes you are male, again. Females use different sites and equation.

teddykgb, I do have to AccuMeasure calipers and am male. Do you also know the formula for measuring females?

I couldn’t find the 3-site for women (tricep, suprailiac, thigh), but I remember getting it originally from Lyle McDonald on his Bodyopus diaries. If you do an internet search it’ll take you right to it. I think he had a particular section on measuring bodyfat. I’m on lunch break right now otherwise I’d look it up for you. Let me know if you don’t find it.