T Nation

Body Fat %

Has anyone tried the scales that they sell to give weight and bodt fat %? I’ve seen them at Sports Authority. You stand on them barefoot and it gives you your weight & BF%. The ones in the store never are working to test it, so I wonder if anyone has experience with them.
Thanks, Mike

There was a topic on this a while ago. Tanita scales are the most popular. It’s good for determining your RELATIVE bf%, as the bf% it shows is a bit too high. This means that if you go on a diet starting at 17% and drop down to 12% you will have changed 5%, regardless of accuracy.

How to use it: In the morning, drink a glass of water. Do your “business” if necessary. Shower. Measure bf% about 4 times and stay with the lowest %. Write this down. At the end of every week, calculate the average of the seven days preceeding. You will have a pretty good idea of where you were at that week. Over a few weeks, it becomes pretty accurate for tracking your progress.

If your a housewife or couch potato they do a little justice, but for athletes/bodybuilders the majority of them are totally inaccurate. The additional muscle volume distorts the reading. Personally, I use the omron hand held fat analyzer. I know its not 100%, but it gives a pretty good, consistent estimate (at only 50 bux).

I have a tanita TBF-611 which says I weigh
235 @ 36% BF. I was Hydrostatically tested recently at my local hospital for $ 40.00 and I am 24% BF. So don’t trust that junk. But it can be used as a point of referance. for example a year ago it read 41% BF @ 240 which means I have lost 5% BF. But that it all it is good for.


They suck. I bought a tanita and it is way off. They are not worht the money. Buy a tape meausre and measure every part of your body. That will give you a better idea, that and a mirror. Or, get tested at your gym.

experiences vary, I use the method Harkon… mentioned on the first reply. It has worked good for me. I like it specially since Im a boxer that it gives me the exact weight. The weight measurements are perfect. The BF% measurements are off depending on water intake and glycogen stores. Sometimes when I have a pizza or ice cream my weight changes by like 1lb or so but the bf will change by like 4-5%. I do it every morning after a shower butt naked. Works good for me!! I have the TBF-612