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Bodyfat Calipers; Harpenden Alternatives?

Hey, all! I want to buy some bodyfat calipers; my weight tends to fluctuate by about 2 kilos throughout the week, so sometimes it’s very hard to assess my progress in terms of how much fat i’m gaining/losing. Now, I did a search and noticed that Coach Thibaudeau seems to favor Harpenden calipers.

Unfortunately, I’m just a poor student, and 300-400 dollars is a little steep for me at this time! How bad would it be if I bought the less fancy generic 30-40 dollar calipers? Any input would be appreciated, including alternative ways to measure bf%.

~G

Nobody uses any other bodyfat calipers?

I use the Lange knock-offs.

they’re $150 which is still excessive.

buy a cheaper one, just be sure to use the same one for consistency (though that can be a problem with cheap ones), but if it’s just for you you’ll be fine

One of these should do for you if you’re just using it to check your progress. May not be super accurate but should good enough to compare now and then.
http://www.accufitness.com/products/calipers.html

[quote]varbo wrote:
One of these should do for you if you’re just using it to check your progress. May not be super accurate but should good enough to compare now and then.
http://www.accufitness.com/products/calipers.html
[/quote]

I have both the FatTrack Gold and the FatTrack Pro. Both are very difficult to get a consistent and accurate reading with. With the Gold, sometimes the button you press won’t register at all and you can hold thing thing for a good minute before you finally hear the beep that it’s taken the measurement. My first Gold model was defective. I could get the same reading taking my thigh measurement with pants on as I could just pinching skin.

With the Pro, I’ve noticed that you constantly have to calibrate it and turn it off an on again to get a reading. Many times I’ve calibrated it and then every measurement I take after that will come back as 0 until I turn it on and off again. Sometimes I’ll take a measurement and then all subsequent measurements will give the same reading even. For example, I’ll do my chest and it will come back 6 and then do my abdomen with clearly has more fat and get the same reading of 6. Everything will come back with a reading of 6 until I turn it off and on again. It’s very frustrating.

I’ve also noticed that the measurement from the Gold vs the Pro vary about 2-3mm difference for each site. So if I were to get a 8mm measurement on my thigh with the Pro, then my Gold will give me a measurement of 6mm.

My bad

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
varbo wrote:
One of these should do for you if you’re just using it to check your progress. May not be super accurate but should good enough to compare now and then.
http://www.accufitness.com/products/calipers.html

I have both the FatTrack Gold and the FatTrack Pro. Both are very difficult to get a consistent and accurate reading with. With the Gold, sometimes the button you press won’t register at all and you can hold thing thing for a good minute before you finally hear the beep that it’s taken the measurement. My first Gold model was defective. I could get the same reading taking my thigh measurement with pants on as I could just pinching skin.

With the Pro, I’ve noticed that you constantly have to calibrate it and turn it off an on again to get a reading. Many times I’ve calibrated it and then every measurement I take after that will come back as 0 until I turn it on and off again. Sometimes I’ll take a measurement and then all subsequent measurements will give the same reading even. For example, I’ll do my chest and it will come back 6 and then do my abdomen with clearly has more fat and get the same reading of 6. Everything will come back with a reading of 6 until I turn it off and on again. It’s very frustrating.

I’ve also noticed that the measurement from the Gold vs the Pro vary about 2-3mm difference for each site. So if I were to get a 8mm measurement on my thigh with the Pro, then my Gold will give me a measurement of 6mm. [/quote]

Hey, Vader, thanks again for contributing! Not to diss, but I wouldn’t buy anything electronical, have some bad experience with that sort of product myself! Mechanics all the way, baby :slight_smile:

Well, in the end, I figured that the best BF% measurements can be obtained by looking in the mirror :smiley: Again, thanks to you both for contributing.

EDIT: there’s 3 of you, actually… JWitness, I think I might look into the Lange ones if their quality is on par. I’m planning to visit the States at some point during the summer, will keep an eye out.