T Nation

Bodyfat Scale, No Progress in 6wks?


#1

Hey guys

6 weeks ago I measured my bodyfat at the gym with a scale. It was 18.5%. My goal is to get to +/- 13%. Losing some bodyfat, and becoming more lean.

So today was the day I measured again and it was still at 18%

People tell me I lost weight, they tell me I look more lean. I look in the mirror and see my body changing.

Are those scales accurate at all?

My diet contains a lot of protein. Eating eggs, eating greece yoghurt or french cotton cheese, ofcourse I eat meat and fish. I also take vegetables (altho I could upp those a bit) and I eat my fruits. I did use whey, but I am cutting it out since I think I can still improve on my diet without 'supplements'. The supplements I do take are Multi Vitamine and Fish oil. I only drink water, never eat candy or take soda's. I also never take alcohol.

My fats I got from the greece yoghurt and nuts.

My training contains of boxing 3 times a week and weight lifting 2 times a week where I do: Squat, Dead lift, Overhead press, bench press, chin up, and bend over row.

I do lots of compound excersises because my major goal is to create a more athletic body and maybe even more important, i notice doing compound excersises really help with boxing

I could really use some feedback because it freaked me out a bit that 6 weeks of watching my diet and training hard, I didn't lose any bodyfat at all (according to the scale)


#2

I wouldn’t put any faith in those. I had a digital bf monitor tell me I was 19% bodyfat the day before I won my pro card -lol.

S


#3

Okay, then I won’t. So how, without paying money for it, do I know what my bodyfat % is?

I am not really sure why it’s important. But I want to keep some sort of idea because I want to know I am losing fat instead of losing muscle.

I lost 6 kg since I started my diet, but I don’t want those 6 kg to be muscles I worked for.


#4

[quote]TonyBlue wrote:
Okay, then I won’t. So how, without paying money for it, do I know what my bodyfat % is?

[/quote]

A miraculous tool we call a mirror!

Seriously, measurements and the mirror will tell you what you need to know. The # really doesn’t matter. I understand your desire to have concrete numbers to compare, but honestly you’ll be better off using the mirror and tape measure.


#5

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I wouldn’t put any faith in those. I had a digital bf monitor tell me I was 19% bodyfat the day before I won my pro card -lol.

S[/quote]

You sleep in a chamber filled with HOT-ROX dissolved in the water don’t you?


#6

Buy calipers man


#7

It’s not as scientific as hydrostatic weighing, BUT my rule of thumb is that if my strength isn’t dropping, and I’m looking tighter in the mirror, then I have nothing to be worried about as far as muscle loss. Again, not too scientific, but for anyone seriously concerned with their body composition, it really is all you need to be concerned with.

And seriously, how many gym-idiots walk around telling everyone who’ll listen that they’re “under 10% bodyfat” but they still look like crap? -lol. I’ve won a few bodybuilding shows, but I couldn’t tell you what my bf% was. Besides, no matter what BS you read in the magazines, most contest ready competitors actually step onstage at around 6-7%, so I wouldn’t get too caught up in this.

S


#8

Yeah, i guess you are right on point about not getting caught up in this. Its ego.

I am actually gaining strength. My bench has gone up, my squats, everything is getting stronger + I don’t gass as quick when I am boxing. Very weird that I didn’t look at those things to measure my progress, but was fixed on some numbers on a scale.

Thank you for the smack in the face, as I like to call it


#9

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
It’s not as scientific as hydrostatic weighing, BUT my rule of thumb is that if my strength isn’t dropping, and I’m looking tighter in the mirror, then I have nothing to be worried about as far as muscle loss. Again, not too scientific, but for anyone seriously concerned with their body composition, it really is all you need to be concerned with.

And seriously, how many gym-idiots walk around telling everyone who’ll listen that they’re “under 10% bodyfat” but they still look like crap? -lol. I’ve won a few bodybuilding shows, but I couldn’t tell you what my bf% was. Besides, no matter what BS you read in the magazines, most contest ready competitors actually step onstage at around 6-7%, so I wouldn’t get too caught up in this.

S[/quote]

This is good info Stu. I’ve been focused on tightening up my body as well since my wife wants to start cruising the beach more. I have a electronic BF tester and recently bought a set of calipers and neither have given me the #'s I’m hoping for. I do look better in the mirror though. :slight_smile:


#10

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
Buy calipers man[/quote]

Beginner here as well, but aren’t calipers off big time as well in terms of watching progress? I just remember someone saying (which of course means anything haha) that even a skilled person using them can take two totally different measurements each time.

Thanks, just trying to learn! I do like the idea of mirror and a tape measure.


#11

[quote]KcThrows wrote:

[quote]Ct. Rockula wrote:
Buy calipers man[/quote]

Beginner here as well, but aren’t calipers off big time as well in terms of watching progress? I just remember someone saying (which of course means anything haha) that even a skilled person using them can take two totally different measurements each time.[/quote]
They can definitely be misinterpreted. No way I’d suggest a beginner use calipers, especially on themselves.

As was mentioned, the combo of the mirror and/or photos, performance in and out of the gym, and tape measurements will give a better method of tracking legit progress.

If you lost 6kg in 6 weeks, while improving strength across the board, I’d say you’re on the right track.

Although (just checked your post history), if I read one of your threads from a few months ago correctly, you’re 6 feet tall and weigh around 80kg? That’s actually pretty skinny, man. You definitely need to focus on building lean muscle, which is going to help you look and be more athletic.

Any chance you’ve got a current picture, to get a better idea of the shape you’re in?


#12

I don’t have pictures

I am indeed, 1 meter 80 and I weigh 82 kg. I really wouldnt say I am skinny haha Its possible, i dont believe in objective self images


#13

Just to say that body fat estimates via scales are hopelessly innaccurate, they are very skewed by body water content. Just from weight alone i can tell you that my body water content can change by 1 to 1.5 litres overnight ie anything up to a 4lb difference in 12 hours.

I now believe what Chris Shugart said in his spill about this ie forget body fat % percentage and go on direct measurements and mirror.

Sorry i can’t do a link to that article but have a look under Chris’s articles.


#14

[quote]TonyBlue wrote:
I am indeed, 1 meter 80 and I weigh 82 kg. I really wouldnt say I am skinny haha Its possible, i dont believe in objective self images [/quote]
5’11", 180 pounds might not exactly be “skinny” but it doesn’t really indicate that you’ve got a good muscular base.

Chris Leben is your same height and a kinda-lean 185 pounds in the pic above. Are you in that kind of shape right now, in terms of development and/or leanness?

I’m just confused about your progress. Last September, you said your weight was “around 80, could be way less though”.

Now, 9 months later, you’re about 5 pounds heavier (and this is after dropping about 13 pounds already). Is that about right?

In that same time period, how much has your strength improved on the basic lifts (squat, deadlift, bench, row, overhead press)?

What I’m getting at is that there’s a very good chance your training isn’t nearly as productive as it could be. Even if boxing, or looking like a fighter, is your top priority, you want to focus on building lean muscle and strength, not just dropping fat lke it seems you’ve been doing for nearly a year.