T Nation

Calculators, Calculators and Devices (John Roman II)

In the spirit of John’s post on soy, the last few days of reading the Forum have made it obvious that perhaps something similar should be said about calculators, calculations and measuring devices.

If you’re like me (“skinny fat/fat hardgainer”) , you BETTER be following your body composition closely. If you don’t, that “re-feed” you’ve begun can cancel out weeks of work or you’ll have NO IDEA what effect your diet and resistance program is having on your body composition. For the genetically gifted…fine…just “look in the mirror”…and shut the hell up…

Now…with that being said…ALL CALCULATORS, CALCULATIONS AND MEASURING DEVICES (Bio-impedence, calipers, lasers, Bod Pods, underwater measurements, calculations, etc.) ARE ONLY TOOLS! You should use them as such in order to measure REALTIVE progresss and the effectiveness of your program and diet. If your desire is to “brag in the gym” about the size of your guns or your “0 %BF”…then brag…don’t look at any analytical methodology to boost and support your ego. By the same vain, don’t say something is “crap” just because it didn’t support that ego, okay?

So…use calculations and measuring devices as TOOLS…use them to monitor RELATIVE PROGRESS…monitor your program if you either tend to gain fat easily OR are a “true” hardgainer…eat good…and finally; work and play hard!

Excellent, excellent post, Mufasa. Something that had to be said. And you said it very nicely!


Yes, very understandable. But as for me, what you just said is a bag of SH_T!!! Im a boxer and to keep “playing” I have to be a certain weight!! So those “tools” are what keeps me on track, point, down, up, happy, sad, frustrated, and mad. Yeah, Im lean, but one pound which would make no difference in the mirror would cancel a fight that I trained extremely hard for, one freakin pound amigo. But I understand your point, even though your hating on those proud ones simply because you cannot obtain what you want. Not knockin on you, just reevaluate what’s keeping you from your goal, then begin with a renegade type attitude towards it! Good Luck!

Excellent post, Mufasa, I completely agree.

While I do measure my body fat, I am aware enough to realize that the actual measurement is pretty meaningless; it's just one tool I use to track progress.

I do maintain, though, that as long as you consistently test it the same way, bodyfat testing is excellent. It is a nice way to set and achieve goals for yourself while dieting.

Keeping with what you said, in terms of bragging rights, touting your body fat % is pretty silly/ My 7% might look like one persons 5% or another's 10%. It's all pretty individual; no point in bragging. Just measure yourself against yourself, I always say.

Again, great, informative post, Muf.


One too many head shots, Bro? I have NO idea where you’re coming from, or what I said that was a “piece of shit???”

“Reaching weight” is NOT the game I’m discussing here…it’s monitoring body re-composition for mostly aesthetic reasons, especially for the person who is either a hardgainer or gains fat easily. The game you’re talking about IS strictly reaching the numbers for a weigh in; I’m talking about body re-composition…these are often two VERY different animals…

Great post! I agree completely that these devices are only tools. For me, the best measure of progress will always be the mirror, especially given my body type (predispostion toward the apple shape, no matter how hard I fight it!). My quad skinfold stays in the 3-5mm range year round, even when I don’t consider myself even remotely lean due to my problematic areas (abs and chest). The mirror nevers lies! Plus, I plan to compete in bodybuilding in the future; how many contests are going to be decided based on who reports the lowest BF%?

Re-read Mufasa’s post again. Me thinks you missed his point and also undertand this: Mufasa is one of the more knowledgable contributors of the forum, as well as one of the forum’s veterans.

Again, this is a great post (as usual, Mufasa). I know I've stated this before, but my primary tool for "measuring" my BF has been the mirror. In the past, I've use calipers...and yes, they're just one tool that's available. Overall, I go by how "functional" I am - that's more important for me than losing or gaining that 1% of BF. Now when I'm preparing for a contest, than I'm more concerned about the BF. BUT, it's how you'll look onstage that's the primary concern......

Mufasa, no doubt. I completely agree with your post Mufasa, I said that in my previous reply, I just had to throw that little issue in cuz it’s what I face all the time. Nothing against you the “piece of sh_t” part that I said was uncalled for. Oh by the way, I have a great defense and am extremely quick, so I have not taken too many head shots!!!argh.

Patricia reread my post as I stated he was correct and his post was very good. Again, nothing against MUFASA, and please do not mistake me replying in that manner for me challenging his knowledge, it had nothing to do with his credibility so do not make it a bigger issue. The statement I made was just to release some anger on the scale issue that I deal with, just a humor type thing that came out the wrong way.

Anything else?

Thanks, Al! You’re a class act!

I responded too quickly and harshly…with the growth of The Nation, there has been a BIG influx of “know-it-alls” that have just irked me lately…so again…MY apologies…

By the way…I’m stll learning…so challenge me anytime you think I’m full of it. We’ll knock some ideas around and most likely will come up with the answer!