T Nation

Dexa Scan

Hey,

I just finished my (slow/clean) bulk (gained 18kg in 2 years) and figured it would be nice to have a dexa scan to see how my cut goes but the results were quite strange to me.

My Bodyfatscale says I’m at 15% bf, Caliper says 11% and the “Navy-measurement” (it calculates the bf out of height,weight,neck circumference and waist circumference) says 14%.
That’s an average of 13,3 and i thought it would be pretty accurate but the dexascan showed 21,5%
That would mean my measurements (and I’m sure I didn’t cheat on any of those 3 measurements) are off 8,2%!

Did anyone make similar experiences?

[quote]timboo wrote:
Hey,

I just finished my (slow/clean) bulk (gained 18kg in 2 years) and figured it would be nice to have a dexa scan to see how my cut goes but the results were quite strange to me.

My Bodyfatscale says I’m at 15% bf, Caliper says 11% and the “Navy-measurement” (it calculates the bf out of height,weight,neck circumference and waist circumference) says 14%.
That’s an average of 13,3 and i thought it would be pretty accurate but the dexascan showed 21,5%
That would mean my measurements (and I’m sure I didn’t cheat on any of those 3 measurements) are off 8,2%!

Did anyone make similar experiences?[/quote]

None of those are really efficient compared to the dexa

I’ve had 2 DEXA scans, they’re pretty much the gold-standard. The other 3 methods are notoriously inexact.

Anecdotally, I just had a Bod Pod done today. 297 @ 23.4% BF compared to just a couple days ago 293 at 15.4% on the calipers (my girlfriend is VERY good with the calipers). This seems to be consistent with my other trips to the Bod Pod compared to calipers, where the readings seem to differ between 5-7 percentage points.

I also hold a lot more visceral fat than subcutaneous, which would partially explain the discrepancy since skinfolds dont measure visceral.

Basically, they are all useless measurements (especially the Navy method lol) but if you are going to go by anything, just use your skinfold measurements (the total sum, not the caluclated BF% you get using it) to track your progress. Find a level that you feel comfortable at and look good at and don’t let yourself get above that mark while gaining.

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:
Anecdotally, I just had a Bod Pod done today. 297 @ 23.4% BF compared to just a couple days ago 293 at 15.4% on the calipers (my girlfriend is VERY good with the calipers). This seems to be consistent with my other trips to the Bod Pod compared to calipers, where the readings seem to differ between 5-7 percentage points.

I also hold a lot more visceral fat than subcutaneous, which would partially explain the discrepancy since skinfolds dont measure visceral.

Basically, they are all useless measurements (especially the Navy method lol) but if you are going to go by anything, just use your skinfold measurements (the total sum, not the caluclated BF% you get using it) to track your progress. Find a level that you feel comfortable at and look good at and don’t let yourself get above that mark while gaining.[/quote]

visceral fat, wow completely forgot about this concept.

This is how one could lose quite a bit of weight but have a small change in caliper readings right?
or maybe even look lean but still have a higher bodyfat percentage than you would think?

hm well, then it seems there is no point in doing any of those 3 measurements again. And I think I should start to question my diet/training-regime because I’m a quite dedicated person. Had about 3 cheatmeals in the last 2 years. So that bf is way too high to be acceptable.

[quote]timboo wrote:
hm well, then it seems there is no point in doing any of those 3 measurements again. And I think I should start to question my diet/training-regime because I’m a quite dedicated person. Had about 3 cheatmeals in the last 2 years. So that bf is way too high to be acceptable.

[/quote]

eh, but if you like the way you look then who cares what the absolute number is? It’s a bit silly to say that you were happy with your physique when the calipers read %15, but unhappy when the DEXA showed it to be %23.

[quote]timboo wrote:
Hey,

I just finished my (slow/clean) bulk (gained 18kg in 2 years) and figured it would be nice to have a dexa scan to see how my cut goes but the results were quite strange to me.

My Bodyfatscale says I’m at 15% bf, Caliper says 11% and the “Navy-measurement” (it calculates the bf out of height,weight,neck circumference and waist circumference) says 14%.
That’s an average of 13,3 and i thought it would be pretty accurate but the dexascan showed 21,5%
That would mean my measurements (and I’m sure I didn’t cheat on any of those 3 measurements) are off 8,2%!

Did anyone make similar experiences?[/quote]

you gained 40 pounds over 2 years on a clean bulk? doesn’t sound very clean to me…

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:

[quote]timboo wrote:
Hey,

I just finished my (slow/clean) bulk (gained 18kg in 2 years) and figured it would be nice to have a dexa scan to see how my cut goes but the results were quite strange to me.

My Bodyfatscale says I’m at 15% bf, Caliper says 11% and the “Navy-measurement” (it calculates the bf out of height,weight,neck circumference and waist circumference) says 14%.
That’s an average of 13,3 and i thought it would be pretty accurate but the dexascan showed 21,5%
That would mean my measurements (and I’m sure I didn’t cheat on any of those 3 measurements) are off 8,2%!

Did anyone make similar experiences?[/quote]

you gained 40 pounds over 2 years on a clean bulk? doesn’t sound very clean to me…[/quote]

40lbs in 2 years is 20lbs a year which is less than 2 lbs a month…tell me what is wrong with that? Assuming it wasn’t all fat which it shouldn’t be if he is even somewhat knowledgeable and has even kind of decent genetics.

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:

This is how one could lose quite a bit of weight but have a small change in caliper readings right?[/quote]

This would be true if one preferentially loses visceral fat over subcutaneous fat, but I’ve often found the opposite to be true. If one is holding a lot of visceral fat, they are unlikely to lose it preferntially over subcutaneous fat.

[quote]
or maybe even look lean but still have a higher bodyfat percentage than you would think?[/quote]

I think it lends itself more to looking fat with a lower bodyfat percentage, than vice versa. If the gut is distended due to visceral fat, he is going to still look fat (at least with clothes on) yet the caliper readings are going to say that his bodyfat percentage is lower than it truly is. This is really just a function of the bodyfat percentage formula being wrong though. The visceral fat is still fat lol

This happens to be the case with me. When I cut, I will start showing abs but my stomach still protrudes. I will have the makings of a 6 pack at about 17-18% true BF (according to the Bod Pod) but still wont have a flat stomach. Truthfully I have no idea how much I would have to lose to have a truly flat stomach as I’ve never done it.

Of note, this often has to do with hormone issues lending themselves to a preferential fat storage pattern beneath the muscles viscerally rather than subctunaeously. I think it is Polquin Method that talks about that, but I can’t remember for sure.

I just realized that the (IMO) excellent article I posted earlier showing the shortcomings of various bodyfat measurmeent techniques was removed by the mods. I’m not sure what rule that violated since the site doesnt sell supplements, but Im sure they had their reasons.

If you are interested in finding it, it can be found on google using search criteria: the pitfalls of bodyfat measurement

It is a multi-part series (6 I think?) but does a good job showing the differences between bodyfat measurements and why none are really accurate since they are all based on a general formula that may not be applicable to all. The only true method is an autopsy lol

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:

[quote]timboo wrote:
Hey,

I just finished my (slow/clean) bulk (gained 18kg in 2 years) and figured it would be nice to have a dexa scan to see how my cut goes but the results were quite strange to me.

My Bodyfatscale says I’m at 15% bf, Caliper says 11% and the “Navy-measurement” (it calculates the bf out of height,weight,neck circumference and waist circumference) says 14%.
That’s an average of 13,3 and i thought it would be pretty accurate but the dexascan showed 21,5%
That would mean my measurements (and I’m sure I didn’t cheat on any of those 3 measurements) are off 8,2%!

Did anyone make similar experiences?[/quote]

you gained 40 pounds over 2 years on a clean bulk? doesn’t sound very clean to me…[/quote]

40lbs in 2 years is 20lbs a year which is less than 2 lbs a month…tell me what is wrong with that? Assuming it wasn’t all fat which it shouldn’t be if he is even somewhat knowledgeable and has even kind of decent genetics.[/quote]

this, that is a very reasonable amount of weight to gain in that time.

[quote]ryan.b_96 wrote:

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:

[quote]Andrewdwatters1 wrote:

[quote]timboo wrote:
Hey,

I just finished my (slow/clean) bulk (gained 18kg in 2 years) and figured it would be nice to have a dexa scan to see how my cut goes but the results were quite strange to me.

My Bodyfatscale says I’m at 15% bf, Caliper says 11% and the “Navy-measurement” (it calculates the bf out of height,weight,neck circumference and waist circumference) says 14%.
That’s an average of 13,3 and i thought it would be pretty accurate but the dexascan showed 21,5%
That would mean my measurements (and I’m sure I didn’t cheat on any of those 3 measurements) are off 8,2%!

Did anyone make similar experiences?[/quote]

you gained 40 pounds over 2 years on a clean bulk? doesn’t sound very clean to me…[/quote]

40lbs in 2 years is 20lbs a year which is less than 2 lbs a month…tell me what is wrong with that? Assuming it wasn’t all fat which it shouldn’t be if he is even somewhat knowledgeable and has even kind of decent genetics.[/quote]

this, that is a very reasonable amount of weight to gain in that time.[/quote]

Damn… I put on 30 in about 6 months. I’m 6’6" though. His 40 pounds over 2 years seems like it is very clean and he is probably still lean.

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:
…showing the shortcomings of various bodyfat measurmeent techniques… …showing the differences between bodyfat measurements and why none are really accurate since they are all based on a general formula that may not be applicable to all. The only true method is an autopsy lol…[/quote]

Concur. I couldn’t agree with you more. I too have experienced a huge difference in my tests as well… actually quite opposite to what has been mentioned above… my 7 & 12-site skin fold (caliper) and impedance (BIA… sp?) tests are generally 2.5-6.5% more than my DEXA BF% which has been floating around 6.5-9% for the past five years (BMD = ~ +1.3). I am definitely ‘small-boned structured’, wirey, and lean… I have been told that I have very little intramuscular and visceral fat and high levels of subcutaneous fat coupled with extremely elastic thick skin that throws off the skin fold and impedance tests.

When I had a hydrostatic weighing once it was within 1% of a DEXA taken a few days earlier.

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

eh, but if you like the way you look then who cares what the absolute number is? It’s a bit silly to say that you were happy with your physique when the calipers read %15, but unhappy when the DEXA showed it to be %23.
[/quote]

This is true, and also I have no idea what bf i was before my bulk. I’ll see how well my cut goes :slight_smile: