T Nation

How to Take Measurements?

does anyone know how to correctly use calipers and do girth measurements
lve already got calipers and tape
any advice/links appreciated

http://www.exrx.net/Testing.html

Go here and read the 3 skinfold links right under composition, and the measuring tape doesn’t take any real know how, except that you must measure everything relaxed(don’t flex your muscles.)

thread done

[quote]Steel88 wrote:
http://www.exrx.net/Testing.html

Go here and read the 3 skinfold links right under composition, and the measuring tape doesn’t take any real know how, except that you must measure everything relaxed(don’t flex your muscles.)

[/quote]

Now, a while back there was a small debate on here how yes the fitness industry measures muscles relaxed.
but in the BB world, at least for a biceps measurement you flex.

What about other areas?

On skinfold readings: After learning the standardized way to do it, it can be appropriate (depending on the person) to develop a personalized custom method.

Some might object, “Oh that’s not proven valid.” Well, the standardized methods are of no great shakes for necessarily being accurate, so any thought that the calculation produced must be about right should be abandoned anyway.

(For example, with 3-point or 4-point JP I measure in the 5% bf range when in fact still 10 lb or more overfat compared to a good lean condition. So the error is probably around 4-5% bf in my case.)

Why change to different, custom points?

If for a given individual any of the standard points are difficult to take or tend to give varying readings, or if a standard point tends to have a very low reading, then picking another point where the skin is more cooperative, readings are more consistent, and/or readings are larger can be better for purposes of accurately tracking change.

For example I track using only two points: the standard ab point, and a point on the gluteus medius. My thigh skinfold is difficult to take accurately as the skin is very tight there, and the triceps, chest, and suprailiac standard points are thin and thus don’t allow much percentage precision in reading.

A good site for instructions and calculators is: http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

You can still use standard calculators with custom measurement points. Either just create in the “spreadsheet cells” figures that sum to the total you measured, or that sum to a total multiplied by some correction factor you’ve developed. For example, if using the 3-point calculator and your measurement points total on average to double the value that the standard 3 points do in your case, then divide the measured total by 2 to have a “corrected total.”

Or for example in my case, the gluteus medius measurement averages about the same as the sum of the triceps, suprailiac, and thigh measurement – but is far more consistent and much easier to measure – and so I just use the 4 point calculator creating figures so the total comes out to the total sum-of-two that I measured.

Not valid for scientific publication, but probably more useful for personal measurement of change.