T Nation

Scales That Show Bodyfat %

How close to the mark are these things with over weight people? not your 120kg body builder but your average over weight person?

[quote]jzzz wrote:
How close to the mark are these things with over weight people? not your 120kg body builder but your average over weight person?[/quote]

The one I’ve used pretty much just takes your BMI and then guesses based on that.

[quote]jzzz wrote:
How close to the mark are these things with over weight people? not your 120kg body builder but your average over weight person?[/quote]

The way I understand it, they don’t work that well. even worse if you have a lower % or train seriously. It essentially guesses at skeletal weight and such.

Get calipers if you are really that interested.

[quote]brownab wrote:
jzzz wrote:
How close to the mark are these things with over weight people? not your 120kg body builder but your average over weight person?

The one I’ve used pretty much just takes your BMI and then guesses based on that.
[/quote]

BMI has 0 to do with Body fat. If there really is a scale that does that, it’s retarded.

They are awful. I just got calipers and came in at 218 @ 16% BF. One of those scales I tried out had me at 42%.

they’re a waste of money, you can change the reading within the span of a few hours just by increasing/decreasing your level of hydration. and i don’t mean by a little, i mean by margins like 10-15%. Save yourself the money and just buy a regular scale.

i have one of those. it even has two settings, one for “normal” and one for “athlete.” it’s bullshit. the last time i used it i was at about 10% based on my calipers. the normal setting showed me at 18% and the athlete setting showed me at 7.5%

in short, they’re worthless.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
brownab wrote:
jzzz wrote:
How close to the mark are these things with over weight people? not your 120kg body builder but your average over weight person?

The one I’ve used pretty much just takes your BMI and then guesses based on that.

BMI has 0 to do with Body fat. If there really is a scale that does that, it’s retarded.[/quote]

It does, it is. I’m sure that’s not exactly how it works, but the few times I have used i,t the result is proportional to my weight. I’m not overly good with calipers, but they say 12-14% and the scale says +20%. I’m reasonably certain that my abs aren’t showing at 22% bodyfat

I kind of wonder about the hand held body fat analyzers too. They ask you your height, weight, age and sex and then you hold it for a few seconds and it tells you your BF percentage. If I put in my real age (55) I get around 17% if I put in my age as 25 I get under 10%. Why the difference?

FWIW- the numbers do remain consistent from day to day

[quote]brownab wrote:
DoubleDuce wrote:
brownab wrote:
jzzz wrote:
How close to the mark are these things with over weight people? not your 120kg body builder but your average over weight person?

The one I’ve used pretty much just takes your BMI and then guesses based on that.

BMI has 0 to do with Body fat. If there really is a scale that does that, it’s retarded.

It does, it is. I’m sure that’s not exactly how it works, but the few times I have used i,t the result is proportional to my weight. I’m not overly good with calipers, but they say 12-14% and the scale says +20%. I’m reasonably certain that my abs aren’t showing at 22% bodyfat[/quote]

Could be, because that is when I see mine. At least the top 4 and then I still have about 20lbs of visceral fat, if not more.

So, your readings could actually be spot on.

You can find out easily, stand sideways and look in the mirror.

[quote]jzzz wrote:
How close to the mark are these things with over weight people? not your 120kg body builder but your average over weight person?[/quote]

They are not really accurate but if they are off they are at least consistently off.

If you get one that measures the whole body, i.e. has handles, you do at least know whether you are moving in the right direction and that is really all you need to know at that stage.

It also helps psychologically if you had some carbs and freak out about the water weight you gained when you know that only your LBM has increased.

[quote]Jetboy1 wrote:
I kind of wonder about the hand held body fat analyzers too. They ask you your height, weight, age and sex and then you hold it for a few seconds and it tells you your BF percentage. If I put in my real age (55) I get around 17% if I put in my age as 25 I get under 10%. Why the difference?

FWIW- the numbers do remain consistent from day to day [/quote]

I’m wondering about these too.

A dietician at my work has these and uses them for body fat measuring. My colleagues ask her to measure their BF% from time to time with these things. I never made a comment about them, but I seriously doubt their accuracy, even when these are presented as the most modern and state of the art technique. When I talk about hydrostatic body fat measuring, they all look at me like: “WTF, what does dumping into a water tank have to do with this?”.

It’s sad that people get lost into these gimmicky gadgets and don’t question the all praising research by it’s manufactering companies. They even don’t know what a healthy BF% is. I’m sorry for the rant, but it annoys me when people are getting caught in numbers and not use their common sense.

For the general population BF% doesn’t actually even matter, people only care about how they look, knowing your BF% is irrelevant if you actually make healthy choices and live a healthy life. But it seems to be a great excuse to say: “I may not look like I’ve lost any blubber, but at least I know what my BF% is.”

Yea I don’t have a trainer an no way to track my progress other than the measuring tape.

My lifts are going up I have dropped two dress sizes but only lost 10kgs so i thought this might be a smarter way to go.

they put me at 7.8% i got excited , looked and the mirror and …down goes my excitement

I agree that the scales don’t work. A lot of people don’t realize that a descent set of calipers is under $10.