T Nation

14%?!?!?!?

Alright, I just got my free netrition calipers today and it showed I got 14% bodyfat?!? I thought I was along the lines of 10 or so, but 14? Man. Please give some encouraging words on what should be done.

Its just a silly number. Forget about it and concentrate on what the mirror tells you, as well as how you feel in your body.

Encouraging words: No matter where you are in your progress, you’re at someone else’s goal right now. For example, I’ve come down to 14% using MD6, Grow, AP, Surge, glutamine, and a great diet. But right now I’m up much higher than that (bulking phase), and I’d LOVE to be back where you are now. So smirk at my envy and flaunt it.

DK, I feel your pain. I posted a couple of weeks ago on the same problem and got a lot of good feedback. The calipers, using Netrition’s web-posted chart, showed me at 20%! Yeah, right. The chart’s off, no doubt about it. So I posted and got a lot of good feedback. If look up recent posts under my name, you should be able to find it pretty quickly. In any case, here’s a website with a much better measurement system: www.gncproperperformance.com/stout_qa_0014.asp (if the moderator’ll let it through). I set up an Excel spreadsheet and have been tracking myself for the past few weeks. And, no, I wasn’t at 20% at all. It’s more like 14%, which is about what I had eyeballed myself at. Let’s face it, if you’re one of those guys (like me) who carries more fat on his love handles than anywhere else, the one-site suprailiac Netrition measurement is basically a waste of time.

Ok. I’m a little settled down now. I only took it from one spot, where it told me to right above my hipbone. Where are the other spots to check? Or does anyone know of a website with information on this? I guess 14% isn’t so bad anyway, I’m on a bulking phase, ya, that’s it, a bulking phase, 14% is ok.

If you are happy with the way you look that is all that matters.

Check out this site for some decent info on skin fold tests. http://www.solid.net/lowcarb/lylemcd/skinfold.htm there is an explanation and a formula to calculate bodyfat. Hope this helps.

Here is a link to a 7-site method. All you do is take the measurements and enter them in and you’ll get a %. http://www.enforcergraphics.f2s.com/formmal7.htm

DK: Hang in there man. One site is definitely not enough - that may be “your spot”, while the rest of you is lean. 3 sites are a minimum I’ve ever seen, and to me, 9 is a real minimum to be an even remotely accurate number. Plus, you are not trained (I assume) in taking these measurements (some of which are downright impossible on yourself anyway), so it’s expected that the number is going to be off. Here’s the 9 sites I’ve seen used on me: Calf, Abs, low back, side abs, thigh, shoulder blades, upper chest, tricep, bicep. There’s a particular orientation to the pinch that you have to obey, as well as very particular sites (sorry, don’t know these). There’s also a ton of formulas to figure out a number, but if you want to track progress, a simple addition of your scinfolds should suffice.

If you want to be a semi-permanent 10% then you should perhaps strive to get to 8%? Everyone has some rebound, so I’d advise you to go to 8% or so.

Be of good cheer, DK. Twice in the last two years, immediately before getting hydrostatically weighed, I paid to have a four site caliper test done. Both times I came out at 17.3. The dunk tank put me at 10.1 and 11.3. It sounds self-serving to believe the lower numbers, but trust me: I was nowhere near 17.3. My abs were fully visible, as was the vein on my arm, and I had no love handles at all. The first time I got calipered, I assumed the tech did it wrong. But when the discrepancy in results was nearly the same one year later, with a different technician, I grew skeptical of the caliper method. (In fact, even the technician for the second year said, “I don’t know how to tell a guy who looks like you that you’re 17.3 %, but, well, that’s what the numbers say.”) And one might assume that your one site test would have an even greater margin for error. So DK, it really is possible that you are (or were, before bulking) closer to 10 than 14. Just because it’s what you want to believe doesn’t make it wrong. But I do echo the other comments – it truly is only a number.

Ok, thanks everybody, tried a few of those websites, did the three site one, i’ll have my bud help me out to try the 7 site one and see the difference. With the three site one I come out with right around 12.4%, that sounds a little better. It’s still probably off though, with this being the first time I’ve tried taking my own bf%. I wonder if this is right though either, my arms get super-veiny(ya, thats a word) while doing arms, I can’t really see my abs though, so I guess I must carry more fat around the gut area. I’d like to get down around 6% or so, not stay at it but just to see if I can and what I’d look like. Otherwise right around 10% or so should be good. Hmmmm…maybe I’ll put up a pic and get some feedback that way.

I think i remember an article by the T-men about products they like, appeared last summer. I think this was the caliper they recommended. If I’m wrong correct me.

DK: I’m not familiar with the calipers that your using from netrition, but I would think that spring loaded calipers, preferably electronic, would be the most accurate - you can easily offset the readings if you have to squeeze the calipers shut to get the reading! BTW, for me, 2 different 3-site readings had me above 10% (I think the numbers were 12), while a 9 site reading was down at 8 (two different measurers and sets of calipers though!)- the technician and the formula was later calibrated to underwater weighing to be within 1% of that number, so I’m guessing that the 3 site method is just way off for my body type. This could be the case for you - more in this case is definitely better, as you get an accurate measurement of the overall fat levels (I believe the 3 site methods are probably the areas where most guys store the most fat, and therefore the readings are high).