T Nation

Want to Know my Bodyfat % Please


#1

I tried using my new calipers and they’re coming up at 31% bf. I am in denial. Does that look like that’s what my bf is from pictures?? I am 36 and 5’3 117 pounds. Waist 27.5" and stomach 29 inches. Upon waking.
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#2

No, you’re not 31% body fat. Calipers need to be used by someone very experienced with them because doing the measurement wrong can lead to a very large error in result.

For tracking body fat I would either a) go to someone who is very experienced and get the 7 site caliper test or b) forget the calipers and just watch the combination of scale, mirror, and tape around the stomach. If the tape goes down then you’re leaning up even if the scale doesn’t move. Best idea is to combine several indicators and look at the trend as a whole from them rather than relying on just one kind of measurement.

If you have access to a good tech with calipers though it can be very helpful. I still never rely on only one kind of tracking measurement though.


#3

I agree you aren’t 31% , bodyfat is touchy because we all store it differently.


#4

so it can’t be guesstimated by pics?? I just got worried because 31% is almost overweight. I’ve always thought like 23-25%


#5

Lighting posture all factors i guess you are closer to 23% it is harder to tell in women for me. How about a pic with stomach sucked in abs flexed and lats flaired and delts tighten. You will look much leaner .


#6

hard to say for sure but it’s certainly nowhere near high enough for you to worry about it


#7

Not clued up on wimmenz numbers but In man percentages I’d say 11-15% tops -ie reasonably lean and waay ahead of the general population


#8

Nope, can’t be guestimated by pics. Not to any degree of specific accuracy at least. More experienced eyes can estimate it, but only in raw pictures–as someone else said lighting, flexing, shadows, and polishing a photo for instagram are all ways to make you look dramatically different than you do every day. I would say you’re in the low 20s or possibly high teens, but if you want an accurate number you really need to get a caliper measurement done from someone who is legitimately experienced…don’t try to DIY.

Your primary issue is that you simply don’t have a ton of muscle. You’re actually reasonably lean you just don’t have a good amount of muscle to show off the body.


#9

But we’re working on it right ARagorn?? I will add some videos on the other thread soon. I figured you had an experienced eye, that’s why I asked. And no I did no polishing, didn’t know how too.


#10

I know, I meant people in general


#11

Are you training to be lean , bodybuilding, or a little of both like figure contestants? Don’t be afraid to do compound movements squats, deadlifts, especially if someone can show how to do them right, you won’t get over muscled, natural. Sorry this was for mamaherrera.


#12

want to be in shape, not super built, no fear of that, just want to get my stomach not so flabby and wide, and I want to increase my ratio of fat/muscle, because I put on my pants “before baby 4” and I have lovehandles, that I didn’t have before, even though I weigh the same.


#13

When you look at the picture, what is it you want to work on? Because that should be your goal, rather than inaccurate and misleading numbers


#14

not having a wishy washy, squisy and stretch stomach, and a smaller waistline.


#15

I would say you are pretty much there then.

Going back to the original question though, I don’t feel like knowing your body fat percentage will help you move towards that goal. Maybe a simple waist to hip measurement would be a better way to go if you need to quantify this stuff. That would also help incentivise building muscle in the appropriate places that will help your waist appear smaller, because I think at this point you’re not going to reduce your actual waist size much healthily


#16

Your stomach not that bad cut carbs a little replace with a little more protein, increase cal out put graduation slowly get results, if you are Hispanic cut cheese and tortillas, and stay away from kids snacks ie cheesy gold fish, pizza fish etc.


#17

Thanks, that is my problem actually my waist/ hip ratio is very close to .8 which supposedly is bad. Why?? Because I have small hips. I’d actually like to get wider hips, if that’s possible or a smaller waist. Is it possible to widen the hip area with muscle? Thanks for all tips. It’s frustrating with a body like mine and I try to do everything right.


#18

It’s frustrating for everyone, unfortunately. Otherwise everyone would look like insert famous celeb you admire.

I’m no expert on wider hips, but I believe it’s perfectly possible. Squats/Glute bridges etc. are the ticket I believe.


#19

No, it’s not possible to widen your bone structure.

It is possible to work on gaining muscle in your hips and shoulders, which will help create the visual illusion of a smaller waist. This is waht pretty much every figure competitor works on.


#20

And honestly, your actual waist is probably able to shrink a tiny bit from 27.5 with some targeted ab work and change in posture. It won’t shrink 2 inches or anything, but better posture will help some with how your waist appears