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True or false: Calipers Are The Best Way To Measure Body Fat
Beth Skwarecki

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I'm sorry to tell you that the best way to measure body fat is expensive and very inconvenient. It's also at odds with your training goals, whatever they might be, because to undergo it you have to be dead.

When scientists want to be really precise, they dissect a cadaver, putting the fatty tissue in a bucket and setting the non-fatty tissue aside. They weigh, they measure, they calculate, and finally they can give a pretty darn good estimate of how much of the cadaver's body was ...



2 Comments
James FitzGerald June 1 2014 9:37 am
Beth, I am biased towards the callipers as we teach it in CCP (www.optexperience.com/ccp) so do agreed that for least invasive its the best route for coaches.
2nd, we have an in body 720 in house as well to measure these scores off also.
it is right that there needs to be "multiple" practices on the callipers for validity and control, same goes for teaching olympic lifts as well for example, so don't discount the calipers due to low experience, as over time they (the coach) do get better.
as for the BF% score, it is honestly a shit show....from jackson, to durnin womersely, to biosig, to CSEP, to NSCA...all the research to get the scores are so group biased on who was in the testing its VERY laughable....
so as in CCP, like you said, use the scores to determine changes at each site over time, its the only way.
last point, honestly giving percentages makes the scoring so much more mentally unhealthy as well its just best to give people scores, norms on healthy, unhealthy, performance based, then go from there...
Greg Everett June 12 2014 9:15 am
This is good stuff and nice to have what makes sense logically reinforced. James, I used to do the same thing - just directly compared skinfold measurements (I never used their sum as a metric - never even occurred to me, honestly) and this seemed to be a fairly reliable and sensible measure of progress, especially when combined with photo comparison, clothing fit, etc. Beth, this is your best article yet - your opening about the most accurate method is genius.
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