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Old 10-05-2005, 10:58 AM   #1
Dan MacDougald
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I just got some Accu-Measure calipers to measure my body fat, and I'm curious as to why the same caliper measurement means more fat % for an older person (like me) than for a younger person. About 8mm translates to ~16% for my age group, but only 8% for a 20 year old.
I could only surmise that older folks skin is thinner, therefore more fat for the same measurement. But I would like to know rather than guess.
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Old 10-05-2005, 12:13 PM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
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The theory is that older people carry more fat in their organs, such as a fatty liver etc, therefore the equivalent skinfold reading does not show that difference. Like all bodyfat measurements, it's a theory that probably has some relevance for the normal sedentary Jane and Joe but for fit people it's pretty sketchy and not very well supported.
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Old 10-05-2005, 01:39 PM   #3
Jeremy Jones
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I can change my bf on my digital scale just by adjusting the input age by one year.


When I turn 26 in November, It'll probably jump a percent or two.




I just use it to laugh at anyway. I am probably around 7% bf and the electric scale thingy has always said I was at 19 or so (more if I drink a glass of water and step on).


calipers and electric scales are just guides. How you look and feel is more important.
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:46 AM   #4
Paul Symes
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The calipers are usefull. The thing is is not to get too wrapped up in what your BF% is because it's only an estimate - that's where the age, height and sex comes in to the equation. If you measure consistently in the same place at the same time, it's a good way of comparing you against yourself and measuring progress.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:47 AM   #5
Craig Van De Walker
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Calipers are great if you use them to trend your progress. They are more consistent IMO than electronic impedance type devices which can vary significantly during the same day.

The norms for the bodyfat tables are compiled by using average people for the most part. They estimate as posted above and on average older people are not only fatter but tend to carry more intra-abdominal (internal) fat. I doubt when these companies put this data together they could find hundreds of fit older people to do tresting on so they used unfit people and extrapolated. It would probably not be hard to find a large group of relatively fit 18year olds.

I would also suggest using at least 7 pinch sites for testing as it will increase the overall consistency of the results for example on men using thigh, abd, suprailliac, mid axial, subscap, chest and tricep. Add them all together and trend the totals to see if you are losing or gaining.

But just to reiterate follow the trend it will tell you whether you are heading in the right direction.
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:52 AM   #6
Dan MacDougald
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Thanks y'all
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Old 10-08-2005, 07:07 PM   #7
Clement Florence
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This discussion sounds very bodybuilder like,not at all like the style of Crossfit. Stand naked in frontof a mirror, hang onto your private bits,and jump up and down and you will see how much fat you have.
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Old 10-09-2005, 04:41 AM   #8
Paul Symes
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Mirror?!

That sounds even more bodybuilding like :crazy:
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