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Old 01-03-2006, 05:41 AM   #1
Peter Borden
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The problem: the Zone tape-measure system shows my body fat to be around 12-13%, while calipers are showing 5% (to 8%). Which are more accurate, to be trusted, and why? My assumption would be that calipers are better...

I know this has come up before, and I totally agree with those who preach "just use the same method throughout your training and you'll be fine." However, if I am 5-8% and not 13%, this makes a big difference in terms of zone fat blocks, and could account for me feeling energy sapped and generally ****ty as of late.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:14 AM   #2
Jonathon Edward
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Peter,

When using the calipers, how many sites are you testing? A few of the calipers on the market have you only testing one spot - the iliac crest - and I don't think this is very accurate. The difference in your physical appearance from 5%-13% would be phenomenal. If your abs are very defined you're probably in the lower range (an informal but fairly accurate way to judge). Either way, try upping your fat blocks and see how you feel. If your performance increases, you feel better, and you do not gain bodyfat than go with it. Remember that customizing the Zone is as much an art as a science.
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:20 PM   #3
paul arestan
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Calipers shouldn't be used to estimate body composition; they can only be used to monitor changes. If the sum of all the skinflods goes down, you lose fat. Simple.
We did an experiment once: we took 6 measurements with a caliper and used the results with 3 or 4 different calculation methods. I ranged between 6 and 12% body fat, which was not accurate enough.
If you take the measurements in a consistant manner, at the exact same spots, in the same conditions, you can add them up and use the sum of all skinfolds as a guideline to see how your body composition is changing.
I don't know about the Zone tape measure and can't comment on it, but keep in mind that a test has to be appropriate, accurate, reliable and consistant to be worth using.
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Old 01-03-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
Frank Menendez
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How do i measure using the "Zone tape-measure system"? Link?
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Old 01-05-2006, 01:51 PM   #5
Paul Symes
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Here you go Frank

http://www.zoneperfect.com/site/content/index.asp

Go to resources and then click on calculator, you need to know your wrist measurement too
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:54 PM   #6
Norm Rager
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Ditto Paul,

all methods are most relevant as a comparision, unless you really want to know within 'x' accuracy.

We usually perfomed a hydrostatic test on those that really wanted/needed to know with 'one-time' accuracy. In most cases, the curious didn't come back for a second 'dunking'.

If you enjoy expelling every possible bubble of air in your lungs, underwater, holding that until some goofball says 'okay':angry: - go for it! Look up a ExPhys dept. at a college and volunteer. Just don't gasp until your head is above water!
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:16 PM   #7
Matthew Townsend
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Peter how visible are your abs? I understand that if they show as a ripple, you'd be closer to the 5 to 8 mark, if you can't make them out you'd be over 10.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:15 AM   #8
Craig Van De Walker
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A seven site skin fold while not the gold standard, should be pretty accurate for most people. I have been involved in a couple of studies comparing fat measurement testing between skin fold, hydrostatic weighing, and a device called a "bod pod" (full body plethysmographig testing device). They all were within 1-2% of each other for all persons tested.

Measuring the circumference of your wrist, neck, waist etc is not going to be a very accurate guage. Nor is measuring a single skin fold site.

PS don't get some bozo at the fitness center to do it, unless they are experienced. I saw a "trainer" taking skin folds through a person's clothing??? Yes, she was actually pinching and measuring the thickness of the clothing and including it with the fold measure.
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