If you wish to test your body fat percentage there are a variety of ways that you can go about it. Testing your body fat is a better indicator of if your training program is working or not. For a example if your weight is not changing on the scales that doesn’t mean things are not going in the right direction,if you are also weight training you could be building a little muscle offsetting any fat loss, in this article I’m going to discuss the different ways of determining your body fat percentage.
The first and one of the most simple ways to determine if your body fat is decreasing, although it wont give you your body fat percentage, is to measure your waist circumference when you weigh yourself. If your waist circumference is reducing even if your body weight hasn’t, you need not worry your body is losing fat.
Another simple way is to use an electrical impedance machine. Although it might sound like something you would expect to see on death row, trust me you’ll probably find one in your local gym or you can buy a set of scales for your home with it built in. The problem with this method is that it is very inaccurate and things such as how hydrated you are at the time of testing will effect the result. In my experience they usually come out at about 5% the true measurement. I would skip this one and definitely not thork out the extra for the built in feature when buying home bathroom scales.
Of the most assessable ways to test your body fat percentage using calipers is probably the most accurate. Unless you have your own set of calipers (the instrument used to measure) you’ll need a professional to do it for you. Most gyms when you join will include one test free and then after that most personal trainers will perform this test for you. You will need to strip down to your undies for this which some people will not feel comfortable with, then the practitioner will take 3 measurements on the right side of your body (for consistency) by pinching your skin with the calipers (don’t worry it doesn’t hurt at all). The three measurements are added up and your score is located on a chart which will tell you you’re body fat percentage. The cons of this method are finding a practitioner, the results can vary from practitioner to practitioner so you need to visit the same person every time, also the accuracy also depends on the skill of the person taking the readings.