Knowing your body fat percentage is extremly important before starting any kind of program.
It is also important to know for your general health.
Body fat to lean mass is a huge determining factor in what your diet should look like in order to burn fat.
It determines where your resting metabolic rate is at and that will determine how many calories your body needs.
Since everyone's body is different depending on their genetics or past lifestyle, knowing where your RMR is at could make or break your results.
Losing body fat should be your main concern when it comes to "weight loss" your focus should be on keeping as much lean mass on and keeping the body fat percentage low.
Females health body fat percentage is 20-25% and males healthy body fat percentage is 15-20%.
If you find your body fat is out of those ranges, I highly recommend you take immediate action to ensure it doesn't incease.
There are many ways to test body fat, but not all of the methods out there are accurate and could be misleading and play with you mentally.
Here are some of the methods out there, these are in order of least accurate to most accurate.
1. BMI Index:
The BMI Index is taking your hip to waist ratio and your height. This one is commonly used in the medical field, but it is one of the least accurate ways to test body fat. I normally only suggest using this method on morbidly obese clients, becuase it will show that your body fat is decreasing and progress is being made. This is usually extremely important for those in this position and by using other methods could be inconsistent and inaccurate creating false feedback and lead to discouragment.
2. BIO Impedance:
This method is probably one of the most common ways you'll see body fat testing done in gyms and scales. The bio impedance sends a small electrical current through the body to measure how well the body impedes electric current flow. Since fat has high resistivity, blood lower resistivity. Although this method is the most practical, which is why it is so common, creating consistent and accurate results can be difficult. Testing with the exact same conditions is required in order to do this. By hydration levels can through this test off 5-10% causing a large gap.
3. Skinfold Calipers:
This method is using a caliper device to measure skinfolds in certain areas of the body. Typcially it will be the bicep, tricep, hip, and upper back. This can be a very accuate way to test your body fat percentage. But again you do run into the problem of it being difficult to create consistent and accurate results each test. Finding someone who can be consistent is important for this test, if not it can be off 5-7% which is still considerably a large gap. Also, its hard to want to actually allow someone to pinch your fat am I right?
4. Under Water Dunk Tank
This use to be considered the most accuarate way to test body fat. This method uses a water tank and has you fully sumerge your body under water pushing all of the water out from your lunges as it measures your body's density. The issue is number one it is very inconvenient to do and hard to come by. Usually to have this test done, you have to find a medical center or college allow you to come be a subject for this test. It is considered to be accurate, but finding one and being allowed to do it can be the challenge.
5. The DEXA Scan
This is the industrys new GOLD STANDARD for body fat testing. Which is why we are so excited to have one in our factility starting October 16th! This scan shows how much body fat you have, the type of fat, and where it is most located. It will scan to show you exactly how much muscle you have and your bone density. This aray of information can say a lot about your health. It can help you understand your body more and make sure that your coach creates the more accurate program for you. This is the most accurate way to test body fat it is consistent and it is simple to do. It takes 6-10 mins max and all you have to do is lay on table and let the scan do the rest!
The reason we brought this into our gym, becuase we are result driven! We know that with this new piece of machinery we will be able to provide clients/members with some of the best data out there, and with that be able to provide the most accurate workouts and meal plans to our clients which only means the BEST TRANSFORMATIONS!
We will start taking DEXA Scans October 17th, this is open to the public, and scan start at just $49 per scan!
Plus everyone who gets a scan will be able to sit with one of our Elite Trainers and they will help explain all of your results and make sure you know what your next plan of action is!
It's one of the pieces of information you can get to start creating your healthy lifestyle!