Anvil or Hammer


Posted in Diet and Bodyweight by Mike on June 16, 2007

I got my body fat measured today, that is, I made my wife measure my bodyfat. Considering it is the first time, this is highly unofficial. That said, I think she has done a good job. The number seems consistent with what I have seen with other techniques of measurement. We’ll do it a few more times to work up the comfort level. As Chris Rice has said, it’s not as important that the number be exactly correct so much as the measurement is consistent and repeatable.

Using a form on a website and a Excel form from Chris Rice, I came up with 20.8% and 21% (respectively).  This puts my lean mass just below 200. It also means thagt 10% will be right around 215, probably 210 by the time I get there.

Now I need to find that old post where I took my wrist and ankle and all measurements so I compare to that.

7 Responses to 'Bodyfat'

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  1. Scott Styles said,

    Get an experienced person to do it at some point too, then see how they compare. It took me awhile to learn how to:

    1. Pinch hard and wide enough. If someone is not lean, it’s a little painful for them.

    2. Consistently find the center point between the landmarks

    3. Measure in the center of the fold

    200lbs is a ton of lean mass at your height. I think she may be reading low. Here’s a site where a guy shows what he looks like at various BF%:

  2. Mike said,

    Interesting site.
    Sadly, I am closer to the 30% based on the images.
    At some point I will get it measured by a pro.

  3. Scott said,

    Nice site. You’ve got me curious about my own bodyfat level now.

  4. Scott Styles said,

    I’m pretty sure at 205 I am a little over 30% BF. That’s guessing 140lbs of LBM, which may be generous for me. I typically ran in the low 130’s for my LBM while in college. I think I have a bit more muscle than when I was running 20 miles a week, so I’m guessing a LBM of 140.

    It’s hard to get a feel for just how efficient the human body is. When I worked at the gym, I did several body comps a week. The guys that were truly lean, in the sub-10% BF range, were always well under 200lbs. The lean girls were approaching 100lbs. Strongest looking guy I saw that was near my height said he weighed 165lbs. The guy was jacked.

    Look at olympic lifters, wrestlers, or powerlifters in the lower weight classes to get a feel for just how small the human body is actually designed to be. The modern day to day world where 1/3 of the people are obese skews our perceptions. Most of the thin people you see on TV are positively tiny in person.

  5. brent said,


    “Look at olympic lifters, wrestlers, or powerlifters in the lower weight classes to get a feel for just how small the human body is actually designed to be.”

    that’s a really interesting point

    there are some skinny looking kids that can perform very well in a variety of movements and under harsh circumstances … of the guys light enough to compete at 148lbs or lower, how many of them are also dealing with varying degrees of dehydration and food deprivation in order to make weight, and still competing at a high level?

    i’ve never really thought of the human body as “designed” to be small, this kind of makes me think though

    the subject’s of particular interest to me because i’m on my way to weighing-in at 170lbs, possibly more a year or two down the line if it looks like i’ll need more muscle mass … it just seems very unlikely for me to build the necessary strength to get any good weighing-in at 150lbs

  6. Scott Styles said,

    In weight class sports, the lighter individuals are usually manipulating their hydration and food intake to make weight. But are they really adjusting by more than 10 or 15lbs? If a 148lber hydrates up to 165, he’s still going to be considered small based upon his weight. Ironically, he’s probably got more muscle than most of the 250lb businessmen walking around in their suits.

    Size standards we read about on the internet are radically skewed. No one wants to admit just how fat they are. Even though I know better, I still think of under 200lbs as small. It’s just not the case. Getting my head around that fact that 180lbs is enormous at 5′ 7″ is difficult when I’m rolling around over 200lbs and most elite body builders or powerlifters seem to push 300lbs.

    The reality is though, most don’t have the frame, drive, genetics, or assistance of an elite strength athlete. I certainly don’t. Attempting to emulate them is an exercise in futility. I am at a healthy weight when lean and in the lower 150’s. If I can hit the mid 160’s lean, I will be doing excellent. 180 at less than 10% body fat would leave me freaky.

  7. Mike said,

    “I still think of under 200lbs as small”
    that would be me, right there.
    I’ve met guys who were a lot smaller than me (200lbs or even less) I always waaay overestimate their weight.

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