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Learning how to measure body fat at home is one of the best skills you will learn to assist you in your fitness transformation. Relying on the scale is simply not an accurate way to gauge progress since lifting weights is likely going to cause you to gain weight while you may be dramatically lowering your body fat percentage. A scale could make you think you are off track on your way to your lean goals.
Instead, mastering your measuring abilities of your own body fat will help you to determine your true progress. In this video, I show you how to measure your body fat yourself in your own home to figure out how close you are to your six pack abs. One method is more expensive than the other, however when you realize just how important this number will be to your progress, you may just find a way to add this tool to your gym equipment.
First, skin fold calipers are a classic home testing option. Are they the most accurate? No. However, they are the most readily available and don’t require the set up that a DEXA scan would. The tradeoff in accuracy is not that high, given that as you become more skilled in pinching…your accuracy could be within 1-3% of the exact number.
If you would rather use a more economical method for testing your body fat level at home however, you can easily do that as well. When you realize just what calipers are testing it becomes very easy to see how you can do this with a simple fifty cent tape measure. Calipers are literally measuring the thickness of the skin fold that you pinch when doing your body fat measurements.
If you can (easier when you enlist the help of someone else) simply pinch in the locations shown in this video and use a standard tape measure to mark out the thickness of the fold. Average out the results performed on your chest, abdomen and thigh and determine your body fat with this chart:
1/4 inch pinch is 5 to 8 percent body fat
1/2 inch pinch is 9 to 13 percent body fat
3/4 inch pinch is 14 to 18 percent body fat
1 inch pinch is 19 to 22 percent body fat
1 1/2 inch pinch is 23 to 27 percent body fat
2 inch pinch is 28 to 32 percent body fat
2 1/2 inch pinch is 33 percent body fat and up
Alternatively, if you get your skin fold measurements either with a caliper or with the old fashioned tape measure method you can input them at to determine your current level of body fat.