Measuring Body Fat

Body Fat

Many of us who just start out training are obsessed by their body fat percentage. Like the term implies, this is the amount of fat on your body measured in percentage of total body weight. To get visible six-pack abs you should get around 10% when you are a man and 20% for if you are a woman. Even though focusing on this number is rather pointless, I explain to you some methods that are being used to measure this information.

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Body Fat Percentage

What does it take to get six-pack abs? Men need to have a body fat percentage of 10% or lower. For women this is 15-20% or lower!

To lower your body fat percentage you have to work out and have a proper nutrition plan. Do not eat too much calories. Eating almost nothing will badly influence your weight loss process. That is why drastic calorie restrictions (crash diets) do not work!

Measuring body fat

Safe yourself the effort and time and look in the mirror to see if you are any close to having washboard abs. Measuring your body fat percentage is very difficult, inaccurate and frustrating. As long as you do not have visible six-pack abs you obviously do not have a body fat percentage that is low enough.

Methods to measure body fat are either very expensive (MRI scans, underwater pressure cabins) or extremely inaccurate (formulas and electronic devices you simply hold in front of you). Skinfold measurements can not be taken accurately if you do not have a professional who can do it for you.

Other methods

Measuring tapes can help you to find out your waist circumference. You can also measure yours arms, legs, hips or chest circumference. Allof these numbers will tell you how much inches you have gained or lost. That gives you information about your progress.

Looking in the mirror, making pictures of yourself or keeping a video log are probably best to see your progress. You can simply make a few pictures or videos and safe them on your computer or upload them on YouTube (in private so nobody else can see them). That way you can easily see the progress you have made throughout a given period of time!

The mirror can be slightly difficult to see the progress you make, because you probably look in the mirror every day, making it difficult to see any differences.

Measure guidelines

  • Measure yourself on the same day and at the same time, every week or so.
  • Measure on an empty stomach if possible.
  • Wear the same clothes (or no clothes) when measuring weight or waist circumference.
  • Toilet visits will also affect the outcome of the scale. Keep that in mind!
  • Note that a change in weight does not mean you have gained fat or muscle mass. It can also be water retention or loss of water.

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