By Zach Bashore
When talking about a person`s stats in bodybuilding, body fat percentage is a term that you most likely will hear. Body fat percentage is simply a measurement of the body`s muscle to fat ratio, marked in to a
percentage. This article is going to explain the three most common ways to accurately measure your body fat: DEXA, fat calipers, and judgement based testing. You may also learn some new things about body fat that you previously didn`t know beforehand.
The best and most accurate way of testing a person`s bodyfat is by Dual X-Ray Absortiometry, also known as DEXA. DEXA is performed by using a whole body scan and two different low dose X-Rays to read bone and soft tissue mass. DEXA is virtually painless and only takes ten to twenty minutes to perform a scan. You can simply call a doctor and schedule an appointment to get tested. DEXA`s should not cost you an arm and leg either, but the price can be somewhat high for someone on a tight budget. One can expect to get one performed for roughly $150.
The second most effective body fat test is by that of fat calipers. These can be annoying since you have to clip them to different areas of your body, but they are fairly accurate for as little as they cost. To get an accurate measurement of your body fat, measure each muscle group, and then use your math skills to determine an average number. A good caliper should cost you no more than thirty dollars, but don`t fall for a cheap one that won`t last any longer than a week.
Another way of testing your body fat, and one that is solely based on experience, is by using judgement based body fat testing. Again, this method takes years of practice to be able to determine the exact number, but if you are an experienced bodybuilder then it should come along naturally. Judgement based testing is perfect for those not wanting to spend $30-$150 on body fat tests and should be used more often by advanced bodybuilders. Basically, if you have a six-pack or can see your abs, then you have a ten percent bodyfat. You still need to take into account the other factors such as genetics and the parts of your body that store more fat than others, but you get the picture.
All of these methods are useful when trying to determine one`s body fat. You need to determine which method is best for you based on experience, financial stability, and whatever your fitness goal may be. You can`t do a judgement based test if you are obese and need an accurate measurement. On the other end, an experienced bodybuilder wouldn`t want to pay thirty dollars for fat calipers if he or she just wanted to tell a friend what body fat percentage they are. It all depends on the person and what they need to measure their body fat for.