How to Measure and Calculate your body fat Percentage - Body Fat Testing

Body Fat Testing is the best way to get feedback and measure progress towards your fitness goals. Discover how to measure your Body Fat accurately and calculate your Body Fat Percentage.

In the  Setting Exercise Goals section I mentioned how regular Body Weight measurement helps adjust calories and assess your current fitness program.

But Body Weight is only half the truth.

Use your Body Fat measurement in conjunction with the mirror findings for an accurate assessment of your fitness program.

When you check your Body Fat you will know your lean muscle : fat ratio which helps you determine whether your weight gain or weight loss was real fat loss and muscle gain or water adjustments.

Since the gold standard method of Hydrostatic Testing is tedious and not available to majority I will explain how to measure your body fat using a simple Skin Calipers.

P.S. - If your gym has a personal trainer then he/she will do this test for you. If you need to regularly test your body fat then invest in a skin calipers and read the steps below for an easy testing.

Skinfold Measurement

Here we use the test to determine the two compartments of your body namely muscle and fat. The skinfold measurement technique is proven to be reliable and most valid for measuring body fat.

The usual sites used to test skinfold measurements are Iliac Crest,  Triceps fold, Abdomen, mid-axillary fold and sub-scapular fold. For sake of simplicity I will use the Iliac Crest site.

Principle - The caliper method uses a pincer device that measures the thickness of a double layer of finger-pinched skin and subcutaneous fat.

Equipment Required

  • A Skinfold Calipers {I recommend the Accu Measure }

  • Marking Pen

Site - The Iliac Crest. Locate this point as the highest point on the hip bone in front of your body.


  1. Locate the test point - Locate the most bony point on your right hip with your left hand while holding the calipers in the right hand.

    Change hands if you are left-handed.

  2. Now grasp the skin firmly with your left thumb and index finger to form a fold of skin and subcutaneous tissue.

  3. At his point simply clamp the calipers onto the middle of the skinfold using your right hand. At this point, when you clamp you should hear a click sound indicating the value on the calipers.

  4. Now release the calipers grip and make a note of the reading at the point where the black line on the slide rule is pointing.

    The reading will be in millimeters.

  5. Since you have your skinfold thickness measured in millimeters, go back to the chart that comes along with your Accu Measure calipers .

    The corresponding value gives you your Body Fat in percentage.

Other methods of testing Body Fat and Muscle Percentage

Hydrostatic Weighing

Also known as Hydrodensitometry or underwater weighing can be used to measure the density of the body in water and the values obtained can be used to calculate the percentage of body fat.

Bioelectrical Impedance

This is a test that measures the opposition to the flow of very little amounts of electric current through the body tissues. The amount of resistance to the flow can be recorded and used to calculate the body composition. The greater the amount of resistance to flow that is measured, the higher the percentage of fat in the body. It is common to find bioelectrical impedance gadgets for personal use.

Dual Energy X-RAY Absorptiometry

This is one of the systems that present a complete result of the body composition and they have been found very accurate and are used in various applications of medicine. In this method an X-ray is sent through the body and the resulting deflections on passing through the body are picked up by a receptor which analyses and displays the information on the computer screen.


This is one of the methods that are usually laboratory based as it involves fine control for it to be successful. It uses the displacement of air in the whole body to determine body composition and they are known to be very accurate. Recommends - Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle

The best way to get hold of your Body Composition and get a fitter and trimmer body is Burn The Fat Program By Tom Venuto.

Click here to read how Tom Venuto is helping people shed pounds of Body fat and get a life for a change.

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