What are some of the best body fat calculations used this days?
I think that the whole measuring of different skin folds and adding all of them up and then divide by the total number of skin folds taken, is not as accurate anymore. Where can I find a good formula to use for getting a clients body fat or if you know one, please help!!!
Nothing wrong with a tape measure and watching the inches get smaller. I have learned through experience that body fat % is less important that losing inches and for obese clients can be a negative experience.
For fitness professionals today, the two best methods out there in my opinion are skinfold calipers and Bioelectrical Impedence Analysis (BIA). I tend to err on the side of BIA because it's more comfortable for the client. Even though it's not as accurate as I would like it to be, I think it gives an accurate representation of body fat changes over time. This method can vary up to 5 percent give or take. It's all dependent on how much water is in the body, ultimately. It's hard to control for that. For women, the menstrual cycle can affect this measurement.
Skinfold calipers are great if you know what you're doing. The problem is that a lot of people don't use them correctly, and you might as well be throwing darts at a dart board. I, personally, find it very difficult to separate the fatty layers from the muscle underneath when pinching. Not only that, I'm always worried about my fingers slipping and pinching the client, which isn't good for our relationship when I'm doing the initial assessment. So, call me inept, but I prefer BIA. Yes, there is a wide range of variability, however I view it as having less variability than if I were to inaccurately separate the fatty layer from the muscle underneath. I also see it as less invasive for the client. The BIA can be done quickly. This means that we can take measurements over a week (in a perfect world, at the same time of day) and average those measurements to get a more accurate assessment of body fat. That's if we're really interested in body fat. My experience is that body fat is less of a concern than are body image, strength, and functional movement. As long as body fat falls within an acceptable range for health give or take 5 percent, I think body fat shouldn't be the focus of a training program.
Yes the most accurate is DEXA and hydrostatic. Second, to that are calipers. Remember, unless you are training an athlete, that for some reason needs absolute BF, then, whatever you use as long as it is consistently performed by the same person, with the same method, will be valid and accurate in terms of showing change.
I use Lange calipers and the syndex card. This is so easy. The card does all the calculating and I just measure three sites per Jackson/Pollock. I have been off about 1.5% from hydrostatic, expected differences can be up to a 3% error factor.
Creative Health Products carried both.
It depends really on how you work, I use a tape measure for my Bootcampers because it's convenient and a good way to monitor progress.
The best? Hydrostatic but not everyone has access to it.