I have a couple of obese clientele that I have used calipers on for body composition, and I am finding that the results are inaccurate. I am unable to pull skin/fat tissue away from the target areas in order to measure. The subcutaneous fat is too hard, and its difficult to get an accurate reading. Any suggestions on how to measure body composition using calipers on a client that is obese?
I wholeheartedly agree with Christine. If a client is that overweight that the use of calipers is so difficult and ultimately inaccurate, there is no point.
While I like to include body composition in all my assessments, I make this step (and, ultimately, all of them) optional. I had overweight clients who did not even want to tell me how much they weigh, and even that is okay.
Approaching a trainer is a really big step for a very overweight person. It is hardly necessary for us to point out that they weigh too much; they are usually mortified, scared and embarrassed. Piling on the bad news through a body composition measurement serves no purpose.
At some point in time, you can always open that option again once rapport and trust has been established. I am using near-infrared technology but bio-impedance is another option. But you can just as well use a taped measure. I am a fan of the waist-to-height ratio.
I wish you good luck.