Need to know how to check body fat percentage? Checking your body fat percentage is generally a more accurate measure of your fitness than weight, because weight does not take into account your fat to lean muscle ratio. Your body fat percentage is how much of your bodyweight is fat versus how much is lean muscle and tissue. There are a few different ways to check your body fat percentage and the tests are normally done at a gym or at your doctor's office. Here are some different methods of checking body fat percentage.
- The skin fold test. This is the most common way to check body fat percentage. Personal trainers use special calipers to pinch and measure skin folds from different parts of your body, where fat tends to accumulate. For men the most common sites are under your chest, on your thigh, and on your stomach. This method is not 100 percent accurate and is best used to measure progress over time. However, many health clubs offer this service free of charge if you are a member.
- Bioelectrical Impedance Test. A technician attaches electrodes to your hands and feet and measures current resistance throughout your body. Fat does not let electricity pass though it efficiently, so the more fat you have, the more time it will take. The accuracy of this test largely depends on the participant. For example you cannot eat or drink anything four hours before the test, and you cannot exercise for twelve hours before the test. And If you are extremely overweight or extremely underweight, the test may be less accurate for you.
- Hydrostatic Weighing. In order to check your body fat percentage using this method, you have to sit on a scale inside a tank of water and blow out as much air as you can. The idea here is that the more fat you have, the more you will float. This test is approximately 97 percent accurate and the most reliable. The downside to this test is that is can be very time consuming and it can cost upwards for $50 per session. This test is performed in university research laboratories.