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  1. #1
    Registered User DreamingNBlack's Avatar
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    Can DEXA mess up?

    [Already posted my request to have my body fat guessed by people on body fat thread]

    Sorry for the english, I'm Brazilian. Came back from checking my DEXA results, and the result announced that I have 44% body fat.

    Can DEXA make mistakes on the final result, taking weight, height and equipment model? According to professionals from Physical Education, a first sight from doctor and my guessing, I would be somewhere between 30 - 35%.

    I'm 25 years old, 6'4'' (1.94m) and 130 kg (286 lb)
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    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Yes but people guessing are even more likely to mess up. I'd be inclined to say it's around 40% based on all the evidence.

    My very rapid calculations based on typical lean mass of untrained individuals puts you at 45% - maybe add a little for being tall. 40% is not unreasonable. Better to be realistic.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Why people even worry about these body fat machines is beyond me. Even worrying about BF% alone I just don't get. A mirror, scale and tape measure tells you all you need to know and you won't get so damn stressed every time a machine throws out a reading that you find depressing.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User DreamingNBlack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Yes but people guessing are even more likely to mess up. I'd be inclined to say it's around 40% based on all the evidence.

    My very rapid calculations based on typical lean mass of untrained individuals puts you at 45% - maybe add a little for being tall. 40% is not unreasonable. Better to be realistic.
    Yeah, I agree with that. Even with the shock, I have to see this result objectively.

    Can't say that I wasn't surprised (negatively) with the result, but thanks for your opinion
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    Registered User DreamingNBlack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Why people even worry about these body fat machines is beyond me. Even worrying about BF% alone I just don't get. A mirror, scale and tape measure tells you all you need to know and you won't get so damn stressed every time a machine throws out a reading that you find depressing.
    Theoretically, it gives a precise result when confronted with other methods, even though with some quick search, it shows that it can have a 3 - 5 % margin of error, with some cases getting near 10%

    In my case, I was a little confused, as my left arm went missing and my body, on a general scale, was being measured by established parameters (supposedly) used by people with max height of 5'9'', desconsidering the weight scale

    Thanks for your opinion, by the way
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    Registered User DreamingNBlack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Yes but people guessing are even more likely to mess up. I'd be inclined to say it's around 40% based on all the evidence.

    My very rapid calculations based on typical lean mass of untrained individuals puts you at 45% - maybe add a little for being tall. 40% is not unreasonable. Better to be realistic.
    Just for confirming: untrained individuals consist on those that stopped to work out by some years too? I trained during 2014 and 2017, gained weight again, and when I returned to gym, got an ankle fracture (recovered after 4 months)
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    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DreamingNBlack View Post
    Just for confirming: untrained individuals consist on those that stopped to work out by some years too? I trained during 2014 and 2017, gained weight again, and when I returned to gym, got an ankle fracture (recovered after 4 months)
    I'm not clear how much recent training you've done - but if it's very little since 2017 then your lean mass has probably dropped back closer to that of an untrained person.

    A simple test is this: are your strength levels now similar to what they were before you started training in 2014? Or are they closer to what they were in 2017? Strength is not a foolproof measure but it's quite good at indicating how much underlying muscle there is.

    The good news is that if you've trained previously you can gain muscle faster than if you're doing it for the first time.
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 11-06-2019 at 02:48 AM.
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    Manlets gonna make it Natty1980's Avatar
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    Looking at the pics, I would also guess 30-35% honestly.
    44% of 130 is 57 kg which is an impressive amount of fat. You would have to lose 45 kg in order to have barely visible abs.
    On the other hand, I would not focus on the numbers: you need to lose fat and gain muscle and you have a long way to go... good luck!
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    Registered User DreamingNBlack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I'm not clear how much recent training you've done - but if it's very little since 2017 then your lean mass has probably dropped back closer to that of an untrained person.

    A simple test is this: are your strength levels now similar to what they were before you started training in 2014? Or are they closer to what they were in 2017? Strength is not a foolproof measure but it's quite good at indicating how much underlying muscle there is.

    The good news is that if you've trained previously you can gain muscle faster than if you're doing it for the first time.
    During 2017, trained from January until April, returning on July and stopping until January, 2019. At February, I stopped again, and when I got back on May, got the fracture on June.

    Even with the training, I believe that I lost strenght and coordination. Even though I lost it, my strength levels are closer to my 2017 peak. My maximum on bench press was 253 lb, and on January, 2019, I was able to bench at least 172 lb.
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    Registered User DreamingNBlack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Natty1980 View Post
    Looking at the pics, I would also guess 30-35% honestly.
    44% of 130 is 57 kg which is an impressive amount of fat. You would have to lose 45 kg in order to have barely visible abs.
    On the other hand, I would not focus on the numbers: you need to lose fat and gain muscle and you have a long way to go... good luck!
    Yeah, man. That's the essence. I simply have to face this harsh reality.

    Thanks for the feedback!
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    Registered User dmacdonal9's Avatar
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    My own experience with DEXA scans has led me to believe that they're enormously misleading when you're relatively untrained. Our interpretation of what a DEXA scan of 15% BF (for instance) equates to visually is based mostly on trained individuals.
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    Registered User DreamingNBlack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dmacdonal9 View Post
    My own experience with DEXA scans has led me to believe that they're enormously misleading when you're relatively untrained. Our interpretation of what a DEXA scan of 15% BF (for instance) equates to visually is based mostly on trained individuals.
    Understood. And my question was a little based on that hahaha during my quick search about how DEXA works, I saw that some newer machines can do the scan on 5 - 10 minutes. My scan was 25 minutes long, so I couldn't trust completely on the precision of it. But it can be my mind making excuses too, so I'll accept this 43% , at first, to establish some goals.

    Thanks for the feedback!
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