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  1. #1
    Registered User Seqhael's Avatar
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    Anyone heard of body fat percentage "changing due to age"?

    So for the last 12 weeks I've been getting 4-point BIA scans from a company called "In Body", it gives a full printout at the end, and to be quite honest, I have personally found it to be quite accurate despite the amount of **** I copped when I said in a previous post that I had been getting BIA scans while cutting. But irrespective of that, I wanted to try a couple of other cheap and easy methods just to see where I could be. My last scan was 2 weeks ago which had me at 13.9% BF, going off of the readings I have been losing on average 0.5% body fat per week. I did the "US NAVY body fat calculation" using the measuring tape, height/weight etc, that put me at 17%.

    Today, two weeks after my last scan I got a body fat caliper test done from a trainer at my gym, it was a 4-point caliper test and she sent me the results tonight which she said were 16%, however, she said I was only 16% because I am 30 years old. In her calculator, if I was 20-29 years old, I would have been 12.7%. I have never heard of this actual body fat percentage changing with age, it doesn't even really make sense... Like how can the percentage of body fat on your body change by simply factoring in your age? The fat is a literal percentage of total body mass right?

    I have the numbers which I assume are in millimeters from the 4-point test,

    Weight 94kg (208lbs)
    Bi - 3
    Tri - 8
    Sub - 12
    Supra - 7

    Can anyone clear this up for me?
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Sarcopenia - the loss of muscle with age. Often this is replaced by fat because your appetite doesn't change.

    Weight training can reverse this. I am leaner and more muscular at (nearly) 50 than I was at 18...

    But don't use BIA devices to measure this, it will fool you. It can't even be used to measure changes, it can get those wrong too.

    But yes, some tests are adjusted by age because they partly rely on population statistics to calibrate the test. In other words, they are guessing part of the equation.
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 12-02-2020 at 03:32 AM.
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  3. #3
    Wha?========== AlexSays's Avatar
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    Dude just post a picture. Seriously I know you feel like people are giving you chit but the reason the rejection of this stuff is so unanimous is that all of these methods are nonsensically inaccurate. I was once callipered at 14%, I was well over 20% at the time.

    Hopefully this episode will open your eyes a little. If you are 16% bodyfat you are 16% bodyfat, regardless of your age. It is true that it can become harder to maintain lower bodyfat as you get older and it is true that your bodyfat can rise purely due to age as your muscle gain potential diminishes but that doesn't mean that somehow the ratio changes depending on your age. If your fat mass is a certain % of your bodyweight at ANY age then that is your bodyfat %. The only thing that may affect a calliper test is maybe a little extra loose skin as you get older.

    Also the large discrepancy between each method should show you that they are all garbage. Honestly a visual estimate on this forum is likely to be much more reliable. Or even a visual estimate in your own mirror if you know what you're doing
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    OP, so you're somewhere between 13.9 % and 29% body fat? I'd say you've got it nailed down. ;-)
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  5. #5
    bag of piss pissbag's Avatar
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    Unless you shrink with old age it should particularly change.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    At 30 you shouldn't see any natural sarcopenia yet as that is more of a 50+ situation. Don't rely on those BF measuring methods they'll drive you nuts and their inaccuracy is very well founded however they're a great source of revenue for gyms, etc.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    BIA scans are garbage and frankly caliper tests are going to vary based on the person performing them, how experienced they are, that person's training (or lack thereof), Etc.

    As to your question, yes old people tend to have more "loose skin" and so that tends to mess with caliper test calculations but as has been pointed out to you that generally only pertains to people 50+ and even then is subjective based upon how much or little that individual's skin may have retained its elasticity over the years.
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  8. #8
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that skin gets thinner as we age - so that would explain why age is a parameter to the calliper test.
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    I agree don't get hung up on BF measurements especially if your using several methods of measuring it.
    If your going to just stick with one type.
    That being said i agree with Alex above ^^^ that the simple methods are the best and don't lie.
    Use the mirror and pictures from month to month and compare they don't lie.
    Also do a simple waist measurement month to month.
    As we age many people's metabolism slows down and eating the same as you did say ten years ago may cause weight gain.
    This is an issue i have and have had to adjust my base intake of calories to stop fat weight gain.
    Everyone will be different and it can the body or your life style as you age doing less activity then when you were younger which my case was also true as i had a job where i was physically active most of the day.
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  10. #10
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I forgot to mention that skin gets thinner as we age - so that would explain why age is a parameter to the calliper test.
    Yes. I've noticed that I'm more prone to overreaction than I used to be.
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  11. #11
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    You can´t exactly know your body fat percentage. However, It´s said the most accurate method is weighting your body in the water. There are some specialized clinics that do that.

    Other methods are:

    -the calipter

    - DEXA scan

    - visual estimation

    You are really interested, you can try several methods and then calculate the average based on the results you get from each.
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  12. #12
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    I've had many caliper tests...for what they're worth.

    I've asked the person giving the test this same question. More than one said it's because the scale takes visceral fat into consideration. As we age, we hold more and more visceral fat.

    So, a 20 yr old that pinches 3,8,12 and 7 will show a lower body fat % because those sites will hold most of his fat and there won't be much visceral fat.
    If a 50yr old pinches the same 3,8,12 and 7, he's also going to be holding (on average) some visceral fat that is not being measured; making his true % higher than the 20yr old pinching the same numbers.
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  13. #13
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    For what it’s worth my bf over the last decade has been the same unless I have bulked or cut on purpose. Generally same cals/same amount of exercise. If anything has changed it’s easier now to lower my bf
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