Bodyfat test using a swimming pool. Try this.

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by onehandbh, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Is it possible to use a swimming pool to
    measure body fat?

    For example, blowing out all the air in your
    lungs (or as much as possible) and then seeing how much you
    sink to the bottom of the pool. I suppose once your
    body exceeds the density of water You will sink.
    Water is only 1 gram per cubic centimeter, so I'm
    guessing you don't have to be super lean to sink all
    the way to the bottom. Maybe 20% Bodyfat?
    Maybe measuring the speed you sink as well could
    give additional info on your density.

    I tried this and I sink all the way to the bottom
    pretty quickly and can lay flat on my back.

    Anyone else tried this before?

    If you've measured your Bodyfat by calipers I'm curious
    how your pool test results are.
     
    #1
  2. Vlad_C

    Vlad_C Semi-Pro

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    This makes a lot of sense.
     
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  3. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    Anything below 14% and you will sink is what I have heard. Though I am not sure if that figure is supposed to be with full lungs or empty lungs. Need to do more research. I sink either way so I know I am relatively lean.
     
    #3
  4. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The method would be very inaccurate. Your colon usually contains a considerable -- and very variable -- amount of air and other gases, and there's no accurate way to compensate for this or to expel it all. Look at abdominal X-rays and you can see these large areas of air.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    It's not accurate due to bone density differences and height to weight ratios.
    Until I was 35, I could sit at the bottom of a pool as long as I could hold even a full breathe.
    Twas tough to pass SeniorLifeSaving, as they make you float for 15 minutes on your back without moving hands or feet...or was that WSI?
    Now float like a cork at 5'11" and 155 lbs.
     
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  6. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Does this mean LeeD is full of hot air?
     
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  7. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    I went ahead and tried this again recently. Now sure how much gas I had in my abdomen.

     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Salt water, now can float foreever, or more than 2 minutes, not sure about fresh. But I'm a tummy fatty at 157 lbs now, so a pudge.
    I sink much better weighing 132 lbs., but that was before I turned 35.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    Why do I want to know my body fat? It will just depress me.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sorta interesting, float and body fat.
    Been 5'10" since age 18. Weighed from 123 to 188, hardly ever lifted, so very little gain in muscle mass. Lots of change in fat content. Last weighed 3 days ago at 155 naked. Usually down to 142 by end of summer.
     
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  11. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    I don't sink to the bottom and I'm fairly lean. Found a digital reading long time ago: 10%. Don't know what I am now, but it's prolly close to that number.
     
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  12. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps you have a lot of abdominal gas inside you? Try to avoid eating brocolli, beans and dairy products (if you are lactose intolerant) before trying this test.
     
    #12
  13. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

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    Calipers would probably be better..
     
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  14. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    There's an easier way. Just start posting on the internet and I guarantee you will be 10%. Everybody is.
     
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  15. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    Maybe. Sometimes my stomach is super bloated after drinking milk and eating cereal.

    This is interesting. Maybe that's why swimming is so hard for me. When i turn my head to breathe, sometimes I'm like where's the air? Why is my head always so underwater!?
     
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  16. shindemac

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    Calipers are supposed to be hella inaccurate. I think this underwater testing method could work and be better.
     
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  17. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    I sink part way even when I hold my breath. Let it out and I go right to the bottom. I see others in whatever shape/age swimming a mile without stopping when the most laps I can do before I have to stop is 8. As a kid I was on the swim team, but I only swam the sprint distances, 50 yards max. Nowadays, I do a 100 IM and then need a 2 or 3 minute break before I can continue. If I could float or at least not sink, I'd get a much better workout.

    BMI taken last week was 21.0 if that means anything.
     
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  18. corneliuscobb

    corneliuscobb Rookie

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    Going into a swimming pool and seeing how far you sink is pretty silly as well as it not even measuring body fat %.

    Just go a gym and stand on one of those body mass measuring machines. Takes all of 30 seconds and it tells you everything you need to know including fat / muscle / bone % and so on.

    [​IMG]
     
    #18
  19. Bluefan75

    Bluefan75 New User

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    A dexa scan is the most accurate body fat % measurement. Not cheap, and not terribly common, but that is the best way to do it.
     
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  20. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    How much do people get when they pinch themselves? I only get skin when i pinch my arms; I get 1cm between my fingers when I pinch my stomach.
     
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  21. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    So does this mean skinny people can't swim? Is that why it's takin' me forever to learn? I imagine if you're fat and weighed 300 lbs, it would be easier. It's like having built-in floaties. :)
     
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  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Many people believe sureshs will break all Phelp's records in Rio this summer
     
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  23. shindemac

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    I don't think we're looking for the most accurate way. Something that's accurate to within 1% instead of 5%. That means, if the caliper method measure 10% body fat, the actual value could be 15% which is off by 5% (totally made up example). I hope that makes sense.

    If we can get an alternate that's accurate to within 1% and easy and cheap to do, then that takes the guesswork out of body fat %.
     
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  24. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    It is silly. Totally silly. But that's the genious of it. :)
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Fat or thin doesn't affect being able to swim, but you can be sure long distance swimmers have more body fat than 50 yard sprinters.
    I don't think any "test" really accurately measures body fat content, although some people think science is the end game.
    As a somewhat short person who never worked out, but has varied body weight from 132 to 188 (when healthy and active), I can say I sink like a rock in the 130's, can float with a good breathe in my 140's, can float decently well like normal people in my 150's (I weigh 155 now), and can float like a fat lady even with almost no air in my lungs at 180 lbs.
     
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  26. MethodTennis

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  27. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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  28. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    What would you rate yourself? Buoyant+?
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Same height....
    Weight in the 130's (before I turned 35), total sinker, even with a full breath, but got thru Senior Life Saving and WSI.
    Weight in the 140's, mostly end of summers, good enough to swim but not float well.
    Weight in the 150's, bouyant for sure, but those stick legs don't float at all.
    Weight in the 180's, bouyant but surprisingly not a whole lot more than 150, as float is float, and more is not always better.
     
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  30. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    This is suppodebly the most accurate. Has anyone tried this method?
     
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  31. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Legend

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    Sureshs too?

    :eek::eek::eek:
     
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  32. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    #32
  33. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    #33
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Tell Lloyd Bridges that, or Michael Phelps. Sinking is OK for sprints, but will kill you in long distance events.
     
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