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Very important update regarding my body fat percentage.

Thursday, March 8, 2007 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Well, this is going to be a fairly interesting and somewhat difficult daily news update.

I inadvertently opened a huge can of worms last Friday when I posted this picture. My follow-up article on Saturday scattered the worms all over the place. There’s no going back now, so at this point I just need to do what I’ve always done: report my findings without bias, even if it means admitting that I’ve made a mistake.

Last night Lisa and I had a chance to practice with my new FatTrack PRO Digital Body Fat Caliper, and the results were shocking. My old 3-point digital caliper was either broken, highly inaccurate and/or I was not measuring correctly. My body fat percentage was WAY off. How off? I was under the impression that I am at presently at 10.5% body fat. That is incorrect. How about…

…14.7% body fat.

Yep, 14.7%. Considering I thought I was around 10.5%, that number was like a slap in the face. We repeated the tests many times, mainly to make sure we were getting consistent results, and each time the caliper showed 14.7%, +/- .2%.

This means that my reported body fat percentages have probably been way off for at least a couple of years. I can’t go back and try to fix the past couple of years of body fat data, as doing so with any accuracy would be an exercise in futility; however, my 2006 end-of-bulk body fat percentage can be surmised with a reasonable degree of accuracy. That percentage is pretty ugly: 19% body fat. Yep, at this point I honestly believe that I was at least 19% body fat at the end of my 2006 bulk. It’s an ugly number, but there’s no way around it.

I put a lot of thought into how best to handle this situation. As I said above, I realize that I can’t go back through my entire web site and try to “fix” everything. What I did feel comfortable doing is the following:

  • I updated my FAQ to reflect this new information and how I now test my body fat.
  • I removed the reported body fat percentages from this picture. With the exception of the first picture, the body fat percentages were probably all suspect. The picture stands well on its own with just the weights and obvious body composition changes.
  • I updated my stats page in several areas. Of course I updated my current body fat percentage to reflect my new findings, but I also changed my 2006 end-of-bulk percentage to 19%, which I believe to be far more accurate then the old figure of 14%. There is also a note explaining that my reported body fat percentages may be off, especially those prior to 2007.

Some of you may be wondering if this new information is in any way discouraging to me. NO! I’m more fired up than ever, and I’m still going to get back down to 6% body fat. At my current weight (214.6 pounds) the difference between 14.7% and 10.5% body fat is just 9 pounds. So I have a little more fat to lose than I though I did, no big deal. Assuming I don’t lose any lean mass, I’ll be around 195 pounds when I hit 6% body fat. That means I’ve got about 20 pounds of fat left to lose. That is VERY doable over the next 3 months. I’m still going to reach my goal, and I’m still going to do it by June 1st.

Something I learned from this experience is that I’ve been putting on way too much fat when I bulk. If I bulk again next Winter it’s going to be far slower, cleaner and more controlled than anything I’ve done before. I won’t let myself get over 12% body fat ever again.

On a final note, I want to thank all the people who’ve provided constructive feedback and questioned my reported body fat percentage. I’ve always strived to be as accurate as possible, but sometimes an outside perspective is the only way to see things clearly and without bias. Despite the initial shock of the new body fat data, I’m very pleased that the issue was brought to my attention. 🙂

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