Reliability and consistency of skinfold testing

Because there are so many different types of calipers and skinfold formulas, the important thing is to have the same person test you using the same formula and the same caliper every time. The accuracy is not as important as the reliability and consistency of repeated measurements. Even with the most skilled tester, skinfolds - and most other techniques for that matter - are only accurate within three to four percent. However, if skinfolds determine you are 12%, it doesn't matter if your body fat is really 15%. What matters most is that the method you use is reliable so you can chart your progress accurately from one measurement to the next. That's really the only purpose of body fat testing - to measure progress.

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