Simple Methods To Test Your Body Fat Percentage

Curious what your body fat percentage is? Use one of these simple methods!

When losing fat, it is important to know not just how much weight you are losing, but how much of your body is muscle and how much is fat. You want to lose fat while maintaining or even building muscle. So, you need some way to keep track of your body fat percentage.

The following are two simple methods to determine current body fat percentage and lean mass percentage.

Method One

For this test you will need someone's help and a ruler that reads in millimeters (mm).

Step 1: Hang your right arm at your side, and have someone find the point halfway between your shoulder and elbow, on the rear (triceps side) of your arm.

Step 2: With his/her thumb and forefinger have him/her pinch a fold of skin and fat away from the muscle.

Step 3: Have him/her measure the thickness of the skin pinched. (Do not rest the ruler against the skin.)

Step 4: Have him/her do steps 2 and 3 several times and get the average reading.

Step 5: Find your body fat percentage by using the chart below.

Fat Percentage

Skin Fold Thickness In mm Body Fat % Men Body Fat % Women
6 5-9 8-13
13 9-13 13-18
19 13-18 18-23
25 18-22 23-28
38 22-27 28-33

Method Two

This test requires a scale and a tape measure. Do the following calculations.

For Men

Lean body weight = 94.42 + 1.082 (nude weight in pounds) - 4.15 (waist girth around bellybutton in inches)

Body fat (%) = bodyweight - lean bodyweight x 100/bodyweight

Calculate your percentage of body fat

Select Your Gender


Enter Your Weight (lbs.)

Female Enter Your Waist Size (in.)

Your body fat percent is: 

For Women

Lean body weight = 8.987 + 0.732 (weight in kilograms) + 3.786 (wrist diameter in centimeters) + 0.434 (forearm circumference in centimeters)

Body fat (%) = bodyweight - lean bodyweight x 100/bodyweight


To convert pounds to kilograms divide by 2.2

To convert inches to centimeters divide by 0.394

Divide circumference by 3.14 (pi) to get diameter.

Method Three

If you don't like doing much work, you can do it the easy way! Like the Accu-Measure Fitness 2000 Personal Body Fat Tester, the FatTrack Digital Body Fat Caliper enables youto measure and track body fat percentage by yourself—easily and accurately.