View Full Version : Re: body fat % contest

Mark R.j. Young
04-09-2002, 12:14 AM
It would be my assumption that those involved in this contest are doing it
in the interest of aesthetics or health as opposed to finance. The money
is simply a method of motivating each other. If this were the case then
I'd agree that everyone would be better off regardless.

That said, I'd also have to agree (speaking only from experience as a
personal trainer) that those who have the most weight to lose have the most
to gain in this contest. When I've reached lower levels of bodyfat I've
always found it more difficult to get any leaner.

Bioelectrical impedance testing of bodyfat is also subject to some errors.
I seem to remember hearing something about hydration and electrolyte
status having an effect on the measurement. Don't quote me on that one.

Hope that helps.

Mark R.J. Young
M.Sc Candidate
Department of Kinesiology
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1

On Mon, 8 Apr 2002, Cory Carter, Synthes (USA) wrote:

> Any Exercise Physiologists in the audience? A friend sent me the following
> message. A bit shocked that the fodder was coming from a men's locker room
> discussion and not from the latest women's health magazine "Letters"
> section, I had some initial thoughts on the validity of the contest but did
> not want to give poor advice. (I would have expected the average group of
> males to contest their bench-pressing prowess, rather than something like
> their loss of relative body fat content.) The questionable reliability of
> skin fold caliper measurements and the difficulty of underwater weighing
> came to mind, but my familiarity with digital body fat scales does not
> extend much further than the ads in the airlines' "Sky Mall" magazines. Can
> anyone comment on these scales and on the contest in general? Certainly,
> 3000-bucks seems like a good motivator, and all participants will be the
> better regardless of who in the office wins the money. My suggestion,
> however, would be that he who has the most to "lose" at the onset of the
> contest, stands the most to win. Is there a more appropriate way to go
> about this, given that the sample of people most likely varies quite a bit?
> -----Original Message-----
> Question:
> Since you have a background in exercise science I thought you could
> give
> your opinion on a situation we have at work.
> A group of guys at work are in a body fat % contest. The person who
> loses
> the highest % of body fat over three months will win the pot of
> money. On
> day one, everyone weighed in on an electronic scale that measures
> body fat %
> digitally. It's a high quality scale that came from our fitness
> center and
> everyone was measured by a certified fitness expert. Three months
> later,
> everyone will weigh out. You get the picture.
> The question is, how accurate is this method? Are some body types
> more apt
> to weigh in with less % than others, etc. We have about 30 guys
> grumbling
> about the effectiveness of using the electronic scale for good
> reason
> because the pot is at about 3K.
> Just thought you would be a good source of input.
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