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Body Fat Test

Measuring body fat percentage is an easy method of discovering correct body weight and composition. This is a simple test to predict body fat percentage using only height and weight.


This test aims to monitor the athlete's level of body fat.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • Weighing Scales
  • Tape Measure
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

  • The assistant weighs and records the athlete's weight and measures and records the athlete's height.


To obtain a very rough estimate of your percentage body fat, the weight of body fat and fat-free body mass please enter your height & weight details and then select the 'Calculate' button to find out your estimated percentage body fat.

Height Weight
Estimated % body fat is - %
Body fat weight is - lbs kg
Fat-free body mass is - lbs kg

The fat-free body mass (FFBM) represents the body mass devoid of all fat, whereas lean body mass (LBM) contains a small percentage of essential fat. For men Behnke (1953)[1] considered it to be FFBM+3% essential fat and for females FFBM+12% fat (3% essential fat + 9% sex-specific essential fat).

The density of fat and fat free tissue remains relatively constant: fat = 0.9 grm/cm³ and fat free tissue = 1.1 gm/cm³.


Analysis of the result is by comparing it with previous tests' results. It is expected that, with appropriate training and diet between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's percentage body fat.

Target Group

This test is suitable for everyone but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted. The following link provides various factors that may influence the results and therefore, the test reliability.


Test validity refers to how a test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development.

The test is not a good predictor of percentage body fat; however, it can be used to indicate changes in body composition over time.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Specialist equipment required
  • Assistant required to administer the test

Free Calculator

Free Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that you can download and use on your computer. The spreadsheet will be opened in a new window.


  1. Behnke, A. R., Osserman, E. F. and Welham, W. C. (1953) Lean body mass: its clinical significance and estimation from excess fat and total body water determinations. AMA archives of internal medicine91 (5), p. 585-601.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2010) Body Fat Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed