Tales From the Glitter Gym – The Bodyfat Test

Even though I no longer workout at a Glitter Gym, sometimes elements of glitter rear their head. On a recent trip to the gym I was doing sit-ups when I overheard an older couple arguing. The woman was reading a flier posted on the wall. Our gym is sponsoring a body-fat test using the highly accurate water dunk method for around $50.

The wife kept reading the flier with interest. The husband kept saying we already discussed this and we aren’t getting the test. This went back and forth for a while until the woman looked at me and asked my opinion. Getting put in the middle of a marital fight was a Glitter Gym first for me.

My response to the woman went something like this:

The water dunk body-fat test is highly accurate, but a completely useless number for anyone other than Olympic athletes. The best body-fat test is not the one that is the most accurate, but the one you can get done on a regular basis. Since most people don’t have access to regular body-fat tests, a simple tape measure is the best and cheapest tool. If you lose inches around your waist then there is a high probability your body fat is dropping. So I think the $50 is waste of money.

The lady liked my answer and agreed with me. When she had her back turned, the husband gave me a quick smile and nod. He just saved $50 .


Add yours

  1. Definitely sound advice. Though I wouldn’t say it’s only worthwhile for Olympic athletes, there are plenty of others that might benefit from the comprehensive analysis — but you’re right that the key is availability of the test. Unless you have continued access to the same testing method, the data is useless.

    It’s the new thing in training, these portable body fat testing vans that frequent gyms on a regular basis (once per month, or similar) and provide the members with regular testing. The problem is that many individuals are ill equipped to use the data wisely.

  2. Hey — there’s a perfect part-time job for you. Fitness marital counseling consultant!

    If you can work in coffee and books, you’re set.

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