In the health and fitness industry, there are numerous ways in which body fat can be calculated. As you may discover, each method has its pros and cons. For many individuals, some methods seem to work better than others. If you prefer to estimate your body fat percentage without the help of someone else then you’ll likely want to explore the Jackson-Pollock 3-spot body fat test.

The Jackson-Pollock 3-spot body fat test, developed by Dr. Andrew Jackson and M. L. Pollock, researchers and scholars in human movement, is a rather simple method that can be performed quickly and easily, and without special equipment or training. All that’s needed is a basic skinfold caliper, bathroom scale and the formula for the Jackson-Pollock 3-spot body fat test.

One thing to note, the Jackson-Pollock 3-spot body fat test is known to be fairly accurate for most people; however, this method tends to underestimate the body fat levels of very lean individuals, including bodybuilders and performance athletes. So if you’re of average build, you may want to consider giving the Jackson-Pollock 3-spot body fat test a try.

The Jackson-Pollock 3-spot body fat test provides an estimate of body fat percentage and lean body mass based on age, weight, gender and the thickness of three skinfold measurements. The locations of these skinfold measurements differ, depending on whether you’re a male or female. The Jackson-Pollock 3-spot formula uses chest, abdomen, and thigh skinfold test results for males; and tricep, thigh, and suprailiac skinfold test results for females to calculate body fat.

If you need help with measuring body fat with calipers, be sure to check out our guide.

Jackson-Pollock 3 Skinfold Locations for Males

  • Pectoral: For the chest skinfold measurement, obtain a diagonal skinfold that is halfway between the nipple and the upper portion of the pectoral muscle from the armpit
  • Abdominal: For the abdominal measurement, take a vertical fold of skin that is one inch to the right of the belly button
  • Thigh: For the thigh measurement, a vertical fold of skin is to be taken that lies halfway between the knee cap, or the patella, and the inguinal crease (the location where the top of the thigh connects with the hip)

Jackson-Pollock 3 Skinfold Locations for Females

  • Tricep: The tricep measurement is a vertical skinfold that is taken halfway between the top portion of the shoulder and the elbow
  • Suprailiac: For the suprailiac measurement, take a diagonal skinfold measurement above the superior anterior iliac crest, or the area above the upper and forward protrusion of the hip bone
  • Thigh: For the thigh measurement, a vertical fold of skin is to be taken that lies halfway between the knee cap, or the patella, and the inguinal crease (the location where the top of the thigh connects with the hip)

Jackson-Pollock 3 Body Fat Formula for Males

If you would like to calculate body fat using the Jackson-Pollock 3-spot method, and your test subject is a male, use the formula below.

Measure the following skinfolds (in millimeters) with body fat calipers:
Pectoral, Abdominal and Thigh

Body Density = 1.10938 – (0.0008267 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.0000016 x square of the sum of skinfolds) – (0.0002574 x age)

Body Fat Percentage (%) = (495 / Body Density) – 450

Jackson-Pollock 3 Body Fat Formula for Females

If you would like to calculate body fat using the Jackson-Pollock 3-spot method, and your test subject is a female, use the formula below.

Measure the following skinfolds (in millimeters) with body fat calipers:
Tricep, Suprailiac and Thigh

Body Density = 1.0994921 – (0.0009929 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.0000023 x square of the sum of skinfolds) – (0.0001392 x age)

Body Fat Percentage (%) = (495 / Body Density) – 450

Jackson-Pollock 3 Body Fat Formula on FatCaliper+

The free version of FatCaliper+ comes with the Jackson-Pollock 3 and BMI body fat formulas. The full version of FatCaliper+ also comes with advanced body fat formulas, including Jackson-Pollock 4, Jackson-Pollock 7, Durnin-Womersley, Yuhasz, Parillo, US Navy and the FatCaliper+ method. BMI is automatically calculated as part of all body fat measurement methods.