That time I went into the BodPod..

by ~jenniferlynn on July 29, 2013

in Body Image, Eattoperform

I will be the first person to tell you that the number on the scale does not mean a thing. When developing a health and fitness regimen, it is more important to note progress with what you are lifting than what is displayed on the scale. And as someone who has gained 15lbs since starting her fitness journey, I still believe that 100%. However, out of curiosity I wanted to get a BodPod test done to test my bodyfat, especially since I am looking into delving even deeper in the Eat To Perform protocol. Since this program requires an increased amount of calories for most people, including a huge jump in carbs from what I am used to, they suggest getting an accurate body-fat measurement done and retesting in three months to measure progress or determine where additional tweaks need to be made.

Even though I preach throwing out the scale, I will admit to weighing myself every Wednesday morning and testing my body-fatΒ on the floor scale that I have just to note trends. I’ve been around the same weight for the past couple months and per my scale, around 28% BF. For someone who workouts out hard 5 days a week, 28% just seems a bit discouraging, even though it’s in the healthy range. But despite eating clean and working hard, I would expect the number to decrease over time (I know these scales are not truly accurate, but still I used it as a baseline).

bodpod body fat chart

After some research, I found that Henry Ford West Bloomfield, about 20 minutes away, would administer the test for $65, or $150 for three sessions. Even though this is not a necessary expense, my curiosity was getting the best of me, so I made my appointment and was on my way.

What is a BodPod Assessment?

From the main site,

The BOD POD Gold Standard Body Composition Tracking System is an air displacement plethysmograph which uses whole-body densitometry to determine body composition (fat and fat-free mass) in adults and children, and can accommodate a wide range of populations. A full test requires only about 5 minutes, and provides highly accurate, safe, comfortable, and fast test results. Each BOD POD Gold Standard is a complete turnkey system with a dedicated computer system, the ability to measure thoracic gas volume (TGV), and data management capabilities.

Compared to underwater weighing, it produces nearly identical results with less hassle!

How Should I Prepare for a BodPod Assessment?

Prior to taking the test, do not exercise or eat for at least three hours as your body should be in a controlled state when the test is administered.Β It is best to wear tight-fitted compression clothing; sports bra and compression shorts for women, and compression shorts for men as the pod is measuring your weight and volume, so anything that is not “you” can produce inaccurate results. At the facility I visited, they supplied the “uniform” so I did not have to bring my own.

BodPod Assessment: A look at my first time doing a Bod Pod to measure bodyfat after following Crossfit and Eat to Perform. Post shows what to expect during your first visit, what to eat, what to wear, and if claustrophobia is an issue! For more Crossfit or body image posts, check out @Jennifer ~ Wine to Weightlifting at or

So.. what is the BodPod like?

I have some mild claustrophobic tendencies, so I will admit I was a bit freaked out when I was researching and found out that you are basically enclosed into this “pod,” where the air is pressurized and only after the test is run could the chamber be opened. Scary, right? Well, what I did not realize is that there are a series of three short tests, each lasting only about 30 seconds. And, worst case scenario, there is even an emergency button if there is any sort of panic. Phew!

Thankfully, this was not scary at all! As the administrator, Nita, told me (and sorry, Nita – I thought your name was Nina!), think of it like being in a car. A very small car.

She explained every part of the process, from having to weigh in, to how the three trials would be done, to delivering the results at the end. I was completely at ease!

BodPod Assessment: A look at my first time doing a Bod Pod to measure bodyfat after following Crossfit and Eat to Perform. Post shows what to expect during your first visit, what to eat, what to wear, and if claustrophobia is an issue! For more Crossfit or body image posts, check out @winetoweights at or

What are the results and what can you do with them?

After the test is completed, within minutes you are given a print-out of the results, which indicate your body-fat in percentage and pounds, as well as lean mass in percentage and pounds.

bodpod results

These numbers are used to measure your results against general categories above. Since I was right along the border of Moderately Lean and Lean, Nita put me in the Lean category. πŸ˜‰

bodpod leanness

So once you have your results, you are given information at the bottom that calculates your estimated RMR, or resting metabolic rate. This is how many calories your body needs to support daily functions if you are completely sedentary. From there, you factor in your daily life, plus workouts, and an estimated daily caloric goal is generated to maintain current weight.Β If you are trying to lose weight, consume around 10% less than this; to gain, 10% more.


Nita said Crossfit falls right into the “Very Active” category, so clearly, my love of eating will not need to end anytime soon. In fact, I am likely going to bring back some more non-paleo foods (*gasp!*) on top of rice that I have already reintroduced to up my carb intake to a more sustainable level!

Where I can get a BodPod Assessment?

To find a location near you, click here!

Note: These results are based on my height, weight, activity levels, and goals. Results will vary by individual.

Your turn..
Have you ever had your body-fat tested?
If not, would you find value in doing it?
If so, what method did you use and why?

susan @ July 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I’ve recently heard of a few people going and getting this done. I’ll be honest. I’m afraid to and probably wouldn’t until I lose some more weight. I don’t actually want to see that number… :-/
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~jenniferlynn July 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

I disagree with that logic! You should do it now so that in 3 months, 6 months, whatever, you can compare your results from now and see how you are progressing!
If you are starting any sort of nutrition/exercise tweaks, I think it’s a great baseline. Throw out the scale in the meantime, but at least you can start making steps for lowering if, if needed!

bethany Lee
Twitter: bethanyjolee
July 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm

That picture of you in the bod pod is to die for! Love it Jen!
Yep, I’ve been to the bod pod and it is my method of choice for getting a “real” idea of where I am fat and muscle-wise. In fact, I’m scheduled to do my next text next Thursday. What a great review of the bod pod, Jen.
I find that I am about 5% more body fat in the bod pod as I am using the Om-Ron hand held fat percent tester. Getting the bod pod test is a baseline for me, and in between, I check my fat percent on the Om Ron. The one thing the bod pod does that the Om Rom doesn’t do is to tell me how much of my weight is muscle.
bethany Lee recently posted..Weightlifting: Four Lessons It Has Taught MeMy Profile

~jenniferlynn July 30, 2013 at 8:36 am

I used to use the handheld, and it was about 10% lower than the floor scale! I assume the floor scale does the bottom half; the omrom does the top half? Either way, I think even if the number on the personal scales aren’t accurate, I think they’re great to track trends and progress.

And you can also look in the mirror, Miss Muscles! πŸ˜‰

Twitter: acurls
July 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I cannot believe you went in that pod thing! I feel like I would totally freak out!! LOL Good for you πŸ™‚

I do a body fat test every once n awhile while my trainer, but I hate it so much I try to avoid it (which my trainer thinks is ridiculous). It has been important recently, when I’ve been gaining and going into training, I need to know if the gain is okay, or if there are warning signs of something else going on. I always gain weight when I’m running because I need more carbs/fuel… but I have a hard time accepting the number of the scale during my running condition. I’m working on changing my perception, though! I’d rather be an awesome runner than have a certain number on the scale.
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~jenniferlynn July 30, 2013 at 8:38 am

It’s really not scary!! πŸ™‚

I think if you’re running and gaining, that’s a good thing! For the number of calories that are burned up when you do all that crazy mileage, I think it’d be important to run a surplus instead of a deficit or you wouldn’t be able to function!

Tasha @ Healthy Diva July 29, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I haven’t had my BF tested since I was in college and I know that I have less BF now. I would be very curious and open to having mine tested again. I also feel like a weight shown on the scale doesn’t reflect our overall fitness. I rarely weigh myself and usually just go by how my clothes fit.
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Twitter: mast2mar
July 30, 2013 at 12:30 am

The bod pod sounds like a much better way to get body composition done!

For my nutrition class in college, we could get extra credit if we signed up to get hydrostatically weighed (free at our school) and I did! It was REALLY hard trying to expel all my breath and holding it for 10s underwater…THREE TIMES then they take an average of the three. They also do the pinch method beforehand, but its more to show that its less accurate than being hydrostatically weighed. The pinch method added about 5% body fat to me! It would be interesting to do something like this once a year to see how my body composition changes depending on the activities I do.
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~jenniferlynn July 30, 2013 at 8:42 am

Yeah, the hydrostatic ones would absolutely freak me out! I don’t do well with water..

I think it’s great for measuring progress, depending on your goals!

Cindy July 30, 2013 at 7:26 am

I am definitely curious. When I was tested last summer (with a handheld thingy) it was over 50 and well that was pretty depressing LOL. I’d have to see if there are places that do that here, but I need to wait until September when I get my next batch of loan money. πŸ™‚
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~jenniferlynn July 30, 2013 at 8:50 am

But even if you don’t like the number, it’s a great foundation to start making improvements in your lifestyle and rechecking a few months down to see how you progress.
If you do have an opportunity to do it, I would recommend buying a package of 3 if available.. so you can re-check a couple times πŸ™‚

Keep up all the walking, lady.. and try, try, try, to make the best food choices given your unique circumstances!

Twitter: bluetamarai
July 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

Hmm, that’s not as pricy as I expected. Tempting! Thanks for the info. And I love the pic!)

Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer
Twitter: courtnorm
July 30, 2013 at 11:22 am

I had a DXA Scan done last year. It was an eye opening experience. We did a 60 day check in and it was awesome to see a change. I’ve been wanting to go back again to see how it changed from a year ago!
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~jenniferlynn July 30, 2013 at 11:34 am

Oh if you did it now, I can’t even imagine how awesome the results would be!!

Kim July 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

I’ve always heard that is a very accurate way to have your body fat tested. I’m pretty sure that I would totally freak out in that little pod – last fall when I had an MRI for my hip I thought I was going to have a panic attack.
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~jenniferlynn July 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I promise it’s not scary. Like I don’t do well in small enclosed spaces, but the huge window made it feel really comfortable.

Lisa RunFastMama
Twitter: runfastmama
July 31, 2013 at 9:51 am

This looks really cool Jennifer, I would love to check it out and see what reality is πŸ™‚ Like you, my scale says 28% which I know is not accurate.
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Lauren August 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm

This post is great! I’ve been looking to get bod pod tested for a while. I hope that my floor scale is saying a higher BF than I am. I’ve gained some weight recently (crossfit 2x week and marathon training so perhaps muscle) and would love to track some progress!
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Shannon December 2, 2013 at 1:27 am

I did the BodPod in college and they organization we used (I was a college athlete) was not quite up to snuff on their directions. We went directly after dinner, which was right after a 2 hr practice and hour weight session. We weren’t told to wear tight fitting clothing (we were actually told to wear sweats!). Needless to say, when my results came up, I was around 33% body fat. I’m 5’11 and at the time, I weighed probably 150-155. While I wasn’t “perfect,” I was nowhere near 33% body fat. I might have cried after that session and refused to go back. It was a horrendous experience and not something that should

Knowing what I know now about the BodPod, I wish I had that resource available! I used to do a great fitness program (I’ve had to take this semester off due to my grad course load) that did body fat testing with both calipers and the handheld body fat tester (I have no idea what the actual term is, but its pretty common in gyms). I like to keep a general idea, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I stepped on a scale and I love it! As long as my jeans and dress pants fit, that’s all I need πŸ™‚

Alex Bridgeforth
Twitter: alexbridgeforth
April 4, 2015 at 2:57 am

love the bodpod. They have them at most big army bases for free for service members to use.
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Rebecca March 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Oh my gosh, I stumbled across your blog when googling bod pods near me and that’s where I go too! Greetings from another metro Detroit girl πŸ™‚

~jenniferlynn April 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

Ahhh awesome Rebecca!!!! Nice to connect! Are you on Facebook? Look me up at Jennifer Lynn Hudy! πŸ˜€

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