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-fat 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).
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. 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.
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!
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.
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. 😉
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. 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.
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?