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BOD POD gives accurate body fat measurement

March 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Like many of us, Hebron Fangupo is fighting fat. In training for NFL tryouts, he's lost 30 pounds in just a few months.

But beyond the numbers that show up on the scale, his trainers at ProActive Gym check his body fat and lean tissue because cutting calories and excessive exercise can steal precious muscle mass.

"Well you know there calipers, there's these scales electrical impedence that you can step on, there's our BOD POD that we're talking about and then there's the underwater weighing," said gym owner Ryan Capretta.

Capretta says a skin fold pinch measurement is common but there's a large error of margin unless you are tested by one person pinching the same spot every time. Also, certain body types and ethnicities are difficult to assess due to their density.

What has been considered the best for measuring lean mass is hydrostatic weighing. It requires sitting in a pool on a special scale, exhaling out all of your air as hard as you can and holding still. Not only is that scary, but it's also hard.

So Capretta uses the BOD POD, which with the help of five simultaneous tests, measures air displacement to determine body composition.

"The accuracy, in our opinion, is a little tighter because we don't have to worry about the measurement air," Capretta said. "With hydrostatic weighing, it's great. It's in all the exercise phys labs. It's no knock on it, it's just a little more convenient so you don't have to worry about how much air a person can blow out so it's a little easier test to administer."

A quick stint in the pod wearing fitted cap and suit provides immediate results, taking into account bone, muscle, fluids as well as fat. These are all important stats as without proper diet and training, metabolism plummets.

"Well if you didn't do it the right way you're going to be losing muscle and eating into your muscle and that obviously not what you want to do from a program," Carpetta said. "So again, it's just a tool that you can really look at and it can make your training program more efficient."


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