Body Composition Test

While on the cruise, I met with a personal trainer in their gym for a body composition assessment.  When I signed up and paid for this, I kinda thought there was gonna be a little bit more to it than what it really turned out to be.  It turned out to be more of a sales pitch for their detox services and products than anything else, but I guess I should have expected that on a cruise ship.

The first thing we did was talk about lots of things–my activity level, stress level, nutrition, etc., and that’s when she really started trying to sell me on their $300 liver detox pills.  I told her right up front that while I was interested in hearing the benefits of liver detox there was no way I was spending $300 that day.  Some of the stuff she said was pretty interesting and gave me a good starting point for doing research of my own.

So then she picked up this gadget about the size of a desktop adding machine and started punching in stuff like my sex, weight, age, and height.  Then she told me to take off my right shoe and sock.  She taped electrodes to my right foot and right hand.  She explained that the electrodes would send a current through my body, and the machine would measure how that current traveled.  She said the current travels differently through muscle, fat, and water, and she would know how much of each was in my body.  So the electrodes fed information to the gadget for a minute or so and then it spit out a summary.

It looked like this:

Percent body fat:  18.3%
Fat body weight:  24.2 lbs
Lean body weight:  107.2 lbs
Basal Metabolic Rate:  1488 cal/day
Total body water:  34.8 liters (71.1% of lean weight)
Bioresistance:  480 ohms  (<—–I have no idea what that means with regards to this test.)

I understand how that machine can tell her my body fat percentage, fat/lean body weight, and water volume, but I’m not banking anything on that BMR number.  From what I understand, a real BMR test involves exertion and a ventilator for VO2 measurement and can tell you what fuel sources your body is tapping into during exercise.  (For instance, are you depending heavily on glycogen during exercise, or is your body burning fat?)  That machine only knows what the trainer told it, and that information alone isn’t enough to give an accurate BMR.  Two people of the same sex who have the same body mass can still metabolize very differently.  So while 1488 calories a day may be the norm or average for someone with 18.3% body fat, that doesn’t mean it’s true for me.  So yeah.  I don’t buy it.

So what was the purpose of me having this done?  Curiosity.  That’s about it.  I know I’m not overweight or anything.  I mean, sure, I’d like to lean up and lose a few pounds.  (I’ve already lost a couple since this.)  I was really just curious to see what my body fat percentage was, and I was really hoping that I’d come away from this with a better knowledge of how MY body burns energy.

Have you ever had anything like this done?


What are your thoughts on detoxing?  

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One thought on “Body Composition Test

  1. This sort of sounds like what my scale does for me everyday… Although I just got around to updating my age and my percent body fat went up. So who knows how accurate it actually is.

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