The Bod Podyssey Part II

This is the follow up to The Bod Podyssey I, which was a discussion about my interest and trepidation about having my body fat percentage measured.

In this post I’ll discuss my actual experience in the Bod Pod, my results, and how much I still have to learn.

Going in for my evaluation was fairly easy, and would have been quick if my brain hadn’t been on a leash behind me.  The Bod Pod is an automated machine.  Once my tourguide explained how it worked, I was supposed to charge forth, unassisted, and get my number.  Well that sort of happened, but I didn’t really absorb much of what she told me.  I only realized this after I ran the calibration cycle for the third time!  With a brief visit and some button-pushing from my cheerful guide, I was back on track.  I was in the pod for roughly 2 minutes 25 seconds.  It was quick, and sitting in it was quite comfortable (except for having to do it in my underwear while donning an awkward red beanie that had been issued for the journey).  All in all, a painless and speedy procedure.  Now for the results.

We all know the fitness industry is rife with misconceptions and assumptions.  This exercise was a prime example of how misguided someone can be with regard to the numbers.  In my previous post I had identified 12 percent body fat as the measurement I expected to see, based on my fitness level, and that this was a healthy percentage.

It turns out the Bod Pod measured my body fat percentage at 18.3.  At first I was shocked at this seemingly huge gap.  However, I realized this preconceived percentage was fairly arbitrary because it was based off my lack of knowledge on the subject, and an assumption one “professional” had made based on how I look.

See the Body Composition Test Results below.  I was surprised to learn the body fat parameters for women are so different from those for the men.  I think I was basing my target on the men’s number!  I’m not sure how I got so far off.  My calipers came with a little chart specifically separating calculations for women and for men.  At least now I won’t be embarrassing myself by making statements about my body fat that would put me in the same category with bodybuilders who are competing.  I’m obviously not, so this was a great little ego check!

The good news is that I landed in a range I’m happy with, which was what I’d been hoping.  The bad news is that I’ve been spouting about a subject I need to research further.