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Measuring Progress

Posted: January 10, 2015
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Whether you’re new to Farmgirlfit or a longtime member, you’ve probably noticed that we’re not big on numbers like other gyms. We aren’t going to make you step on a scale or bust out a tape measure to gather numbers like weight, inches, what size pants you wear — those just aren’t that important to us, and frankly, they can be deceiving, distracting and downright discouraging.

We prefer our members to set performance-based goals, instead: Are you running faster? Are you jumping higher? Are you getting stronger? In our experience, focusing on performance-based goals yields a healthier psychological response, and establishes more consistent long-term results—exercising and being active just become part of daily life…and the dropping inches and pounds become an added benefit.

We recognize, though, that sometimes it can be nice to have a number to focus on in order to gauge your progress, or just to give you extra motivation. This month, FGF members have a unique opportunity to an accurate, useful number utilizing a BodPod—a body composition measurement tool, at Eastern Washington University (thanks to FGF member and EWU senior, Christa Gentili).

The Bod Pod is an Air Displacement Plethysmograph that uses whole body densitometry to determine body composition. Translation? The BodPod takes a measurement of your volume (how much space you take up), as well as your mass (how much you weigh) to determine your body’s density.  From there, it’s able to calculate your lean body mass (bones, organs, muscle), fat body mass, as well as other numbers like resting metabolic rate.  In other words, scientific numbers that actually mean something, in terms of your overall health.

The Bod Pod looks like an egg, and each subject sits inside of it for 60-80 seconds while the Bod Pod completes its measurement of body density. It is an easy, low-stress test. After the measurement is complete, the resulting numbers — fat mass, fat-free mass, resting metabolic rate — can be used to calculate a goal weight. With a 1-3 percent accuracy, the Bod Pod is one of the most accurate measurements of body composition out there.

The tests are conducted in a small private room with one or two subjects and two testers at a time. The person being tested is weighed, and then sits in the egg with minimal clothing (spandex and a sports bra for ladies).  Individual results are analyzed to see if body composition falls within a healthy, lean, or overweight category.

A limited number of Farmgirlfit members will be able to assess their body composition with the BodPod over the next two weeks. Each gym location will have a sign-up sheet with specific dates and times, as well as all the other details you need: directions, cost, etc.

If you’re going to have a number, or set of numbers, to motivate you to live your healthiest in 2015, we recommend these: accurate numbers that paint a portrait of your whole body health. We’ll have an opportunity to re-test in about 3 months, so you can see on paper and with numbers how all your hardwork and sweat are really paying off!

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