The BodPod

Yesterday, I made the trip to ODU, specifically to the Human Performance Lab, to get my body composition measured in the BodPod. It was a unique experience, like being sealed in an escape pod. The device uses air pressure to calculate body density to then get body composition via the Siri Equation.

% Body Fat = (495 / Body Density) - 450

The procedure was quick and easy. I had to strip down to the bare minimum compression shorts and a swim cap and get weighed. I hadn’t thought of the fact that clothing and hair are designed to capture air to keep us warm, so too much of either would skew the results. Once I was in the pod, the air pressure started to change as the pod started to reach equilibrium. The most disconcerting part of the magnetic locks sealing. The relatively loud (inside the pod at least) thud was a little unexpected. Once the pressure had equalized, the pressure pulsed back and forth, causing a slightly uncomfortable sensation in my ears and in my eyes.

After the pressure portion of the test was done, throasic volume needed to be measured. I put a tube in my mouth, breathed in time with a display and at the end of the test, I had to puff into the tube.

Once I was dressed, I got the print out of my results. I have a measured percent of body fat of 17%, with a Resting Metabolic Rate of 1872 kcal/day. This is the data I was looking for to begin a new diet and exercise routine in the new year. Owing to Pearson’s Law:

That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.

The other neat topic of discussion while I was there, was a study starting to measure the fitness effects of Crossfit, which is something that I have been curious about. While I feel I have had a good workout from an 8 minute workout, it is hard to quantify in any kind of “calorie in / calorie out” tracking system. While it was in the preliminary stages, I can’t wait until that research is ready.