I recently participated in a 12 Week Fit Challenge with my Fit4Mom Abilene Stroller Strides Group! We committed to 12 weeks of kicking our butts as far as workouts go, going above and beyond with extra workouts, and eating well/changing our diets. Throughout the 12 weeks, the leader of our class would share recipes, tips, extra motivational challenges with us. It was fun, and we all saw improvements. To measure our success we did three things. First, we did a fit test where we ran 1/2 a mile for time, did as many pushups and crunches as we could in a certain amount of time. We retested for that at 6 weeks, and then again at 12 weeks. We also took measurements at the beginning and end of a challenge. But the most accurate measurement tool we used was called the Bod Pod. If you have never heard of a Bod Pod, it's one of the most accurate ways to measure body fat vs. lean body mass (muscle, bones, and organs). The Bod Pod uses air displacement technology to measure your body mass, and can be seen on some of those big TV shows like Biggest Loser and Extreme Weightloss. They use these, because the Bod Pod is considered the gold standard for body composition measurement.
According to the National Institute for Fitness and Sports, "The feedback you receive from your BOD POD test can be used to measure the success of your nutrition and/or exercise program, monitor for obesity, a risk factor for major diseases, like stroke and diabetes, help you lose or gain body fat safely, fine tune your athletic performance and more."
This is why I think the Bod Pod is so worth your time and money! You can find Bod Pod's available in most towns via wellness companies, universities, hospitals, and military bases. You will be paying anywhere from $50-100 to use it, but sometimes can get a package deal.
Fit vs. Fat? Why the Bod Pod is Worth it!
First off, when you are looking to lose weight and/or get healthier, getting the Bod Pod measurements is sure to motivate you. When you learn how much of your body composition is made up of fat, and what "age" that puts your body at, and the risks it brings upon you, it is sure to stir up some intrinsic motivation that will get you wanting to eat well and workout!
Secondly, when you do lose weight, and you compare your body composition from before to now, you are able to see if you are just losing body fat, or if you are actually getting fit as well and increasing your lean body mass. It's important not only to lose fat, but also to build muscle, and the Bod Pod is the most accurate measure of that vs. just a number on the scale. Because who cares if you aren't losing weight on the scale, as long as you know that your body mass is changing to muscle! That is a much better feeling. That means you are getting healthier from the inside, and soon enough, as the body fat decreases, those muscles will start to be seen on the outside as well!
Here are my measurements:
If you have never measured your body composition, you should definitely consider finding a Bod Pod near you, it is surely worth it! Get your composition measured initially, then make plans to go back 3 months later and get retested. See what kind of motivation you get to make healthy life changes, then see how your body changes over a period of time! It's such an encouraging thing!
I know for me, seeing my two scores and seeing them change over the course of 3 months was incredibly encouraging! It also proved to me that I can be more fit now than I was even before I gave birth to my son!
Here's an example. When I got married in December 2009, I felt like I was the fittest I had ever been since becoming an adult. Now, in comparison to a photo 6 months after my wedding, to now. I'm 5 years old, nearing my 30's and have given birth to one son. I can honestly say I look, feel, and am healthier all around!
To me, this pic just shows that even weighing less doesn't always mean you are healthier. I weighed less in May of 2010, but today, I have so much more muscle mass, and you can see that by my transformation photos!
[bctt tweet="Fit vs. Fat! Why the Bod Pod is worth it! Plus transformation photos from @brittanysuell #LeaveYourLegacy"]
If you do decide to get measured with a Bod Pod, you can expect something like this.
When being measured, you wear as little amounts of clothes as possible (swim suit or spandex and sports bra). You remove all your jewelry, and for women you wear a tight cap. You will step on a scale first, then sit in the Bod Pod for 3 segments of 40 seconds each, moving as little as possible and breathing normally.
Immediately after being measured, your results will print showing you your weight, your lean body mass, and your fat body mass.