Body analysis - May 2011

I had a body composition analysis completed today on a Biospace InBody 520. (Age 62)

There's a sample of the format of the print-out report I was given at the foot of this page.

What surprised me was my low body fat reading (6kg - 8%) and that my legs were just 109% of “the lean mass [I] should have in terms of [my] bodyweight” (leg work is the basis of my workouts) while my arms (which I really don’t exercise specifically – they just come along for the ride) were 131% of what I “should have”. My trunk was 120% - not surprising. My BMR was calculated at 1881 kcal – I’d guess that’s roughly what I eat, though my range would be 1200 – 2500 kcal.

The legs report surprised me because I’m presently deadlifting 2.3 times my bodyweight about 40 times over a week; I can’t see how I could do that with only 109% of the normal muscle mass.

The 8% body fat surprised me because I am not at all “ripped”. I would have guessed around 15%.

A full quarter of the report is on the ratio of “extracellular water” to “intracellular water”. For me the ratio was 0.375 – slap bang in the middle of their normal range. And that’s consistent with my not feeling thirsty or bloated. I don’t think this reading is important if you don’t have oedema; it’s probably just something their machine can estimate.

I copied the following info from the Biospace website:

The InBody uses unique and patented cutting-edge BIA technology. Unlike other BIA devices, the InBody does not need to rely on statistical data or averages in calculating values since the data it gathers is far more accurate. The InBody:
- Directly measures each body part separately
- It is the only BIA device that precisely measures impedance of the trunk or torso area.
Thus, InBody does not need to use statistical data in calculating other values because its results are much more accurate.
InBody accurately evaluates a wide range of individual, especially those with unique body types such as children, extremely obese physiques, senior adults and athletes. The InBody is considered to be approx. 98% accurate when compared against DEXA and underwater weighing.
Body fat can serve as a protective cushion and a certain amount of fat is considered vital. Too little fat inhibits the body’s natural immune response and normal hormone function.

My conclusion: Although I am sceptical of the usefulness of comparisons against “normal” (as I do NOT want to be normal for my age – I want to be abnormal!), the report provides a useful benchmark for an annual check.

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Page established 27 May 2011