In this article, we will look at Body Composition and the important things that you need to measure in order to really understand your body and the effects that training is having on it.
What is Body Composition?
Body Composition refers to the body’s percentage of fat, bone and muscle mass. When we measure body composition, we are measuring fat mass with the remaining composition being muscle and bone.
There is essential body fat and non-essential body fat and both can vary with age, gender and fitness level. Essential body fat is the fat our body does not produce which we must obtain from the foods we eat. Non-essential body fat is not essential to survival and may be stored in excess amounts, which can be unhealthy.
Fat mass: When measuring body fat, refers to the amount of subcutaneous fat (i.e. fat stored underneath the surface of the skin).
Lean mass: Lean mass is basically the muscle and bone we carry within the body, which also varies, with age, gender and fitness level.
Why is it important to know body composition vs just your body ‘weight’?
Body weight is the weight of the total body and does not alone provide a complete picture of your physical fitness. Because muscle weighs more than fat, the same two people with the same body weight can have completely different body compositions due to the amount of fat and muscle mass they each possess. Therefore, someone who weighs 80kg may be maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, while the other may not.
Because of health risks associated with unhealthy levels of body fat (i.e. heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, etc.), having your body composition measured will enable you to more effectively and efficiently achieve and maintain healthy levels of lean and fat mass.
How is Body Composition measured?
At the cycleWELL Camp we will use the medically approved ‘Inbody 570’ in our workshop. This is is the most advanced BIA machine on the market and will measure your:
- Total Body Weight
- Body Fat Mass
- Skeletal Muscle Mass
- Fat Free Mass
- Total Body Water
- Body Fat Percentage
- Waist Hip Ratio (WHR)
- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
- Segmental Muscle Mass (each arm & leg)
- Visceral bar graph
- Fitness score
The test in non invasive and will take no longer than 5 minutes.
The bottom line?
If you don’t know your body composition measurements you may be training incorrectly, consuming the wrong amount of food for your desired results or even be at a health risk.
Stay Strong and Happy.