The GOLD Standard in Body Composition Measurement

Body Composition

BOD POD vs other Body Composition Testing Methods


*Populations—refers to the ability of the method to assess body composition among a wide range of populations, including the elderly, obese, children and those with disabilities


With the powerful body composition information that BOD POD provides for you and your clients, you can truly help them to achieve even greater improvement and change.  It is so challenging to motivate clients when they are exclusively focused on the number on the scale.  Most just don’t understand that losing 10 pounds of fat but adding 4 pounds of muscle for a net 6 pound drop on the scale is far better than losing 10 pounds of combined muscle and fat.

It’s even more frustrating when you know that the training and nutrition program that you have them on has resulted in a huge improvement in their overall health and wellness.  They have gained strength and muscle mass but they most often only judge their improvement by the number on the scale.

Muscle Metrics is your business partner

Now, body composition for your clients is scientifically measurable.  You can now prove what you have always known.  That your clients have not only lost weight but gained muscle.  And, BOD POD delivers this powerful information in a simple, easy-to-read yet compelling report.  The data serves as a fantastic baseline for your clients who are beginning a new workout or nutritional program.  Perhaps more importantly, it provides accurate information on their resting metabolic rate (RMR) so that you can help guide them on the number of calories they should be consuming each day.

Plus, our reporting system keeps track and provides updated statistics should your clients choose to do follow-up testing which gives them side-by-side data to document their improvement.

Body Composition Testing:  THE SCIENCE*

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Top 5 Body Composition Measurement Options



  • Accurate
  • Fast
  • Safe and non-invasive
  • Easy to take
  • Convenient
  • Economical


  • Can’t measure fat by specific body area


Underwater (Hydrostatic) Weighing


  • An established reference method for measuring body composition
  • Very accurate when all test parameters are accurately followed


  • Test time is lengthy, complicated and very difficult to perform correctly
  • Technician must be highly skilled in order to obtain accurate results
  • Client must exhale completely and hold breath while underwater
  • Test can’t be taken by extremely obese, elderly, children, disabled
  • Few, if any available facilities to provide this test
  • Can’t measure fat by specific body area


Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA)


  • Provides more accurate results than on site methods like skin caliper and bioelectric impedance
  • The gold standard for providing bone density
  • Easy test to take


  • Invasive: Uses 2 separate x-ray beams with different energy levels
  • Technology invented to measure bone mineral density
  • 50% of the body composition measurement is a mathematical estimate
  • Equipment is very expensive so tests are usually expensive
  • Can’t measure extremely obese or tall people or those with some disabilities
  • Results can be very different between DXA manufacturers, DXA machines from the same manufacture and even different software versions or upgrades
  • Results can be heavily affected by body thickness
  • Results can be heavily affected if the patient moves at all during the test
  • Few, convenient or available facilities to provide this test


Bioelectric Impedance


  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Inexpensive or free


  • Plus or minus 8% less accurate than BOD POD, Hydrostatic or DXA tests
  • Results are heavily affected by the type, brand and skin contact point of instrument
  • Results are heavily affected by hydration or dehydration levels
  • Results are heavily affected by food intake levels prior to test
  • Results are heavily affected by skin temperature
  • Can’t be used on people with medical implants such as pacemakers and defibrillators


Skinfold Calipers


  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Inexpensive or free


  • Plus or minus 8% less accurate than BOD POD, Hydrostatic or DXA tests
  • Results are heavily affected by the type and brand of caliper used
  • Results are heavily affected by the skill level of the tester
  • When doing follow-up tests, results are heavily affected when caliper is not used in exact same locations as the original test
  • Not a valid measurement method for extremely obese people
  • Test can take a long time as many sites need to be pinched repeatedly to get most accurate results
  • Requires the tester to come in physical contact with the person being tested

*Special Note: The overview of advantages and disadvantages for each of the 5 measurement techniques as presented above is based on the outcomes reported in 59 published medical journal articles and scientific papers written by doctors, scientists and researchers over a 15+ year period of time. 

*Reference Sources: The scientific and medical papers reporting on body composition measurement options have been published in dozens of prestigious journals.  They include: Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Human Biology, Human Kinetics Journal, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of Medical Science and Sports Exercise, Physiology Review, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of Applied Physiology, British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, NY Academy of Science, Journal of Gerontology

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