New mobile unit in metro offers testing of body fat vs. muscle

Health
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LEAWOOD, Kan. — One look in the mirror may be all you need to know you’re out of shape. But more people want to know their numbers — how much fat they have vs. lean body mass. That interest has created businesses that offer sophisticated body composition testing.

From a distance, you might think it’s a food truck. But the mobile unit sitting in a parking lot in Leawood focuses on the muscle and fat that make up your body.

Muscle Metrics travels to fitness centers, businesses and schools offering testing with the Bod Pod. You get in an egg-like chamber.

“It measures the movement of air around your body in a closed chamber. The end result of that is the most accurate measurement of body composition,” owner Cam Bishop said.

The Bod Pod reveals your percentage of lean mass versus fat. Bishop started the business after realizing the scales and the body mass index chart don’t really tell much about your fitness.

“Especially for people who have a pretty significant amount of muscle mass. Muscle does weigh more than fat,” Bishop said.

The test costs $55 for an individual. There are also group rates.

A fitness trainer in Prairie Village says not everyone needs the sophisticated testing.

“It’s all relative to what you’re trying to accomplish. Perhaps an elite level body builder where they’re trying to get to a certain body fat percent, they might need that tool,” Greg Justice of AYC Health & Fitness said.

Justice says otherwise, a skin-fold analysis using calipers or an impedance test may serve you well although he says they’re not as precise as the Bod Pod.

“What we want to get away from is the obsessive nature of feeling like you have to do it all the time,” Justice said.

Bishop agrees, saying that unless you’re an elite bodybuilder, you don’t want to be tested more than once every three months.

Chad Brade got his results.

“A lot better than I thought I would be at this point. Yeah, it gives me a good base to go off of,” Brade said.

The Bod Pod shows his body is composed of just 14 percent fat.

The testing also tells you how many calories a day you burn in a resting state which can help you know how much to eat.

Besides Muscle Metrics, other Bod Pods that are open to the public include those at the UMKC Fitness Center and K.U. Medical Center.

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