6 reasons to ditch the calipers
Whatever method you use to track your body composition or that of clients, today we are going to present a solid case for using ultrasound.
Ultrasound passes an inaudible sound to a human ear through tissue structures, the echo’s from the ultrasound rebound from tissue structure making it ideal for determining the thickness of not only fat but muscle too and even differents parts of muscles.
While ultrasound has long been used medical fields with diagnostic medical sonography, the use of such a device for the evaluation of body fat percentage and muscle measurement for most individuals has not been available.
Perhaps you are currently using set of skinfold calipers or an electronic scale and have simply never considered the use of ultrasound or maybe you just didn’t know this technology was available to the masses; we have put together our 6 reasons we feel you should switch or start using ultrasound for muscle, fat and body fat percentage for not only yourself but clients too.
Faster than Calipers
If you are a fan of taking skinfold measurements for body composition analysis, then I am sure you will agree that to get the most accurate data possible you need to take your time with the measurement process, sometimes even marking the body to ensure that you are in the precise skinfold site to get consistent results.
Ok, BodyMetrix may not be quite as quick as a stand on top bio impedance scales such as Tanita body composition analyser or Omron body fat scale, but it is a lot more accurate in our opinion. Measurements using BodyMetrix can from 2 – 10 minutes which is a small investment in time for such a high level of precision. Here is some more information comparing BodyMetrix to BIA devices.
Another good thing about ultrasound body fat measurement is that it uses the same measurement formulas as skinfold calipers, so if you are familiar with these you will be up to speed right away, if not it doesn’t matter using what we call the averaging technique negates the need to be at the precise skinfold location and takes the average fat thickness across a 2 -3 inch area on the site.
At the same time as collecting constant fat thickness and body fat percentages, ultrasound body composition measurement also allows the user to take muscle measurements too. This powerful feature can give immediate feedback on muscle building workouts; this feature is something skinfold calipers are unable to do.
The system avoids the need to grab fat as you would with skinfold thickness measurements to measure it making it more desirable than a skinfold caliper.During a recent study completed by IntelaMetrix, 96% of respondents stated the bodymetrix ultrasound was more comfortable and preferable over skinfold measurements, and 88% of respondents stated they would be willing to pay for a BodyMetrix ultrasound body composition, while only 40% of respondents said they would pay for a skinfold caliper test
Easy to Use
Ultrasound body fat measurement using a handheld device such as BodyMetrix has been defined as the easiest to use and accurate method by Dr Holden MacRae, Professor of Sports Medicine at the Pepperdine University, Malibu
After you have Loaded the powerful software onto a Mac, PC or Tablet it couldn’t be easier, just plug the BodyMetrix handheld device into USB and you are ready to go. It’s not only easy but fast too, and this makes it more preferable than other instruments. The portable nature of bodymetrix makes it a favourite for those who want to perform field tests or for the trainer or physiotherapist that works away from the office. The BodyMetrix users also need less training than users of skinfold calipers. Cartwright Fitness offers training and full support to ensure you get the very best from your system allowing you to provide the best experience for clients and patients.
Measure Muscles and Identify Imbalance
Unlike hydrostatic weighing or plethysmographs such as the bod pod testing device or methods like near infrared analysis and bio impedance analysis, the bodymetrix device gives immediate muscle thickness data in millimetres. This is a great way for physiotherapists to determine muscle imbalances that may lead to injury and for Personal Trainers to show clients increases in muscle tissue which helps create that fat burning furnace and leads to greater fat loss.
Hydration Levels Don’t Matter
Unlike other methods of body composition analysis and in particular bio impedance where a small current is passed through the body to determine healthy body fat percentage. The BodyMetrix is not affected by external variables that can often interrupt accurate measurement such as ambient air temperature, air pressure, hydration when training or competition was performed or when the last meal may have been consumed.
It’s Super Accurate
BodyMetrix is an excellent alternative to a dexa scan to measure body fat. This has been shown to correlate extremely closely at recent studies.
By using the same sites as skinfold tests but with the added advantage of what we call the averaging technique where we move the handheld device over a 2-3 inch area of measurement, we can avoid any inaccuracies that may occur from poor caliper technique.
At the same time, we are also able to collect muscle thickness information that is measured in millimetres. This powerful information can quickly determine the effectiveness of muscle building workouts and determine how long does it take to build muscle with clients. True muscle thickness is different to fat-free mass which is often displayed on bio-electrical impedance analysis devices which take into account muscle as well as organs and bones weight.
Measuring actual muscle thickness can ensure that weight loss endeavours with clients are fat loss and not water weight loss.