On Monday, I was up in London. My day started with a BodPod assessment – the good folk at Ki Performance on Margaret Street heard about my contest prep and invited me along to have a body composition analysis in the BodPod (thank you, guys!)
Have you heard of the BodPod? It’s generally recognised to be one of the most accurate ways of analysing body composition (fat % and lean %), short of having a DEXA scan (or an autopsy!) I’m a bit of a numbers geek, and in the midst of a body recomposition challenge, so I jumped at the chance of having my mass analysed by BodPod.
Here’s the blurb (there’s plenty more – including published research – on the website if you’re interested):
The BodPod uses densitometry to assess body density. It measures body mass and divides this figure by body volume to calculate body density. Body volume is measured using air displacement plethysmography; a technique that uses changes in air pressure to work out the volume of an object.
Based on population specific equations, the BodPod system then calculates the percentage of fat and lean mass for the individual.
In addition to the general volume calculation, the BodPod system also adjusts the volume measurements to take into account the slight differences in air pressure where the air is in close proximity to the skin and is therefore warmer than the air around it.
BodPod is suitable for nearly everyone. It’s a really easy test to administer and doesn’t require the subject to do anything difficult. The BodPod chamber also accommodates a wide range of body shapes so really obese individuals can be tested with ease.
You need to be BodPodded in a fasted state. So I couldn’t eat from 10pm Sunday night until after my test – the horror! I also had to minimise liquids and just had a couple of sips of water that morning. I packed plenty of food in my bag to devour ASAP after the test! You have to wear minimal clothing and what you do wear has to be thin and tight – a swimsuit is ideal (I have a few of those 😉 ) You also need to don a simply beautiful swimcap type hat (not pictured!) Here is me in the pod
Anna Holder, BodPod’s Senior Performance Manager, weighed me and explained the test before shutting me in the pod and setting the thing going. I felt a little bit like I was going into space, enclosed in a futuristic capsule, sitting on a little seat with a series of lit-up buttons in front of me. A few seconds later, the door opened but it wasn’t ET’s face peering in at me, just Anna. “Two more tests to go,” she said (BodPod runs three tests, each about 30 seconds long). All I had to do was sit there, try not to move, and breathe normally. There were a series of pops and hisses as pressurised air was pumped in around me, but it was all completely painless.
Off I went to get changed and I was just stuffing my breakfast in my mouth (not the first time I’ve been in a sports changing room eating food from a tupperware, and I’m sure it won’t be the last) when Anna knocked on the door. “Erm, I’m really sorry but can I run the test again?” she asked. “The reading seems very low and I think I might have put your data in wrong.” Poor Anna looked so concerned that I told her the results of other recent body composition tests (bio impedence and hand-held unit) and she relaxed a bit and said they were along the same lines as the BodPod‘s readings.
So we did the test again and I returned to the changing room to finish my tupperware breakfast, before joining Anna in the meeting room where she asked me a few more questions and promised to get my results to me ASAP.
From there, I jumped on the tube to head up to Premier Training in Finsbury Park where the FIA (Fitness Industry Association) were hosting their monthly Communications Forum. I’d been asked to attend as a guest speaker and talk on the topic of “how to engage with freelance fitness journalists and bloggers”. I think my talk went down well! It was great to meet so many people involved in the marketing, PR and development of various sport and fitness brands. Would anyone like me to post the notes from my talk? If so, I will do. Basically though it covered:
– my background and who I’ve written for
– my niche and my personal approach to sport and fitness
– what’s the process behind a magazine commission? (pitched/commissioned)
– who does a freelance journalist work with? (Editors, PRs, marketeers, owners and entrepreneurs)
– how can you make the most of freelance journalists? (a few dos and don’ts)
– the importance of relationships
– what makes a good press release?
– what kind of news interests us?
– what do we need from PRs/marketeers?
– how to find a journalist or commission
On my train home, Anna’s email came through with my BodPod results – 12.2% body fat. I find that hard to believe but I suppose it’s always difficult to assess yourself objectively, and I guess that’s the point of having a BodPod test done!
Monday was a full and busy day but a really rewarding one. Now I’m playing catch-up after a day out of the office. Thank you to Ki Performance for the BodPod test and to the FIA for inviting me to speak at the Comms Forum.
Have you had a BodPod assessment or any other kind of body composition reading?