Nearly two weeks ago now (where is the time going…?!) I had another biosignature assessment. Long-time readers might recall that I had my first biosig about a month out from the BNBF British Finals in 2011, and a follow-up assessment just a few days before the Final, and then one biosig last year, as well.
Whilst I recognise that they’re not necessarily completely accurate (what method of body-composition testing is, other than autopsy? 😉 ), I do find the data fascinating. For more information about the biosig method and assessment, take a look at my previous biosig blog posts (linked to above) or Google it. Briefly: it’s a skinfold test, using calipers, which assesses 12 specific sites on the body that relate to individual hormones. The result shows your hormonal profile, and the practitioner can then advise on lifestyle, training and nutrition tweaks you can make to get you healthier (and leaner, if that’s your bag).
And, like any form of measurement, I like using biosig tests as comparisons as I make my merry way along the Path of Prep.
So, I had a biosig test two weeks ago with a biosig practitioner here in Kent – Aimee Stevens. She hasn’t calipered me previously and it’s worth bearing in mind that different practitioners will do things slightly differently, no matter how hard they try to replicate the process. My reading came out as 12.4% bodyfat which I was pleased enough with at the time (just over 8 weeks out from my qualifier) although I would hope (and am confident that) it’s come down from then. I’ll be going back in a few weeks to find out!
And here’s what Aimee had to say:
The Biosignature Modulation body fat assessment is a testing criteria devised by Charles Poliquin, based on the hypothesis that individual body fat testing sites are hormone modulated, therefore allowing practitioners to target site specific fat loss.
Nicola Joyce 24th May 2013
Body fat percentage is currently 12.4% (lean body mass 55.6 kgs)
Calves (growth hormone/sleep)
Body fat is good/lean, therefore it is perhaps more insightful to look at each individual site reading comparatively and set targets from here in order to achieve increased leanness for competition. One thing to bear in mind: the Biosignature Modulation testing is devised solely as a tool to reduce body fat, therefore – no matter how optimal the site readings are – it will always point out priority sites 1, 2, and 3 for focus. Under ‘normal’ circumstances I would encourage Nicola to maintain this body fat percentage, however for competition it is a different ball game!
Very optimal sites are seen in her chin/cheek, representing a good overall leanness. The pec site reading is low, as is sub-scapular (hypothesised to represent high carbohydrate tolerance), mid axillary (thyroid), supra-illiac (insulin), and umbilical (cortisol).
Hamstring – first priority – would be the first port of call for reducing body fat in this case. For a female, 17.7mm is a good lean hamstring, and as discussed this is no cause for concern. For Nicola to reduce this further we would firstly look at any exogenous exposure to estrogen toxins (for example non-organic produce, plastic exposure, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc). My second step would be to optimise Nicola’s ability to detoxify:
– Improve gut health, mainly through a high quality pro-biotic and increased fibre
– Ensure diet is antioxidant rich, greens supplements are a fantastic way of boosting levels
– Supplement with a good B complex, high quality fish oil, magnesium, possibly zinc
I do not personally feel Nicola would need to follow an estrogen detoxification specific protocol at this point, but would encourage her to keep her (filtered) water high, and drink lots of green tea. It is interesting that Nicola’s quad reading is 21.2mm, which is slightly high for 12.4% body fat. The quad reading is hypothesised to be indicative of estrogens that your body is producing, for example being on the contraceptive pill. In combination with the guidance above, perhaps sauna protocols (infrared if it is available) might be useful in reducing this site.
Calves as priority 2 is slightly high again for a lean girl, so 12.4% (double the fat as on her hips for example!), therefore lifestyle changes to induce sleep should be put into place at this important stage, and increased magnesium should help. Triceps being third priority is slightly unusual for such as muscular lean girl (14.4%). I often find that heavy weights reduces this site. I would expect this to be well below 10mm for Nicola. Her next training stage is higher volume, which should lead to a reduction in this site, but Nicola could also look at boosting zinc which is a testosterone modulator.
Aimee is a registered biosignature practioner, holds credentials from top UK universities, further certification from the Australian Performance Training Institute, and has worldwide experience of training 100+ clients across 3 continents.
Thanks Aimee and see you again soon!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.