You recently performed a body composition analysis via the Bod Pod (or DEXA or InBody). Your body fat percentage, defined as the percentage of your body weight that is comprised of lean muscle mass versus fat mass, is not as low as you expected or hoped. Take a deep breath and consider walking through this mental checklist:
-I wore the correct testing attire (if in a Bod Pod) and the testing attire is consistent with what I wore last time.
-I fasted (no food or drink) for a minimum of three hours leading up to the test.
-I avoided all forms of exercise on the day of the test (before the test).
-Over the previous weeks and months, I have been consuming 0.7-1.0 grams of protein per pound of my body weight.
-My protein intake is spread out over the course of the day. I avoid prolonged fasting periods in which I don’t consume any protein.
-I’m consuming a small dose of creatine monohydrate daily or nearly daily.
-I have an awareness of my total calorie or food intake (perhaps tracking in an app).
-I strength train twice per week (or at least once every five days on average).
-I’m pushing to muscle failure on nearly every exercise (occasionally, joint pain or an injury on a particular exercise may prevent muscle failure and the exercise still has value).
-I focus on eccentric contractions (lowering the weight slowly).
-I’m sleeping between seven to nine hours per night. Not just in bed, but actually sleeping (sleep trackers are becoming more accurate in assessing this).
Don’t overcomplicate it. Until you have executed the above bullets, don’t waste mental energy, worry, time, or money. In almost all cases, this simple list will get you 98% of the way there.
Final note: It’s okay if you have a “bad” Bod Pod. Improving body composition is NOT the most important reason to strength train (or exercise in general).