Discover Strength bought a Bod Pod in 2014. We knew it was the most reliable way to assess changes in body composition (changes in lean muscle mass and fat mass). Instead of simply weighing ourselves, we should analyze what our weight is really comprised of. The Bod Pod is considered the gold standard and is used at the Mayo Clinic, the NFL Combine, and in clinical research studies.
From 2014 to 2018, I only had my own body composition tested three times.
I was fearful of the results.
Okay, “fearful” may be an overstatement, but I definitely didn’t look forward to receiving negative (or less than positive) feedback about my body composition. I’ve always enjoyed strength training (and running). I am always motivated to exercise with intensity and consistency. Frankly, I didn’t want to be demotivated by poor Bod Pod results.
I relegated tests to the days leading up to a marathon. I typically ran one to two marathons per year which meant I did a Bod Pod one to two times per year. I wanted to track and understand if my body fat percentage influenced my marathon times.
I changed all of this in 2019 when I set a process goal of performing a Bod Pod every month. I needed to face my fear and be more comfortable with the results. My mantra: It’s just a data point and I can use that data point to inform my behavior. In 2019 I completed 12 tests, and my fear was conquered.
For the past two years, I’ve performed, on average, a test every 10 days. I aim for once per week and occasionally miss a week. This is probably a bit over the top for many. It works for me because I have access to the Bod Pod and I like receiving more frequent data points that both motivate me and inform my behavior. I now have a healthy relationship with the Bod Pod.
One more important point: over the last 8-10 years, our understanding of the key benefits of strength training has evolved significantly. Previously, I viewed strength training as a means to get stronger and improve my body composition (and of course, strength training drives both of these goals better than any other form of exercise). But more recently, we’ve started to appreciate strength training for the research-based benefits to our cognition, myokine production, and cardiovascular health. If my Bod Pod score isn’t stellar, that’s okay, I’m still reaping these important benefits.
Take Home Message: Consider a process goal that involves increasing your Bod Pod frequency and in doing so, receiving valuable data that can guide your behavior and decision-making.
Curious? You can learn more about body composition testing at Discover Strength HERE.