Friday, September 30, 2011

Hydrostatic Bodyfat Testing


2.5% what? Bodyfat. Do I look like I am at 2.5%? No, I don't think so, but this picture was taken on Wednesday morning after I got back from the gym and that's what my bodyfat was at the time. On Tuesday I had hydrostatic bodyfat testing and I came out to be at 2.5%

How does it all work? I did it last year, and it is quite interesting to go through, even if I feel like I am going to die in the process.

Odd that I would pay for such a thing but I do.

Mike pulls his mobile testing truck up at the gym, folds down the metal stairs and sets up shop. He will be there all day long.

Tuesday afternoon I walked up the stairs and greeted him. I said I was his next appointment and I was ready!

I told him that I did it last year so I was familiar with the process and I took off my clothes (I had a swimsuit on) and stood on his scale.

118 pounds. Damn! My weight had dropped a couple days prior, and this was not good, I didn't want to drop anymore. But, as I said yesterday, it is a very fine balancing act and at the end, things can get sticky.

Below you see Mike standing by the tank explaining to me again what to do. I will sit on the edge and then swing my feet over and dangle them in the water. He then takes a reading after a minute, not sure what it is. The water is warm, 90 degrees and smells slightly of chlorine.

He says "You getting ready for a competition?" "Yes" I tell him, "4 days away." "Bodybuilding?" he asks. "No, I am competing in Figure, but at 118 pounds may just be too hard for that now."

"You are lean. I can tell just by looking at you now." he says.

I am told to get in, lay down, stomach down, resting on my forearms so my head is above the water. We will run through the actual measurement process three times to get an average reading.

Mike lays a heavy weight belt on my lower hips to hold me down. I have become a very tiny person. I will take a deep breath and exhale slowly, then another deep breath, exhale fast and when he tells me, plunge under water and keep pushing all the air out of my lungs, I will sink as I do this. He will keep shouting at me to continue blowing out my air and I must not stop.

 He said I have to keep pushing the air out, while I am under water, till no more bubbles are escaping. I feel like I shall die, I need air, I want to come up but I was instructed not to until I hear him pound on the side of the stainless steel tank. I push the air out from my abdomen as he instructed, keep pushing!, keep pushing!. Crap, It's like giving birth all over again! I start to panic a little then Mike finally pounds on the side. I come shooting up like a fish being chased by a shark, gasping for air.

 He says "You ok?" "Yes" I tell him, "I am fine". pant, pant, pant......

We do the same thing a second time, and then a third. OK, I have had enough "fun" for the day, send me home dammit!

Mike tosses me a big towel and I dry off as he works on his computer. It has stored my data from last time, we can compare everything. 

"You are low." Mike says. "In fact, I have never tested a woman lower than this, and only one man lower. You are at 2.5%."

'That has to be a mistake!" I tell him. "There is no way I am that low. I get to 4%, I know that, but 2.5%, wouldn't I be dead or something? What is the margin for error?"

"1%, so if this is as off as it can be, you are at 3.5%, or you could be lower couldn't you? You probably don't have a lot of energy lately and don't feel super good either."

He has hit the nail on the head, very low energy and I waver in and out of "feeling good" but I have been able to successfully function I think. At least I have been working full time, and training three times a day...

I explain to him that when competing it is so easy to develop body dysmorphia, even for a while. You stare at yourself for so long, critiquing all the time, it is hard to see what you really look like. My family and friends get so tired of me walking up to them and saying "Do I look skinny? Do I look fat? Are my shoulders flat? Is my stomach pudgy?"  You honestly cannot tell on your own, or your mind plays games on you and you see something that doesn't really exist. 

He nods and understands. We chat a bit about sports and bodyfat and athletes. 

Here is the report, I have 2.5% bodyfat percentage and I weigh 118 pounds so...

I have 3.05 pounds of fat on my entire body. I think that is how much my head weighs.....My lean mass is 114.95 pounds.

My percentage from last year is below, and I have slightly more lean mass over last year with 4% less bodyfat. But last year I did this 22 days prior to a competition, and I dropped more weight afterward, I suspect some lean mass too. This means I did indeed gain lean mass, to be able to lose that much more fat and still have a lean mass increase is great, although I need to shoot for more lean mass after this.

I realize that it is rather unusual to have bodyfat so low, especially for a woman. And it still doesn't look that low to me, but it is what it is. I very well may be marked down in the competition for being too low, "too hard" but there really isn't much I can do now. 

I remember one other time my body was like a train without brakes, running out of control, the same thing happened to me and Kim advised me to "EAT MORE STARCH!" so that's what I am doing now. I ate when I got home, I ate again, and again. Starches at every meal, beef, bread, peanut butter too. Right before bed I had a chicken breast and 4 ounces of sweet potato, unheard of previously at bed time!

I woke up at 2:00 a.m and ate starch. At 4:00 a.m. I ate my cream of rice and chicken and a sandwich.

I have halted the loss I hope, lets' see how I look in the next few days! 

You can find out where Mike will be next, he may be coming to your gym! Check out his site BodyFatTest

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