Friday, February 8, 2013

Body Composition Analysis (Hydrostatic BodyFat Testing)

Cute butt huh? LOL! I love butts! The thing is, they can be really beautiful...or really not so beautiful!

This is just prior to my Hydrostatic Bodyfat Test, I had to take the pictures at home as the mobile truck was 40 miles away (mobile but not in my direction!) and it was a cold and blustery day!

I am not flexing in any of these photos, in the top photo I am standing with my arms out, my husband teases me all the time because it's automatic. 

I have testing done every year and Mike maintains the records so when I get a test it also shows all my previous tests. 

He has a large truck with a huge stainless steel tank inside, filled with nice warm water. You wear the least amount of clothing possible, hence the small swim suit. I don't know why I say it's small, I have many that are much, much smaller. I collect them you see, and in fact may post a blog with me in each of them. They are a designer called Pin Up Stars from Italy, typically "one of a kind", meaning that you will not see someone else wearing one, I guarantee it! Except maybe one like this, I had one exactly like this stolen one year on vacation. I was "pissed" to put it very mildly.  It has a target design on the front, rear and the triangle top cups.

So, I am weighed to get my overall weight first, then I lay in the tank and a weight belt is placed on my lower hips, all air is expelled then I plunge underwater and continue to expel all air until I feel as though I shall die. When Mike pounds on the tank for me to come up, I shoot up like the water is on fire.

Then...I do it two more times!

I need to do this to get an idea of how much I need to lose, which means this will determine my diet, my cardio and my general life for the next couple months. Oh, it will let me know how much I can enjoy vacation in Mexico too!

I have been good, sticking to my diet, but I was a little "too good". I didn't gain as much muscle as I had hoped, which would mean I didn't eat enough excess calories. 

I have searched on the Internet to find how much muscle a person can expect to gain in a year, but the answers are all over the board. That's because there are huge factors at play. A young person will gain more than an older person. A male, more than a female. An un-trained person more than a trained person. The list goes on and on. So all the "studies" that say you can gain 20 pounds in one year are performed with very young, untrained males. Easy as pie. All they gotta do is pick up a heavy pie and eat it and they gain muscle. Me? I am old, I am female and I am very well trained. So, it will be slow going for me!

When I tell people how low my bodyfat gets, most don't believe me. I doubt they think I am lying, they probably think I am being duped or something. But I am not. Below is my latest results. 

Age 51; height 63.5 (5' 3"); weight 127 pounds; bodyfat 9.9 pounds; lean mass 117.1 pounds; bodyfat percentage 7.8%

It's been much lower, take a look at the previous tests. Once it was way too low, and I had to see several doctor's until that got straightened out! 

I haven't even started my diet yet. Let me quantify that. I always adhere to a super clean diet, but I "stray" a lot when I am not prepping for a competition. So...I haven't stopped "straying" yet! In fact, only five days before this, was siting in a bar enjoying a glass of French champagne and  a bowl of spicy chicken wings with blue cheese dip. Only to learn that I cannot eat their blue cheese, it must be made with a powdered milk product. I am lactose intolerant and this played a number on me for hours. You know it's bad when your husband looks at you and says "how long will this last?" LOL!

I have gained lean body mass every year though, that is a good thing.  Mike asked how low I wanted my bodyfat for my competition and I said "5% or 6%" so he calculate this for me:

I have to lose 2.4 pounds of fat to get to 6%. Easy!

According to Wikipedia, the percentage of essential body fat for women is greater than that for men, due to the demands of childbearing and other hormonal functions. The percentage of essential fat is 3–5% in men, and 10-16% in women. Storage body fat consists of fat accumulation in adipose tissue, part of which protects internal organs in the chest and abdomen. The minimum recommended total body fat percentage exceeds the essential fat percentage value reported above.

The body fat percentage is a measure of fitness level, since it is the only body measurement which directly calculates a person's relative body composition without regard to height or weight. 

Essential fat

So, It's not really healthy for me to be this low, but I do tend to hover right around here, maybe 2% more, year round. 

I felt good when I drove home, good and hungry! I made a nice meal of flank steak, soo-foo, spinach, cauliflower and horseradish. Yum!!!

Below is a Vblog explaining my bodyfat test and the emotions I felt when I heard the results. Email readers must navigate to the log link at the top of the email to view the video directly from my blog.