Frequently Asked Questions


How does the BOD POD work?

The BOD POD system accurately measures body composition by determining body volume and body weight. Once those two variables are determined, body density can be computed and inserted into an equation to provide % fat measurements. Body weight is easily determined by the use of an accurate scale. Body volume is determined by applying the gas law (p1V1=p2V2), an expansion of Boyle’s Law, pV=c. The BOD POD measures volume by monitoring changes in pressure in a closed chamber. These pressure changes are achieved by oscillating a speaker mounted between the front testing chamber and a rear reference chamber, which causes complementary pressure changes in each chamber. The pressure changes are very small and are not noticed by the individual being tested.

Two measurements are performed to determine body volume. The volume of the subject chamber while empty is the first measurement taken by the BOD POD. Th,,e second, measurement is the volume of the subject chamber with the subject inside. By subtraction, the volume of the subject is determined. Combined with the measurement of mass, the subject’s density is determined and subsequently their body composition is determined.

How accurate is the BOD POD?

The BOD POD has been found to be as reliable and accurate as hydrostatic (underwater) weighing, long known as the industry’s “Gold standard” for measuring body composition. Statistically insignificant differences in body fat measurements (0.2%) found in comparison studies with underwater weighing establish the BOD POD as a precise means of measuring body composition. Other convenient means of body composition measurement such as bioelectrical impedance, anthropometry, and skinfold methods have been shown to produce larger differences in measurements when compared to underwater weighing.

How long does a BOD POD test take?

A BOD POD test can be accomplished in about 4 1⁄2 minutes. The whole process is quick and easy. First the person is weighed. Then he or she enters the BOD POD and sits comfortably during two brief measurement periods of 50 seconds each. The process is quite easy and quick for the person being tested.

How big of a person can fit in the BOD POD?

The BOD POD is designed to accommodate a wide variety of human shapes and sizes. With its generous interior and oversized front window, NFL and NBA teams, sumo wrestlers, and people weighing up to 500 lbs. have used the BOD POD.

Does the BOD POD measure visceral fat?

The BOD POD uses known densities of fat and fat-free mass to derive % BF from whole body density (as measured by the BOD POD). This is a two-compartment approach where the whole body comprises of the Fat and Fat-Free Mass compartments. For the purposes of our measurement, the BOD POD considers both essential and non-essential fats to be part of the Fat Mass compartment, not the fat-free mass component. It assumes density of essential fats to be the same as that of storage fats, 0.9 gm/cc at 37C.

Second, although sometimes the terminology lean body mass is interpreted as Fat-free mass + Essential Fats, internally and in our operators manual, we use the terms fat-free mass and lean body mass interchangeably. Perhaps this has caused the confusion. In summary, the BOD POD (and other two-compartment techniques like Hydrostaic Weighing) does not differentiate between essential and non-essential fats. Both types of fat together are reported as Fat Mass.

What does it feel like to be tested in the BOD POD?

The BOD POD is designed to be easy, fast, and accurate. The testing only requires that the individual being tested sits still and relaxes for two 50-second bouts of testing. Sounds of valves opening and closing and a fan may be heard procedure. However, no pressure changes will be felt and difficult breathing maneuvers are NOT required.

Why do I have to wear a bathing suit and swim cap?

All air is not equally compressible. Air in contact with clothing and hair is more compressible than air that is not. Because the BOD POD technique relies on measuring small pressure changes, the use of a swim cap and bathing suit minimize the detrimental effects of the air during its compression. Therefore, minimal tight fitting clothing and a swim cap are necessary for accurate results.

What preparation will I need to prepare for a BOD POD test?

  • No food, drink or exercise at least 3 hours prior to testing.
  • Use the restroom before testing, if necessary.
  • Don’t apply any lotions or skin creams prior to testing.
  • Remove glasses and jewelry (if possible).
  • Wear minimal, form-fitting clothing.
    • Men: Thin fabric shorts, lycra/spandex-type swimsuit or single-layer Compression bike-style shorts (no padding).
    • Women: Lycra/spandex-type swimsuit or bike-style shorts and Sports bra (no wire or padding).
  • A swim cap will be provided to compress any air pockets within the hair.

How often should I get a BOD POD test?

After your first test we suggest 3-4 weeks of nutrition changes and fitness Regiment. This will give you a reasonable amount of time to compare your BOD POD test results they can then be used to measure the success of your Nutrition and/or exercise program.

Are there any age specific body mass standards?

Research has shown that a moderate, natural increase in body fat with age occurs in many individuals. To account for this natural increase, % fat values provided in the Body Fat Rating table on the BOD POD test print-out sheet should be viewed as recommendations for adults 18 years or older, with the values being adjusted upwards by possibly 3-5% fat for older adults. Based on information from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Counsel on Exercise, Exercise Physiology (4th Edition) .

What should I except from an RMR test?

You can relax in a comfortable chair and we will fit you with a disposable mouth- piece. While just relaxing and breathing as normal the test will calculate your breaths, during a ten-minute session.

Why should I have my metabolic rate tested?

We all have a unique metabolic rate. Even people with similar attributes like age, height, weight and body composition can have very different metabolic rates. If your metabolic rate is lower than an average you may gain weight even while dieting. On the flip side if your rate is higher than normal, you may not need to diet to lose weight or you may not be eating enough to lose weight.

What do I do with the results from my VO2 Max test?

Your overall cardiovascular fitness level can be used as a measure of your progress over time. Additionally, the target heart rate zone information you receive from this test can be paired with a heart rate monitor to allow you to more accurately monitor your workouts and how many calories you are burning during each session. Ultimately your workout will become more efficient and can reach higher level of fitness safely with out fatigue and muscle damage.

Are there any preparations for VO2 Max testing?

For best results do not work out the day of the test and do not consume a large meal 1 -2 hours prior to test. Please bring running shoes, workout attire, towel and bottle of water with you the day of test. It is also recommended that you bring a small healthy snack (i.e. piece of fruit or protein bar) for afterwards and a change of clean clothes, if desired.

Are there any preparations for RMR testing?

Like many tests, there are special guidelines to follow prior to your RMR test that will help you to receive accurate RMR measurements.

  • You cannot eat for at least 4 hours prior to the test (8 hours is best)
  • You cannot exercise (cardiovascular or strength training) for at least 4
  • You cannot consume caffeine for at least 3 hours prior to test
  • You cannot consume nutritional supplements or medications containing ephedra pseudo ephedrine or Ma Huang for at least 2 hours prior to testing
  • You cannot consume nicotine for at least 1 hour before test.
  • You must be resting for 10-15 minutes before the test is administered. This means you are seated or reclining comfortably and not speaking, reading, or watching TV.