Investing in the latest technology, training techniques and equipment is a given for many health and fitness clubs. As part of this trend, a growing number of clubs are investing in equipment to accurately measure their members’ progress in terms of body composition. Scales that employ bioelectric impedance analysis are referred to as body composition analyzers. They are a simple, safe and cost-effective solution.
Bioelectric impedance analysis transmits a very low, safe electrical signal through the human body. Models known as full-body units send this signal from the feet to the legs and abdomen. In segmental models the signal passes from the hands, arms and chest to the legs. The signal passes quickly through the water held in hydrated muscle tissue but meets resistance when it encounters fat tissue. This resistance, also known as “impedance,” is measured and input into scientifically-validated equations that will calculate body composition measurements.
In a gym or health club environment, a body composition analyzer can help to keep members motivated by showing them the real health benefits of their hard work, even when their weight remains constant. Most people join a gym to lose weight, but many are frustrated with their weight loss. However, this may be a result of increased muscle and reduced body fat. Body composition analysis differentiates between fat loss and muscle gain — essential additional information that will keep them focused on their target.
This additional information, when provided monthly in the form of a consultation and professionally presented report, is a potential way of generating additional revenue and ensuring better member retention. If members are receiving all the information they need to motivate them, they are less likely to look elsewhere.
Many clubs rely on anthropometry, also known as skinfold measurements. Generally speaking, this method is inexpensive and easy to perform. Although, results can be very subjective as precision ultimately depends on the skill of the technician and the quality of the caliper. This can lead to frustration on the part of the member and an erosion of trust in the services provided by the club.
Segmental body composition analyzers are an invaluable tool for professional trainers. The in-depth analysis of each arm, leg and trunk of the body enables the identification of any physiological and biomechanical asymmetries so that training can be tailored to improve the distribution of fat and muscle mass to achieve better results. This feature is also ideal for injury rehabilitation.
Models that display total body water can be used to help improve performance. Detailed information on hydration levels — total body water percentage and intra-cellular and extra-cellular water content — demonstrates the effect that water content and muscle mass have on overall performance.
Trusted by professional trainers and physicians for more than 20 years, this technology is widely accepted in the fitness and healthcare industries. Adding a body composition analyzer to your club further demonstrates your commitment to the health and fitness of your members.
Keith Erickson is a national sales manager for the Tanita Corporation. To contact Tanita Corporation to get more information about body composition analyzers, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847.640.9241.