Ed Zouroudis, the co-founder of Evolt, shares why tracking skeletal muscle mass is the most important body composition metric to assess.
As owners and managers we all know the importance of body transformation goals and monitoring progress to increase gym attendance and loyalty. However, what is often overlooked is just how that measuring and monitoring has changed over the last decade.
Gone are the days of using basic weighing scales to check your client’s progress. The importance of understanding the many measurements that contribute to a complete review of body composition is now widely recognised and in particular, skeletal muscle mass, which is crucial for maintaining physical function, mobility and overall health.
Skeletal muscle mass, often referred to as muscle mass, are parts of the vertebrate muscular system that are linked to the skeleton’s bones by tendons. Your whole-body weight is made up of 30 to 40% skeletal muscles. These are the muscles that attach to your bones and give you the range of motion and allow you to move.
According to numerous studies, low skeletal muscle mass is linked to higher morbidity and death, especially in older adults. Increasing skeletal muscle mass also plays an important role in supporting immune health and insulating the body in times of sickness and disease. It’s also been found to be associated with a lower risk of functional limitations in older adults. Illness increases the body’s need for protein often beyond what it can obtain through a daily diet. It will draw the extra it needs from breaking down skeletal muscle mass. Greater muscle mass has been proven to increase recovery rates from illness and injury, and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Of course skeletal muscle mass is just one component of many you should be monitoring for your clients to help them become the best versions of themselves. However, the common metric used is total body weight or body fat alone which only tells part of the story.
Body composition technology can baseline and monitor everything from skeletal muscle mass to subcutaneous fat, visceral fat and other segmental analysis is the most reliable and repeatable way to do this.
Having this important information allows coaches and personal trainers to confidently provide exercise plans and nutrition assistance individualised to the member for greater engagement and goal achieving success.
Measuring skeletal muscle mass will soon become the benchmark for assessing overall health, wellness and recovery from illness and prevention from many lifestyle diseases. Body scans are a simple and effective ways to be able to assess and monitor skeletal muscle mass in clients without invasive measures.
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 He N, Zhang Y, Zhang L, Zhang S, Ye H. Relationship Between Sarcopenia and Cardiovascular Diseases in the Elderly: An Overview. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2021 Dec 9;8:743710. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2021.743710. PMID: 34957238; PMCID: PMC8695853.