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Body Composition


The BOD POD is an Air Displacement Plethysmograph which uses whole-body densitometry to determine body composition (fat and fat-free mass) in adults and children. It is a complete system based on the same gold standard operating principle as hydrostatic (or “underwater”) weighing, except that the BOD POD uses patented Air Displacement Plethysmography, instead of water, for highly accurate, fast, and safe results. The BOD POD also offers information on Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) as an optional component of every body composition test. This data is provided without requiring the subject to perform any additional testing maneuvers, and a complete assessment requires only about 5 minutes.

BOD POD Highlights:

  • Proven accuracy using whole-body density measurement
  • Uses a dedicated computer system with data management capability
  • Provides information on fat and fat-free mass, Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), and Total Energy Expenditure (TEE)
  • Fast test time (about 5 minutes)
  • Accommodates a wide range of populations
  • Excellent repeatability
  • Safe, non-invasive, and ideally suited for repeated testing

In comparison to other body composition assessment methods, the BOD POD’s air displacement plethysmography has eliminated the invasiveness of Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) as well as the difficulties associated with underwater submersion in hydrostatic weighing. This is why the BOD POD is considered the practical gold standard for body composition assessment. It can be used with most subject types, including special populations such as children, the elderly, the obese, and those with physical disabilities.

The roomy interior of the BOD POD accommodates a wide variety of human shapes and sizes, including those up to 7 feet tall and 550 pounds. This is because the unique egg-shaped design of the BOD POD maximizes interior space. This is why the BOD POD is used routinely for testing such a wide variety of subjects, including professional/collegiate athletes and sumo wrestlers! It’s also the exclusive body composition testing method of the NFL Scouting Combine.

The BOD POD’s precision, accuracy, and reliability have been validated through many independent research studies with various subject populations, and in the field by leading universities, sports teams, fitness clubs, military organizations, and weight management centers.

How It Works

Body Fat Percentage will become a new standard for health in adults.
C. Everett Koop
Former Surgeon General

The BOD POD is the only patented testing device to offer Air Displacement Technology to determine body composition. In this convenient 5 minute test, the BOD POD accurately measures your lean mass and body fat percentages. User friendly and highly repeatable, the BOD POD provides the most accurate results on the market today.

Leading universities routinely use the BOD POD in their research programs. Now the NFL and Navy SEALS have added this device to their training and fitness programs. The most recent and well-known use of the BOD POD can be seen on the NBC hit show “The Biggest Loser.”

What To Expect

First, you are given a swim cap to wear (to compress your hair). Next, you are weighed and some basic identifying information is entered into the program. Then you step into the BOD POD and sit comfortably for three brief (40 second) measurements. Your results are printed out and that’s it – all done in less than five minutes!

How To Prepare

It is essential you wear approved form-fitting clothing for accurate results.

Acceptable clothing includes:

  • Spandex, Lycra, or other Speedo®-type swimsuit
  • Spandex or Lycra compression shorts and lightweight sports bra (no padding or wires)
  • Do not exercise within two hours prior to testing
  • Do not eat within two hours prior to testing
  • Use the restroom, if necessary, prior to testing

Over the years a number of methods have been developed to measure body composition. Until the BOD POD, all of these methods had drawbacks, such as being inaccurate, messy, difficult, requiring extensive training, or invasive.

In measuring body composition, it’s not only important what the result is, but also how you arrived at it. For example, let’s say you’re a woman with a skinfold or bioelectric impedance body fat measurement of 22%. At first glance it seems that you fall into a healthy body fat range. The problem is, since the error factor for both of these methods is up to +/-8%, this number could mean your actual body fat might be as low as 14% (risky – low body fat) or as high as 30% (borderline excess fat). Inaccurate information like this is no better than no information at all, and can be downright dangerous if being used to determine an appropriate diet and/or training program. This is why it’s so important to receive an accurate body composition assessment. It’s the only way to get the proper information necessary for making sensible decisions regarding nutrition and fitness programs.

Why is body composition important?

Body Composition is one of the best indicators of your health. Body composition (percent fat and lean) reflects the results of both physical activity and nutritional practices. Body weight alone can be very misleading. The scale cannot tell the difference between a pound of fat and a pound of muscle. Over time, people tend to gain fat and lose muscle without an obvious change in their weight. And, even though we need a certain amount of fat in our bodies to insure good health, excess body fat has been found to increase the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now declared obesity an epidemic, with 66% of adult Americans either overweight or obese (having excess body fat). On the other hand, too little body fat can also pose a number of health risks, especially for women.

What is a Metabolism Assessment; and what does it tell me?

A Metabolism assessment provides information on the body’s “Metabolic Engine,” or caloric intake versus energy used. Metabolism assessments which include Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)* and Total Energy Expenditure (TEE)**, along with an accurate body composition assessment, provide the information necessary to establish sensible health, weight management, and fitness goals.

Changes in RMR can be used to influence changes in your body composition. If you lose body fat and replace it with muscle, you should see a steady increase in your RMR – this is a good thing. Having your RMR monitored throughout a health, weight management, or physical performance program can help you track improvements in your muscle mass and optimize your fat loss and fitness/nutrition program strategy.

* Resting Metabolic Rate = The amount of calories required to maintain vital body functions (i.e., heart rate, brain function, breathing). It is the number of calories a person would burn if they were awake, but at rest all day.

**Total Energy Expenditure = The total amount of energy spent, on average, in a typical day.

After a Bod Pod test, we give you a printout which will include your body composition information, as well as your estimated RMR & TEE because we think it’s important for you know how many calories you burn in a day in addition to your body composition percentages.

How does the BOD POD compare with other body composition assessment techniques?

Body composition measurements from the BOD POD have been found to be equivalent (no statistically significant difference) to those obtained using 4-compartment model reference techniques. The BOD POD is also referred to as the “Practical Gold Standard” because testing is so easy and offers excellent repeatability.

How does the BOD POD measure body composition?

The BOD POD measures body composition by determining Body Mass and Body Volume. From these two variables, Body Density is computed and used with an equation to provide body composition information.

Body Mass 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. Three steps are performed to determine Body Volume. First, the volume of the test chamber while empty is measured. Second, the volume of the test chamber with the calibration cylinder in it is measured. And third, the volume of the test chamber with the subject inside is measured. By subtraction, the volume of the subject is then determined.

Body Density is calculated using the Body Mass and Body Volume measurements, from which body composition is then computed.

How long does a BOD POD test take?

A complete test, including printed results, takes about 5 minutes.

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. Because of its generous-sized interior and oversized window, NFL and NBA teams, as well as sumo wrestlers use the BOD POD routinely without difficulty. The BOD POD can accommodate subjects up to 7 feet tall and 550 pounds.

Do clothing and/or hair affect BOD POD results?

Clothing, hair, jewelry, and eyeglasses can have a significant impact on the volume and mass measurements performed during a BOD POD test. Therefore, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that all subjects tested in the BOD POD remove all jewelry and eyeglasses, and wear minimal, form-fitting clothing such as a Lycra® or Spandex® swimsuit during testing. Single-layer compression shorts and/or lightweight jog bras are also acceptable clothing (without padding or wires).

A swim cap must also be worn to compress any air pockets within the hair.

What should a subject expect during a BOD POD test?

Subject compliance for testing in the BOD POD is very simple. They need only to sit comfortably and quietly inside the BOD POD for the brief measurement period (no talking or laughing). Sounds relating to valves opening and closing may be heard, but most subjects are unaware of the slight pressure changes that take place during a BOD POD test. A few people have noted a feeling similar to that of moving from the first to second floor in an elevator.

Can subjects be tested in the BOD POD right after exercising or eating?

No. Subjects should wait at least two hours after exercising or eating, and always be in a completely relaxed state (normal breathing) when testing in the BOD POD.

How do I get my results and what do I do with them?

After the test we will review your health and fitness goals, share what a Physician does, and discuss your test results. Depending on your goals and test results we will discuss the best way to utilize the results to achieve your goals.

How long should I wait before scheduling my next test?

We have seen considerable changes in individuals in as little as 45-60 days, but it really depends on your goals.


How much does this test cost?

Singular Test $55.00
2 Tests $100.00
3 Tests $130.00
6 Tests $220.00

Certified Athletic Trainers $45.00
First Responders (Active) $40.00

* All packages of tests are valid for up to one year from the date of purchase.