Taken A Hydrostatic Body Fat Test

“I’m not fat, I’m big boned.”
Eric Cartman

Last month, when I
wore a weight vest for a day to feel what the old, heavy me had to carry around, I talked a little bit about how I don’t love the Body Mass Index (BMI) or pure poundage as a measurement of health or fitness because it doesn’t account for muscle mass.  J and I had always wanted to get dipped in water to measure our fat content (based on buoyancy).  So I looked up different companies that did it, and I made reservation for it.

The company I found is called
Fitness Wave, and they have a truck that parks around the Bay Area and conducts these tests.

J’s appointment was at 9:20am and mine was at 9:40am.  We ended up swapping, so she could once again be the official photographer.  There was a quick one sheet to fill out before the test.

The test is given in a tub inside the truck.  I wore swim trunks and changed for the test.

I asked if the water was cold, and the gentleman that runs the truck, Aeron, told me it was freezing.  I hopped in.

It turns out that Aeron lied.  The water was warm.   He instructed me to go face down into the tub.

There was a metal frame on the bottom with markers for where my hands go.

Aeron wrapped the red wires connected to the frame around me.  I was trapped with nowhere to go but underwater. 

He instructed me to blow out all the breath I had underwater, and when I was done, come back up to breathe again. I repeated that process three times.
Screen shot 2011-04-18 at 10.09.11 PM

After that, it was over.  It was very quick.  I got out, and he gave me my towel.

I dried off, got dressed, J got her test done, and Aeron explained our results to us. I had written on my paperwork that I wanted to get down to about 165 lbs., so the "goal" numbers below just reflect my goals. The "ideal" numbers are based on fitness body fat charts.

Hydrostatic Evaluation:
Body Fat %:  13.9%
Lean Body Mass %:  86.1%
Ideal Body Fat %:  15%
Goal Body Fat %:  9%

Fat Body Mass:  24.5 lbs.
Lean Body Mass:  151.7 lbs.
Weight for Ideal:  178.5 lbs.
Weight for Goal:  166.7 lbs.

This was a very nice experience.  It was easy, pain-free, and totally informative.  I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with this information besides try to lower the fat mass a little more, but it was really cool to finally try out this service.  J took video of me getting dunked.

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