BOD POD Testing for Body Fat Composition

After reading The 4-Hour Body, I’ve renewed my obsession with finding out more about my body composition and what I can do to track and measure various aspects of my health. Tim Ferriss recommended three solutions for measuring body fat and body compostion. DEXA body fat testing sounded the most interesting to me, but so far I’m not having any luck finding a convenient way to get the testing done. I like the BodyMetrix ultrasound solution, but I’m not prepared to spend $2000 on a home ultrasound kit just yet. This leaves BOD POD body composition measurement as the most viable solution for me.

BOD POD body composition tests are available in most major metropolitan areas and even some small ones. Near my location in Seattle, the test is a mere $20, which means if I want to get a test every few months, I won’t go broke finding out the difference between my fat mass and fat-free mass. The price may vary a bit depending on where you live, but in calling around to a few locations, the highest price I found was $30. I’m also curious about respiratory volume, so I’ll be interested to see what I learn from that piece of the testing process too.

The BOD POD Test is a mere 5 minutes long. If you are a guy, you wear spandex shorts in the pod. Women wear spandex shorts and sports bra or a one-piece bathing suit. In either case, you also wear a tight-fitting swim cap to compress your hair to your head. After you get your mass measurement, you sit inside the BOD POD for a few minutes while the analysis is performed. BOD POD testing is accurate enough that the NFL Combine uses it to evaluate prospective NFL football players, so I’m inclined to believe the results will be more accurate than many other body composition measures. As Ferriss pointed out in The 4-Hour Body, the key to any of these measures is to compare any measurement you make against a previous measure from the same tool, because there is variance between methods.