Measuring Up

Measuring body weight or body composition is an important part of any fitness program. Knowing what product is best for your business can be difficult in a market flooded with a multitude of measuring devices.

In order to keep up with the competition, trainers and club/studio owners need body measurement and composition tools that provide a detailed body weight analysis that may include measurements of muscle, fat and bone mass, body mass index (BMI), and even a visceral fat rating to assist with programming for each client. In addition, clients are also demanding more information about their body composition as a tool to help keep them motivated.

Currently there’s a plethora of body weight analysis devices on the market, catering to a vast range of uses and budgets. Here are some of the tools out there to help you ‘measure’ your clients and help them stay on their road to weight loss and ultimate body composition success.

Tanita BC-545N Segmental Body Composition Monitor
A popular and well-known brand, Tanita has released the new and improved BC-545N scale, boasting it’s the only one on the market that can take 10 segmental body measurements in just 15 seconds. Not only measuring weight, muscle mass and body fat percentage, the device provides readings for basal metabolic rate (BMR), body mass index (BMI), total body water %, bone mineral mass, physique rating, metabolic age and visceral fat rating. Giving the user an instant progress report of their measurements on a weekly, fortnightly and annual basis, the BC-545N allows them to track any trends.

RRP: $499
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Healthweigh® Physician Scale with Height Measuring Rod
Winning an international design award (Red Dot Award) in 2011, this lightweight and slender body weighing scale has been a popular seller throughout Australia ever since. Fitted with an adjustable height rod, making it ideal for children and adults, it’s also multifunctional, calculating BMI as well as height and weight in a single operation. Offering a higher weighing capacity of up to 250kg, the scale is ideal when working with obese or overweight clients. It has USB connectivity for ease of connecting the scale to a printer or computer allowing results to be stored or easily passed on to clients.

RRP: $795
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TIMC980 Multi Frequency Segmental Body Composition Analyser
With a weighing capacity of 300kg, this mother of all devices can do just about anything apart from buy you a coffee. A full segmental body composition analysis takes under 30 seconds and for each segment (i.e., the right arm or the left leg), the device gives a muscle mass rating and shows the muscle mass balance between the left and right side of the body. It’ll tell you fat free mass, total body water  per cent, BMI, basal metabolic rate (BMR), bone mass, the list is endless. Highlighting fat distribution, it gives a fat rating and the state of the art technology includes multi-frequency analysis providing better accuracy using the latest Tanita equations. The TIMC980 is also user-friendly and is designed to allow clients to use it without assistance. Finance is also available for gyms.

RRP: $23,950
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Harpenden Skinfold Calipers and Body Assessment Software
Although the Harpenden Skinfold Calipers have been around for at least 50 years, they are still the most popular skinfold caliper on the market. They have a history of being used in numerous clinical studies over the last 25 years and have become the research measurement tool of choice. With a 99% accuracy the caliper is engineered to precise standards. The recent enhancements to the caliper allow it to facilitate measurements up to 80mm, thereby suitable for both the measurement of skin folds and the girth measurement of small joints. The addition of the Body Assessment Software enables you to assess a client’s body fat %, BMI, BMR, lean body mass, fat mass, just to name a few.

RRP: $368.50
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ImpediMed DF50 Product Advantage
Designed and manufactured in Brisbane, the ImpediMed DF50 Product Advantage is a single frequency body composition device that uses three peer-reviewed algorithms in its measurement: one for the obese, one for the general population and one for children, therefore providing a greater accuracy over various population groups. The DF50 software provides full longitudinal tracking to show trend changes over time and has storage for unlimited clients and also unlimited practitioners with all future software upgrades included free of charge. The device is also phase-sensitive and will give you access to raw data for further analysis if required.

RRP: Available upon request
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Article written by Toni Krasicki for What’s New In Fitness Magazine – Autumn 2013 edition.

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