FINAFLEX - BREAKING NEWS!!!

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by Rahl View Post
    That's a reasonable theory. I know for me personally my blood sugar would plummet if I didn't eat regularly. Somedays it's still hard to get down all of the food I need to eat to maintain weight. I can't imagine having to do it in a shorter window.
    Yah I am not sure it is even possible ... hence my theory...different body types ...different methods..
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug


  2. Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver

    Yah I am not sure it is even possible ... hence my theory...different body types ...different methods..
    I agree. It's always been about figuring out what works for you. I always eat right before bed and wake up lean and dry. Others would never do that. Trial and error like anything else.
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by Rahl View Post
    I agree. It's always been about figuring out what works for you. I always eat right before bed and wake up lean and dry. Others would never do that. Trial and error like anything else.
    Yah body type does point in the right direction though. Just a matter of making the proper adjustments....
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  4. anyone got any reports/updates on their 550 cycle? My buddy started it yesterday

  5. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    anyone got any reports/updates on their 550 cycle? My buddy started it yesterday
    Great let us know as much as you can about how it goes for him...
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug
    •   
       


  6. Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver View Post
    Great let us know as much as you can about how it goes for him...
    He is on Day 3 and said the first 2 mornings he has been extremely tired/graugy like he was out partying the night before. He is confused as to why?

    He is doing the same 8-9 week 550xd/Epi bridge that me, my brother, and my other buddy will start in Mid March

  7. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    He is on Day 3 and said the first 2 mornings he has been extremely tired/graugy like he was out partying the night before. He is confused as to why?

    He is doing the same 8-9 week 550xd/Epi bridge that me, my brother, and my other buddy will start in Mid March
    Matt... I am very confused as to why he would be feeling tired and lethargic as you describe... I mean lets get a little more history about your friend... is this his first time back in the gym in a few weeks??? Is he a regular to the gym? Has he changed his diet (less sugar &/or fat)? What is his normal sleep cycle (hours of sleep/night), has his sleep cycle changed any? Is he under and kind of emotional distress? I mean there are tons of factors that can cause what you are saying and I'm not saying it is impossible, just based on other's reports and how it was designed and the ingredients, it is unlikely!
    Dr. Albert Scott Representative for FINAFLEX
    www.finaflex.com
    Redefine Yourself..... REDEFINE EVERYTHING!

  8. Progressive Overload is
    the Holy Grail of Weight Training


    Progressive overload Is a crucial strength and muscle-building principle.
    The concept is simple: you must continually increase the demand placed on your body – over time.
    Understanding this principle will help anyone improve their weight training results...
    ...In other words, if you implement this princinple, it is guaranteed that you will gain muscle mass and build strength. Period.
    Progressive Overload:
    Table of Contents (TOC)


    Click to Jump Down the Page:

    Whether you are struggling to gain muscle mass, want to increase your bench press or squat, or if you simply want to build muscle and strength faster, then you are at the right place.
    Before I get too deep in, I should stress the importance of proper diet and recovery. Simply put, you physically cannot follow the principle if your diet is poor and you fail to get enough rest.
    Find out how you should use it by reading the rest of this page.
    You can use the table of contents (TOC) on the right side of your page for simple navigation throught this weight lifting principle guide.
    Now, on with the show...
    What is Progressive Overload?

    Progressive overload is a fitness principle that continuously increases the demand placed on the body during training. This will lead the body to adapt to the demand and thus improve over time.
    If you want to improve in strength and size, you have to understand and implement progressive overloading into your training workouts. Without this, you'll find that after a short time, your improvement will plateau: at this point, no progress is being made.
    The body will always react to what you push it to do, and in general, it will adapt. This is the standard in various contexts.
    Take for example, the brain and learning; your brain will store information when we push it to, and while it may have a large capacity, very few people push it to its actual limits by continuously learning and memorizing information.
    There are 3 components which encompass progressive overload. They are intensity, frequency, and volume. Any and all of these should be increased on a regular basis to improve results.
    Benefits of Progressive Overload

    Why You Need Progressive Overload. I'll continue by going over the many benefits of progressive overload to underline why everyone should want to know about and use this essential training principle:
    • "Muscle Memory." The body – and the mind – is always being challenged. When doing new or varying exercises, neural circuits are being formed and strengthened. This is because while new movements stress the muscles in a new way, they are also connected to the spine and brain, which have to learn the movements as well. The neural circuits formed are a large part of the workout. They are the reaction to a movement you want the muscle to do, while the muscle simply moves the load.
    • Build Muscle and Strength. Simply, by pushing and stressing the muscle to move more, it will do what it must to meet the demands placed on it. The muscle fibers will grow in size and will have the increased contraction capacity needed for serious strength.
    • Hypertrophy. This is the proper term for physical growth of the muscle. Physiologically, the muscle will grow in size only under certain conditions. While strength can be improved fairly easily, hypertrophy is dependent upon the number of sets, reps, and each individual's muscular structure.
    • Rapid Improvement. By setting yourself up for a challenging and ever changing routine, you are also setting yourself up for great results.
    • Keeping it Interesting. Getting out to the gym 4 or 5 or 6 days a week can become boring, especially if it's always the same, predictable workout. The same predictable workout gets tedious, easy, and unfortunately, boring. A part of progressive overloading is not only to change reps and sets, but also to use as many different exercises to challenge the same muscles in a variety of ways.
    Achieving Progressive Overload

    When training with a goal in mind to improve strength and build muscle mass, it is important to create a program, rather than a repetitive routine, covering a longer time period.
    A program will alternate different numbers of sets, reps, weight used, and the frequency of training. The overload principle denotes that a gradual but consistent increase in stress load must occur for continual improvement.
    With a long-term program, full training cycles are planned and outlined ahead of time, so that regardless of how you might be feeling, a somewhat new plan is already set out for you.
    If you are just starting out (within the first 6 or more months of training), go easy. First you'll have to get into shape – getting your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints ready for what will come. This is very important to avoid injury which could seriously affect your training regimen altogether.
    Intensity, Volume, and Frequency

    The 3 Components. The components of progressive overload include:
    • Intensity. Intensity is the actual load or weight you'll be lifting. It is measured according to what your 1 rep max is for a particular exercise/movement. The value of your one rep max is 100%, and the intensity is measured based off this. For example, your 1 rep max for a shoulder press is 100lbs and you would like to work out at 80% intensity, which means peaking at 80lbs for that particular training session.
    • Volume. Volume is the number of repetitions you'll do for each exercise at a particular intensity. Volume and intensity are closely tied, and co-relate according to what stage you're at in the training cycle.
    • Frequency. Frequency simply means, how often you are training and recovering. It would be optimal to train and recover as often and quickly as possible, to avoid tissue damage and over-training.
    Manipulating the Components for Optimal Results

    This subsection will talk about manipulating intensity, volume, and frequency in broader terms. The following section will expand upon this, and provide specific techniques for implementing progressive overload into your weight lifting routine.

    Changing Intensity. Intensity is the easiest to change: you simply increase the amount of weight.
    • This should be your first option before you resort to tinkering with volume and/or frequency. Note, however, that when you do use the other two components (especially volume), intensity has a natural tendency to change in response.
    Changing Frequency. Frequency is at the foundation of good training. You'll have to work each group of exercises (or muscle groups) in the most effective manner and allow enough time to have that section to recover.
    • For example, you might start by working out 3 days a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You'd cycle chest/triceps/shoulders Monday, then legs/back/biceps Wednesday, and back to chest/triceps/shoulders Friday. This way, you're doing each muscle every 5 days, giving it the optimal amount of time to recover properly (by tearing, rebuilding, and growing).
    • Training at a rate that does not allow full recovery is dangerous and will lead to over-training, which will exhaust you and decrease strength and size.
    Changing Volume. Volume does not have to be excessively high, but should be as high as possible while still allowing the quickest strength increases.
    • This is really important to remember in your beginning years because having strength is so important in the long run to help avoiding plateauing in size because you have no strength base. This is also dependent on the intensity you are working at.
    • As mentioned before, intensity and volume are closely related. They have an inverted relationship. This means as one goes up, the other should go down. So if you are doing a very high volume day, the intensity should drop accordingly.
    • On the other hand, if you are doing a very high intensity day – like working at 90% of your max – the volume should drop accordingly.
    Examples of How to Implement Progressive Overload

    Specific Examples. Here is a list of methods you can use to achieve progressive overload:
    1. Increase Resistance. This is the most obvious way of practicing progressive overload. Add more weight once you are ready for a particular exercise. You can do it when, for example, whatever you are currently lifting becomes easy. A good way to determine if you are ready is if you are able to do an extra rep or two. (For All Levels of Experience)
    2. Increase Repetitions. Adding one or two reps to whatever exercise you're doing is also a good way to test yourself. You can use a spotter and if you are able to add 2 reps on your own, you'll know that it is time to up the resistance for that particular exercise. (For All Levels of Experience)
    3. Increase Sets. Increasing the number of sets you perform is also a great way to improve muscle endurance. You can add one set which will essentially fatigue the muscle completely. (For All Levels of Experience)
    4. Increase Frequency. Be careful with this one; ensure that your body is ready to increase from the usual once a week to slightly more frequently. Truthfully, every individual is different and you know your body best, and what works best for you. (For Advanced Lifters)
    5. Add Exercises. Adding exercises to the program that target the same muscle groups can be useful, especially if you are trying to improve the size of a particular muscle or improve proportionality. (For Intermediate and Advanced Lifters)
    6. Improved Effort. This is a psychological factor that really works. It means increasing your perception of the effort you have to put into each set. (For All Levels of Experience)
    7. Decrease Rest. This refers to the time you take between sets – usually rest time is 90 seconds, and this can be shortened which forces the muscles to do more work in less time. (For Advanced Lifters)
    Going to Failure vs. Progressive Overload

    There is a difference between going to failure and progressive overload. Very simply, going to failure each training session will not provide the best results. You might feel good for a short time, notice improvements in size and strength, but very quickly, it will decline.
    This is because while the practice of going to failure can be helpful as a part of a larger program, it is physically far too taxing on almost any lifter.
    It does not allow for proper recovery and is the equivalent of maxing out every single session. The symptoms of over-training are inevitable.
    Final Word

    Keeping these tips and techniques in mind will give your training an edge. Seeing yourself improve at the most efficient rate possible will be a great motivator to keep yourself going, especially on those days when you just don't want to go to the gym.
    Good luck and train safely!

    I agree with a lot of this, just food for discussion....
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  9. Quote Originally Posted by ScottyDoc View Post
    Matt... I am very confused as to why he would be feeling tired and lethargic as you describe... I mean lets get a little more history about your friend... is this his first time back in the gym in a few weeks??? Is he a regular to the gym? Has he changed his diet (less sugar &/or fat)? What is his normal sleep cycle (hours of sleep/night), has his sleep cycle changed any? Is he under and kind of emotional distress? I mean there are tons of factors that can cause what you are saying and I'm not saying it is impossible, just based on other's reports and how it was designed and the ingredients, it is unlikely!
    The compound is not known for lethargy that I know of, 1-test was like that at times but the lethargy would not likely kick in so fast, which does seem to point to other causes...
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  10. Quote Originally Posted by ScottyDoc View Post
    Matt... I am very confused as to why he would be feeling tired and lethargic as you describe... I mean lets get a little more history about your friend... is this his first time back in the gym in a few weeks??? Is he a regular to the gym? Has he changed his diet (less sugar &/or fat)? What is his normal sleep cycle (hours of sleep/night), has his sleep cycle changed any? Is he under and kind of emotional distress? I mean there are tons of factors that can cause what you are saying and I'm not saying it is impossible, just based on other's reports and how it was designed and the ingredients, it is unlikely!
    Let me ask him. Hardcore gym nut. Been working out, nothing changed in his life. Eats very clean, has less then 8% BF. Did not go out or drink and got normal sleep. He has been on the real stuff years back and is also very confused as why this is occuring. I will try to find out more and keep everyone posted. When he woke up and this entire morning he said he was very tired and coffee wouldnt even help

    On a positive note, he says he likes it so far even though it is only 3 days. His workouts have been going well

  11. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    Let me ask him. Hardcore gym nut. Been working out, nothing changed in his life. Eats very clean, has less then 8% BF. Did not go out or drink and got normal sleep. He has been on the real stuff years back and is also very confused as why this is occuring. I will try to find out more and keep everyone posted. When he woke up and this entire morning he said he was very tired and coffee wouldnt even help

    On a positive note, he says he likes it so far even though it is only 3 days. His workouts have been going well
    Ok maybe it does kick in that early ... wow. That being said lethargy is a possiblity with anabolics, everyonne is dfferent. Tell hime maybe to add some Pure Test while on, might help perk him up a bit. I miss 4ad for this reason, but it was a bit wet.
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  12. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    Let me ask him. Hardcore gym nut. Been working out, nothing changed in his life. Eats very clean, has less then 8% BF. Did not go out or drink and got normal sleep. He has been on the real stuff years back and is also very confused as why this is occuring. I will try to find out more and keep everyone posted. When he woke up and this entire morning he said he was very tired and coffee wouldnt even help

    On a positive note, he says he likes it so far even though it is only 3 days. His workouts have been going well
    You tell him to take that sand out of his Vagina and "Man-Up" Nahh, LoL, just kidding, but this is weird and I would like to get to the bottom of this. I know for a fact that the guys in the office who are taking it, I asked them and none of them about 5-6 guys are feeling any sort of Lethargy and they are all on week 3 (mid wk 3).

    I will say this, if he is really 8% BF, he would make for an excellent, excellent test subject as to how well he does on this cycle, I sure wish he was on here LOGGING it for us! Keep us informed of what he says and possibly see if you can talk him into coming on here and starting a LOG, there is not a single LOG on this yet, he would have one of the most popular LOGs on this forum!!!

    Also, tell your buddy my work email address is [email protected] m and I always respond in 24hrs or less if he has any questions or concerns and would like to reach me personally!
    Dr. Albert Scott Representative for FINAFLEX
    www.finaflex.com
    Redefine Yourself..... REDEFINE EVERYTHING!

  13. Quote Originally Posted by ScottyDoc View Post
    You tell him to take that sand out of his Vagina and "Man-Up" Nahh, LoL, just kidding, but this is weird and I would like to get to the bottom of this. I know for a fact that the guys in the office who are taking it, I asked them and none of them about 5-6 guys are feeling any sort of Lethargy and they are all on week 3 (mid wk 3).

    I will say this, if he is really 8% BF, he would make for an excellent, excellent test subject as to how well he does on this cycle, I sure wish he was on here LOGGING it for us! Keep us informed of what he says and possibly see if you can talk him into coming on here and starting a LOG, there is not a single LOG on this yet, he would have one of the most popular LOGs on this forum!!!

    Also, tell your buddy my work email address is [email protected] m and I always respond in 24hrs or less if he has any questions or concerns and would like to reach me personally!
    Will do. Yes he might even be lower then 8%. He played ball with me and is shredded. I will give him the info guys. Thanks

    He will keep me posted. I will ask him about a log, but being a coach/teacher with a 6 month old, I know time is of the essence.

    Thanks again guys, and I will keep yall posted. I will most likely do a log during my cycle.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    Will do. Yes he might even be lower then 8%. He played ball with me and is shredded. I will give him the info guys. Thanks

    He will keep me posted. I will ask him about a log, but being a coach/teacher with a 6 month old, I know time is of the essence.

    Thanks again guys, and I will keep yall posted. I will most likely do a log during my cycle.
    Thanx Matt... any and all information is most appreciated! And as always, DreamWeaver and I are here to answer any and all FINAFLEX related questions to the best of our ability and if we don't know the answer we will find out ASAP!!!
    Dr. Albert Scott Representative for FINAFLEX
    www.finaflex.com
    Redefine Yourself..... REDEFINE EVERYTHING!

  15. Quote Originally Posted by ScottyDoc View Post
    Thanx Matt... any and all information is most appreciated! And as always, DreamWeaver and I are here to answer any and all FINAFLEX related questions to the best of our ability and if we don't know the answer we will find out ASAP!!!
    Seconded...
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  16. He said it was the same or worse this morning. Said he felt like he was coming out of a coma. Drinks over a gallon of water a day and all he wants to do is sleep. He wants to stop taking them because of the grauginess, but I told him to keep going. He is pounding coffee to no avail.

    I or him don't know what to do. He said no outside factors have changed. How late should he take them in the evening? He takes his last 2 pills 30 mins before bed.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    He said it was the same or worse this morning. Said he felt like he was coming out of a coma. Drinks over a gallon of water a day and all he wants to do is sleep. He wants to stop taking them because of the grauginess, but I told him to keep going. He is pounding coffee to no avail.

    I or him don't know what to do. He said no outside factors have changed. How late should he take them in the evening? He takes his last 2 pills 30 mins before bed.
    Yah try like 6pm, I wouldn't wait till bed time. I would go 6 am and 6pm for dosing... that may make a difference.
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  18. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    He said it was the same or worse this morning. Said he felt like he was coming out of a coma. Drinks over a gallon of water a day and all he wants to do is sleep. He wants to stop taking them because of the grauginess, but I told him to keep going. He is pounding coffee to no avail.

    I or him don't know what to do. He said no outside factors have changed. How late should he take them in the evening? He takes his last 2 pills 30 mins before bed.
    I gave you my Cell # in a PM, have him call me if he needs to, because I'm telling you this is way strange, baffling???
    Dr. Albert Scott Representative for FINAFLEX
    www.finaflex.com
    Redefine Yourself..... REDEFINE EVERYTHING!

  19. Quote Originally Posted by ScottyDoc View Post
    I gave you my Cell # in a PM, have him call me if he needs to, because I'm telling you this is way strange, baffling???
    I will text him first thing in the morning and let him know. Curious to see how he feels in the morning after taking it a little earlier in the evening.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    I will text him first thing in the morning and let him know. Curious to see how he feels in the morning after taking it a little earlier in the evening.
    I think it will help him quite a bit. I would have thought taking a PH so close to bed might cause problems with sleeping but morning groginess is a bit perplexing. I know that some compounds cause lethargy... not this one in particular but everyone is different. Stranger things have happened, oh well I think taking it early in the evening wil help like I said.
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  21. Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver View Post
    I think it will help him quite a bit. I would have thought taking a PH so close to bed might cause problems with sleeping but morning groginess is a bit perplexing. I know that some compounds cause lethargy... not this one in particular but everyone is different. Stranger things have happened, oh well I think taking it early in the evening wil help like I said.
    He took it 3 hours before bed this morning and said this morning was alot better. He took yesterday off from the gym so he will hit it real hard today and see how he feels tomorrow.

    It might have been him taking it so close to bed, hopefully time will tell.

    Thanks again for the help DW and Scotty. Keep yall posted

  22. Quote Originally Posted by mattbaseball View Post
    He took it 3 hours before bed this morning and said this morning was alot better. He took yesterday off from the gym so he will hit it real hard today and see how he feels tomorrow.

    It might have been him taking it so close to bed, hopefully time will tell.

    Thanks again for the help DW and Scotty. Keep yall posted
    That is a fuggin relief lol, I never tried taking a PH so close to bedtime, 6pm is the latest for me as most of them will interfere with getting a good nights sleep. I would suggest G8 which would normally be a good choice on cycle but if this situation has righted itself then lets leave it the fug alone
    Unremarkable is no way to go through life... Doug

  23. Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver View Post
    That is a fuggin relief lol, I never tried taking a PH so close to bedtime, 6pm is the latest for me as most of them will interfere with getting a good nights sleep. I would suggest G8 which would normally be a good choice on cycle but if this situation has righted itself then lets leave it the fug alone
    I agree because with our 3 others 6 bottles on the way it had me worried. At least I know now for my cycle

    I workout at 5:30 am so I don't have to worry because I can take it anytime in the evening

  24. Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver View Post
    That is a fuggin relief lol, I never tried taking a PH so close to bedtime, 6pm is the latest for me as most of them will interfere with getting a good nights sleep. I would suggest G8 which would normally be a good choice on cycle but if this situation has righted itself then lets leave it the fug alone
    ^^^ I Concur ^^^
    Dr. Albert Scott Representative for FINAFLEX
    www.finaflex.com
    Redefine Yourself..... REDEFINE EVERYTHING!

  25. Experts rate the best and worst in body-fat measurement devices...


    By Jeanie Lerche Davis
    WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature
    Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD



    Trying to get in shape? Then don't depend on your bathroom scales. To get the most accurate measure of your progress, experts say, you need to track your body fat as well as your weight. "Most people focus only on losing weight, not on the fat," Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, tells WebMD.


    "Preserving lean tissue and losing body fat -- that's what you need to strive for," Bryant says. "The only way to know how you're doing is through some form of body-composition assessment." You know about the old standard measuring tools, like the body mass index (BMI) and the tape measure. And thanks to today's technology wizards, some very good new devices are available to measure your body fat. To learn which are worth your time and money, WebMD got ratings from Bryant and from two more top exercise physiologists: Megan McCrory, PhD, an energy metabolism scientist with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston; and Len Kravitz, PhD, senior exercise physiologist for IDEA Health and Fitness Association.


    1) The BMI Test

    This is a simple calculation, using the most basic tools -- your height and weight. Plug these numbers into a BMI calculator to learn whether you are obese, overweight, or normal weight. The BMI was developed using large, population-based studies. Though it doesn't address percentage of body fat or muscle, it helps health care professionals quickly assess which patients may be at risk of health problems linked to excess weight.

    Price: None.
    The verdict: Free and readily available; good for assessing health risks but doesn't measure body-fat percentage. If you are short, or very muscular, results tend to be less accurate.
    "It's a good starting point, a really good way to get a basic estimate of whether you are overweight or not," says Bryant. "BMI tends to correlate pretty closely with health risks associated with being overweight or obese."
    The experts' grade: D. "The BMI doesn't give you body fat measurement," says McCrory. "But if gives an excellent BMI measurement!"


    2) "Bioelectrical impedance analysis" has been added to traditional bathroom scales. The scales send a harmless electrical current up through your body to "read" the amount of fat body mass and lean body mass -- calculating your percentage of body fat.

    Price: $50 to $100 per scale.
    The verdict: Convenient, but not always the most accurate.
    "The problem is, these devices are very sensitive to hydration -- how much fluid is in your body," Bryant tells WebMD. So it's important to strictly follow the guidelines for weighing yourself -- time of day, fluid and food intake. Even your menstrual cycle affects this reading. "However, with all this factored in, the scales are an easy, at-home way to keep track of your weight and fat-loss progress."
    There also are handheld versions that use this same technology. Just remember: You get what you pay for. Higher price equals greater accuracy.
    Grade: C+. "Even though they may not be accurate, it may be good for tracking changes with a diet and exercise program," says McCrory. "Just keep in mind that the scales might be off by 5%, plus or minus. Follow the instructions carefully. Taking a shower beforehand really makes the reading inaccurate!"

    3) DEXA Scanning

    DEXA is "dual energy X-ray absorpitometry" -- the same imaging technology doctors use to measure bone density to determine osteoporosis risk, explains Bryant. During the test, you lie on an X-ray table for about 10 minutes while the scanner measures your body fat, muscle, and bone mineral density.

    Price: $200 to $300
    The verdict: Looking good.
    DEXA is "an emerging technique that holds a lot of promise," Bryant tells WebMD. "It allows us to determine the amount of body fat overall, and to identify fat deposits in specific body regions. That's very important, because stores of body fat can be much more indicative of disease risk." For example, extra abdominal fat increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
    Primary-care doctors, physical therapists, and health clubs will soon be offering DEXA scanning to assess body fat, Bryant tells WebMD. "If your BMI says you're in the obese category and you have a strong family history of heart disease and diabetes, it might behoove you to get more precise assessment of body composition," says Bryant.
    Grade: A. "It's one of the most accurate methods out there," says McCrory. "I haven't heard any news about DEXA in health clubs. But if you have the opportunity to be tested by DEXA, go for it." She warns, however, that obese people may have a hard time lying on the narrow tables used for this test.
    It's "quite noninvasive," says Kravitz. "Very good technique."


    4) Hydrodensitometry testing, this involves getting into a tank filled with water. Based on the amount of water you displace, your body density and body fat can be calculated.

    "This test is considered the gold standard, the most accurate assessment technique," Bryant tells WebMD. Universities use this primarily with athletes, and will likely let you try it, too -- for a small fee.
    Price: $25 to $75 per test.
    The verdict: "It's a very accurate way to measure body fat," says Bryant. But going into the water can be a problem. Some find the procedure "disconcerting."
    Grade: B-. Inconvenience is a big issue here, agrees McCrory. "My guess is that underwater testing will be a 'has been' in a few years."


    5) Bod Pod

    The Bod Pod is a new tool that relies on air displacement to determine body fat, says Bryant. There's no submersion; you don't get wet. But you have to get into the Bod Pod chamber, be very still, control your breath � all factors that can affect the results. Your hydration level before the test can also affect results. "When all these are controlled pretty well, you'll get a body fat calculation that's within 3% to 4% accurate � not as high as one might expect," Bryant says.
    Price: $40 to $65 per test.
    The verdict: McCrory says she believes it may be the way of the future, though Bryant notes that it needs some refinement.
    Grade: A. "It's much easier and more convenient than underwater weighing," says McCrory. "It is about as accurate and reliable as DEXA, is much cheaper, and is becoming more widely available."

    6) The Tape Measure

    It's one of the oldest "obesity tests" known to mankind. However, waist circumference in this context "is not defined as a seamstress would," says Bryant. "This is taken at the belly button level."
    Men with measurements higher than 40, or women with waist measurements higher than 35, are considered obese, he says.
    Price: None.
    The verdict: This is a basic indicator of a body fat problem, says Bryant. "It's a good technique," says Kravitz.
    Grade: A. Girth measurement is "accurate and reliable" for assessing your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, says McCrory. Quite simply: The bigger the girth, the bigger the risk. "However, some new research is coming out suggesting that there is more risk than previously thought at even lower risk circumferences."


    7) Skinfold Calipers

    Health clubs offer this test; it's the most widely used method for measuring body fat, says Bryant. Basically, it's a "pinch" test using a measuring device at several points on the body, like thighs, hips, and upper arm.
    Price: $20 to $40 per test.
    The verdict: Much depends on the skills of the person giving you the test. "The skinfold test can be reasonably accurate," Bryant tells WebMD. "But if the tester isn't experienced, or if they're using cheapo plastic calipers, take it with a grain of salt. It will be terribly unreliable."
    Grade: D. "These are rarely done correctly," says McCrory. "The technician usually does not grab enough fat so the result is usually a big underestimate of body fat. It's also difficult to grab the fat consistently."

    8) Infrared Light Measuring

    Infrared light measuring is an inexpensive way to measure body fat with a soil-analysis-type device that agronomists use, Bryant explains.
    Here's what happens: A probe is placed on a body site -- the biceps, for instance -- sending an infrared light ray through both fat and muscle. Your height, weight, sex, age, frame size, and activity level are factored in. The final number is a "rough estimate" of your body fat percentage, says Bryant.
    Price: $25 to $50 per test.
    The verdict: "It hasn't proven to be terribly accurate," Bryant tells WebMD.
    Grade: F. Don't waste your time or money, says McCrory.

    9) Height/Weight Charts

    These are the simple height-vs.-weight tables used for years by many insurance companies. But the experts say they just don't work very well, even if they take body frame and sex into account.
    Price: None.
    The verdict: "These charts have significant limitations," says Bryant. "They really aren't measuring fat-to-lean tissue. They are based on a limited sample of the population and can be misleading."
    Grade: F. "These do nothing to help us understand body composition," Kravitz says.


    Originally published March 19, 2004
    Medically updated June 9, 2005.
    SOURCES: Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist, American Council on Exercise. Megan McCrory, PhD, energy metabolism scientist, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston. Len Kravitz, PhD, senior exercise physiologist, IDEA.
    1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
    Dr. Albert Scott Representative for FINAFLEX
    www.finaflex.com
    Redefine Yourself..... REDEFINE EVERYTHING!
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