There are numerous body composition measurement methods around, and as a trainer it is important to be able to differentiate between the different profiling methods and select the one which is most applicable to your client’s needs.
Let’s start by defining the key terms that relate to body composition.
- Body composition – the ratio of fat mass to fat free mass
- Fat mass (FM) – the net fat in the body
- Fat free mass (FFM) – the net tissue, which is not fat (muscle, bone, blood, organs, minerals)
There are numerous different ways to test body composition, and these vary in accuracy, cost, and availability. All of the profiling methods available are estimate measurements, which mean assumptions are made regarding the rations of lean mass, fat mass, water, protein, and other minerals. The assumptions made by testing methods will result in certain limitations, and it is important to match the measurement method to the client to get accurate results.