Dad Pod / Bod Pod

Bod Pod Body Composition Test

This morning, my brother and I visited Southampton Universities Sports Science Laboratory. What a brilliant place, it’s everything you’d think it would be in terms of how it looks, the kit and even the smell – oozes performance.

We went to have a BOD POD body composition test.  For me it was about seeing where things were after 5 weeks dieting and training, and for my brother? He was simply damned if I was going to do something like this without him.  In the past, I’ve used calipers and phone apps to get an idea of body fat percentage; knowingly acknowledging that accuracy would be off.  This test is offered by the uni for £25 and according to my reading at least, is right up with one of the best techniques to measure ya fat and muscle.




It was all very simple. Height and weight was taken and a few forms of consent to fill in.  Then, Chris (the incredibly nice and professional sports science guru) fed what he needed into the BOD POD software and in we went.  The actual POD is well, like a pod – not too far off what Jeff Goldbloom steps into in The Fly.  The test is taken twice for accuracy and then a few minutes later you get your results.

What was I expecting? To be honest, pretty much what the results were.  5.5 weeks ago weight was 102kg and a guesstimate of 28-30% body fat.  I’ve been in calorie deficit ever since, eating well and training hard.


  • Body weight of 97.87kgs (15st 6lbs)
  • Body fat of 22.6%

That is fine. Brave Face 🙂  22.6% put things into healthy perspective. Without feeling hungry or lethargic, with fun and energetic workouts, and general feeling of well being – things are going in the right direction.  Miles away from where things need to be for a competition (14 months to go) but an improvement on 5 weeks ago.




What was really helpful on the test report was the information about basal metabolic rate (BMR) and calorie requirements.  This is massively important in regards to diet and key to adding bulk without adding fat.  I talked about using a calculator in my first post, to work out my diet plan and set some fundamentals.  Loosely – 3,000 calories on a third protein, third carbs and third fats split.

Energy Expenditure Results

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) = 2041 Kcal per day (that’s what I need to be awake and alive)

If you take RMR and x by daily activity level, you then get Total Energy Expenditure (TEE)  Based on being ACTIVE (3-4 exercise sessions a week) my TEE = 3551Kcal per day.

This forms the basis of knowing how to loose, maintain or put on weight. Simply put, it’s maths.  I’m eating approx 3000 – 3200 calories a day.  My exercise level is consistently helping me, all be it at a fairly slow rate, loose fat.

One for another post perhaps, but below is Fit-bit breakdown of a recent legs and shoulders workout.  Working at good tempo and intensity is a big factor in making diets work for you.  This is probably higher than normal in terms of heart rate and calories burnt – legs are such a big muscle group. The 141 bpm peak is where we performed a super set of lying leg curls and front dumbbell raises.  No – I did not train for 1:41 – I just keep forgetting to turn the thing off once the workout is over.

legs shoulders

If I performed no exercise, my TEE would be around 2800 calories a day.  That would mean a 3000 calorie a day diet would see a gradual increase in weight.   There are so many diets out there claiming to be the best one.  In my opinion, all of them really amount to the same thing; which is a calorie deficit through changed eating habits combined with exercise.

Right now, my gut feel is that I need to eat as close to my TEE as possible whist maintaining a slight deficit. I know that my body is getting enough protein and rest to maintain and even increase lean tissue whilst this happening.

The plan now is to see what 15% body fat feels like, how much 15% body-fat weighs and to see if at that level – if I wanted to – I could diet down to competition shape. As soon as those assessments are made, my plan is to up the calories by approx 500 calories a day and combine that with an 8 week phase of heavy training.

This is probably the best article I’ve read on body composition. Totally mega;



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