Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear/bring?
Bring a towel and a snug fitting bathing suit. Baggy clothes will capture air and may influence test results. Also, please take a shower if you just worked out and don’t wear heavy makeup, hair gel or lotion. Although drinking water and exercise will not affect your results eating a big meal within two hours of the test can.
How long does it take?
Tests take approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
How private is the testing?
We have private changing rooms and an entrance door that can be closed during testing. Unfortunately we do not have a restroom. Your data is private too, unless you ask we do not share your results with anyone but you and we do not sell your contact information.
Is the tank water clean? Warm?
Yes. The water in the tank is continuously filtered while the clinic is in operation, chlorinated, pH balanced, and approximately 90° F. The clinic is also heated and/or cooled depending on the weather.
Why get tested?
Anyone who is serious about making progress towards their fitness goals needs accurate information. For example, if you’ve lost 5 lbs, you may think that’s great, but how much of that was fat, and how much was muscle? You can’t rely on scale-weight only to know if you’re making the progress you aim to achieve.
Getting a hydrostatic body fat test can answer this question. If you’re trying to lose body fat but maintain (or increase) muscle mass, you’ll need a detailed analysis of your body composition changes. The better information you have the better decisions you can make in achieving your goals.
How do I prepare for a Test?
Here’s all you need to do:
- Get ready to get wet and go all the way under water.
- Don’t eat a big meal within 2 hours of your test.
- Go to the bathroom if you need to and take a shower if you can. Drinking water or working out prior to the test will not affect your results.
How accurate is it?
There is no other method in existence that is more—or as—accurate as hydrostatic testing.
It’s impossible to say that it’s some-percentage (e.g. 99.9%) accurate, or what the “margin of error” is. To say that, there would have to be a better method of determining body fat than hydrostatic testing to compare to. The accuracy of other methods like caliper testing or BOD POD do have margins of error—because their accuracies are a measure of how close their results are to hydrostatic testing. If there was a better method we would use it. We strive to use the latest technology to achieve the most accurate results.
Do I get a record of my results?
Your analysis will include a four-page report showing:
- Your body fat and lean mass percentages and weights
- How your percentage body fat compares to others
- How much fat, if any, needs to be lost in order to reach your composition goals
- Basal metabolic rate—how many calories/day you burn without exercising
- Personal caloric intake and expenditure chart—how many calories/day you burn when doing various exercises and activities
- Historical readings and progress, if more than one test has been taken
What is the difference between weight loss and fat loss and why should I care?
Overall weight lose is a good thing if you are looking to lighten the load on your joints but losing muscle mass is never desirable. Sometimes when you’re working hard and eating right the scale won’t move and that can be frustrating but you are probably losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. This is a good thing and why you need to be retested to make sure that is the case. Fat takes up a lot more room than muscle so you should feel your clothes fit better and your ‘mirror test’ improve.
What is Hydro-Static?
adj. 1. Hydrostatic – relating to fluids at rest or to the pressures they exert or transmit; “hydrostatic pressure”
When you think hydrostatic, just think water. Water has a very specific density. When you are weighted underwater your density can be measured and comparing this to your dry weight we can very accurately determine how much is lean and how much is none lean mass. This ratio is what we call your “body fat percentage”. Learn More
What comparative methods are available?
Nothing compares to hydrostatic because it is the Gold Standard that all other methods are compared against. Previously it’s been hard to find and expense so there have been a lot of methods developed to estimate your body fat percentage. Keep in mind BMI is not one of them. It is just an easy formula that can be used to assess your mass relative to your height and gender. Since it doesn’t take into account muscle v. fat most athletic people are placed in the “obese” range.