Measuring Body Composition
So, I am almost sure most of you have heard of the word “BMI” or body mass index. Most doctors of medicine today still use this as a prescribed way of letting their patients know if they are within a healthy weight class (hints why when you go for appointments, they check your height and weight).
As a personal trainer, I have my own reservations when it comes to utilizing BMI with my clients due to the fact it leaves out A LOT of information but at a Dr’s office, they only need to know the basics unless for some reason your health brings up some concern — otherwise don’t expect them to look much further than the BMI system.
When would I use it?
- with the general population
- if my gym didn’t offer other forms of body composition measurement options
- if my client was to ask me
- if their doctor was to tell me that they need to work towards a certain weight range for their height (specifically)
- or if I need a general idea of where my client’s healthy weight range should be (although this can easily be argued pending circumstances)
- with athletes
- if I have better body composition measurement options available to me
- If my client doesn’t care to know their BMI information
- if my client isn’t trying to lose, gain or maintain weight (they have more specific needs: muscle mass, rehabilitation exercises, etc)
- With clients with an obsession with checking their weight — obviously initially I would have them weigh in; but for some people they need a strict planning for when to check weight because many times when people are obsessed with the numbers on a scale and don’t see the results they want, it brings them down – causes anger, frustration, depression and I want to avoid those feelings with my client when possible. Not to mention, I don’t want having their BMI checked daily to start becoming a thing so, I would introduce the idea if need be but restrict it for certain days and times if possible and work with them more on how they feel and look vs a number. Make them comfortable with themselves and build their self confidence.
- As a means to tell someone their overall health