“InBody”ing Greatness

At the Human Performance Center, just next to the Benko Fitness and Sports Center, is a team of people dedicated to helping Davis-Monthan’s Airmen stay in shape and fit to fight.

There are two options when it comes to getting an accurate reading on one’s body composition. The first being the Bod Pod. This uses air displacement to measure one’s body mass index. However, if the barometric pressure in the room fluctuates, the readings become inaccurate. There are other drawbacks to this machine such as the 10-year lifespan, the fact that one has to be mostly undressed and the $23,000 price tag. Because of these drawbacks the Bod Pod at DM has been retired in favor of getting two InBody machines.

The InBody uses electrical frequencies to determine a person’s segmental lean mass and visceral fat percentages, as well as the intracellular and extracellular water they are holding. There are a few other advantages that the InBody holds over the Bod Pod such as it giving an accurate body fat mass reading over a basic BMI reading, recommendations on what a person should do for lean body mass gain and fat loss as well as the price being less than half that of the Bod Pod. Another bonus is that this one can be performed fully dressed.

“The 270 and 570 InBody models are also mobile so they are able to be packed up, and one of our goals is to eventually get these out to the units versus them having to come to us,” said Fred Lana, 355th Medical Group health promotion coordinator. “If they can’t get away from their work, they can at least have a room set aside where they can test themselves, making going in and out super quick and easy.”

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber
The VO2 machine and resting metabolic tester help people to understand their basal metabolic rate as well as active heart rates at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Aug. 26, 2022.

There is also a metabolic testing machine, that shows a person’s basal metabolic rate. This suggests the caloric intake a person should consume based on their body’s composition and activity level. Tracking progress is easy with these machines as people can see if they are trending down or if they are closer to reaching their goal. Throughout DM, some shops have competitions set up by their physical training liaisons to see who can make the most progress on increasing their basal metabolic rate within a set timeframe.

“A question I get all the time is ‘If I do A, B and C how many calories would I burn?’ but really, it’s all about intensity during a workout,” said Lana. “The more intense you go the higher your heart rate rises and the hotter you get which means more calories burned. When working out we also want to see how the heart recovers, so in minute two after an intense workout we want to see a 50 percent reduction in the heart rate from where the peak was.”

The VO2 max shows a person their aerobic fitness level which is how efficiently they use oxygen when a high demand or stressor is put on their body. The more efficiently oxygen is used, the more output they can create at that level of energy for a longer amount of time. The VO2 max shows a person their fat burning threshold, as well as giving target workout zones. This also shows what their upper limits are as far as what their heart rate can go to and how many calories they would burn at each heart rate zone.

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber
Airman 1st Class Paige Weldon, 355th Wing public affairs specialist, receives the results of her InBody test from Nicole Varela, 355th Medical Group health promotion coordinator at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Aug. 26, 2022.

“You can come in to see where you are at based on a personal goal you set for yourself and not come back, or make it a monthly habit of seeing where you are if you’re trying to improve,” said Nicole Varela, 355th MDG HPC. “Some people training for a competition might want to know what they score on a VO2 max as it shows them their lactic threshold. This is when they cycle out lactic acid before hitting the point of buildup which leads to a longer required rest period.”

Whatever your reasons are for working out or getting in shape may be, the people at DM’s HPC are there to help and provide assistance whether at their building or out at your unit. Call 520-228-2294, or go to dmhealthpromotion.com if you are looking to schedule an InBody, VO2 max, or metabolic rate appointment.

 

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