Body Composition Analysis

Body composition analysis. Analysing the composition of your body. Analysing what your body is composed of. Let's break it down and discover our bodies.

Our bodies consist of 4 different components: fat tissue, muscle mass (protein), water and minerals (bone). Technology allows us to look inside our bodies and calculate our build-up of these 4 components.

BIA scale

BIA - Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis is the method we use to conduct a body composition test. The BIA scale holds 8 electrodes that send and receive electrical currents through your body, via your hands and feet. As we recall from grade 9 physics, current is affected by resistance. The different components have different resistances. The scale measures the current that moves through a specific resistance and can thus calculate the area of the specific component.

Fat Tissue

We know fat. We need fat. We fear fat.

But what must we know? How much do we need? How much should we fear?

One of the main morphological differences between women and men is that women carry a greater amount. This is mainly because of child bearing.

Recommended fat %:


Athletic: 8 - 15 %

Good: 16 - 23%

Acceptable: 24 - 30%

Overweight: 31 - 36%

Obese: >37


Athletic: 5 - 10 %

Good: 11 - 14%

Acceptable: 15 - 20%

Overweight: 21 - 24%

Obese: >24

With BIA we can measure the fat percentage in different segments of the body (left and right arm, leg and trunk), to establish where your fat is distributed. It also shows 'visceral fat'. Visceral fat is the fat around our organs, which is necessary for protection of organs, but too much visceral fat can also be dangerous. Knowing how much fat you have and where it sits, can aid in determining weight goals and maintenance.

Example of body composition analyses result sheet:

Muscle Mass

BIA does the same with muscle mass as with fat mass. We can determine how much muscle we have AND WHERE IT SITS. On the result sheet we see amount of muscle in kilograms, percentage of total body weight and segmental analysis (right and left arm, leg and trunk). Knowing how much muscle you have and how it is distributed in your body will play a role in weight maintenance planning as well as physical activity focus.


Up to 60% of your body is made up of water. Water is found in our blood, cells, brain, muscles and almost every other nick and corner. A healthy amount of body water is very important for many reasons that can physiologically be discussed. But for this post - the bottom line is that water is important and that body water is determined by BIA.

Minerals (Bone)

The last component is bone or minerals. BIA measures the amount of bone (minerals) in our body. This can be used to identify mineral deficiency, but also to differentiate fat, muscle, water and bones.

Why do Body Composition Analysis?

The results obtained from this test allows us to evaluate our bodies on a next level. Knowing only your body weight can be a very vague way of evaluating health.

A rugby player can weigh 100kg, have a BMI that indicates 'obesity' but according to BIA results he has low body fat, high muscle mass and a 100/100 body composition score!

A 60kg female can have a normal BMI, but have a high fat level, low muscle mass and poor mineral content.

Therefor, a body weight scale can only provide us with a 'standard' measurement.

Book your Body Composition Analysis with Sports Bodies today!

Yvonne van Zyl - Nutritional therapist (sports nutrition)

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