On Saturday I met Kelly around 10 o’clock in the morning, deep in the Valley, to get our body fat analysis done before we embark upon the Velocity Diet. The good folks at Fitness Wave have a mobile testing unit that travels throughout Southern California. It’s basically a 28′ truck converted into a scientific lab-on-wheels.

Inside the truck is — in addition to several computers, a VO2-max cycle, and some changing rooms — a very large water tank. You strip down to a bathing suit and grab onto an aluminum frame, then go underwater while expelling every last ounce of breath you can. It’s pretty weird. The metal frame is attached to a scale so they can weigh you while you’re “dunked” and airless.

The entire procedure took less than five minutes, although any time you are doing anything with no oxygen in your lungs it’s going to feel like longer. Before you begin you get on a scale with a long metal arm so they can get your accurate weight and height … and then they use a tape measure to determine the circumference of your right ankle so they can report your “bone mass”. (Mine was 9.75″ and I was told that means I have a “large” frame.) You wait about 2 minutes and then the computer tells you everything you could possibly want to know about your physique.

The generally accepted ideal body fat percentage for males is 15%.

Here are my results:

  • Weight: 197 lbs
  • Height: 5′ 10 1/2″
  • Body Fat: 15.3%
  • Lean Body mass: 84.7%
  • Fat Body mass: 30.1 lbs
  • Lean Body mass: 166.9 lbs
  • Water weight: 6980 g

For my age group — 30 – 39 — the body fat percentage breakdown looks like this:

  • Excellent: < 11 %
  • Good: 12 – 15 %
  • Average: 16 – 22 %
  • Fair: 23 – 26 %
  • Poor: > 27 %

According to the analysis (including my input):

The generally accepted ideal body fat percentage for males is 15%. Your body fat percentage is higher than the ideal. To reach the ideal you would have to lose 0.6 lbs of fat and weigh 196.4 lbs.
Your self reported goal body fat percentage is 8%. Your actual body fat percentage is higher than your goal percentage. To reach your goal you must lose 15.6 lbs of fat and weigh 181.4 lbs.

It’s important to note that to achieve my goal of 8% body fat — which I admit may be irrational and unattainable, but would certainly give me Men’s Health cover-model ripped abs — I need to lose 15.6 lbs of fat. That doesn’t mean I need to lose 15.6 pounds, because it’s highly likely that I’m going to be converting a large proportion of my current mass to muscle.

But there you go. So now I have my current metrics and I know what I’ve got to do in the next four to six weeks. Oh, and don’t tell anyone, but I am seriously considering running the next LA Marathon in about eight weeks.

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