Bio impedance discoveries


(Tamela Robinette) #21

I just ordered the Renpho based on this thread. I have a digital scale that I purchased several years back at Walgreens that supposedly measures body fat and it varies so much from day to day and week to week. One day it may say 24% and the next day the 30s! I weigh every day upon waking, after using the restroom. I am curious to see how the Renpho works, plus I love the fact I can connect it to my Fitbit and the whole bluetooth feature. I manually enter my data now every morning into my Fitbit app to track trends. My scale will be here Monday so I will measure and report here what kind of trends I see. I also track muscle but it varies widely on my current scale as well. I find the morning after a heavy lift day my muscle measurement drops 4 to 5 pounds but then rebounds the following day. I just want more consistency. I know there are accuracy doubts but for $25 on Amazon (there was a coupon), what have I got to lose?


(Bob ) #22

Likewise, I just got mine that I ordered because of this thread. It’s interesting data but with no baseline for most of it, I can say nothing except it’s a data point. The only comparison I have is that I compared it to my very old Tanita and found the Renpho had me 2 pounds heavier and 2% higher body fat (which would be about 4 pounds).

Also likewise (and like everyone I’ve read here on the Dudes’ forum), I “officially” weigh myself first thing in the morning.

Which says I’ll really start tomorrow morning.


(charlie3) #23

Be sure to download the app then link it to fitbit. After that I link fitbit to cronometer then several of the Renpho values appear in the crono diary and can be displayed don a graph.

The Renpho app also has graph displays for the values that can be displayed day to day, week to week or month to month. If you tap on a data point a flag will appear showing the date and value. My recommend is only step on the scale once a day. The charts section of the app allows displaying am or pm readings. If you weigh in the morning always choose the am setting.


(Bob ) #24

Now that I have mine and a few days of weighing, I’ve been playing with results. It took a while to send myself a .CSV file, but maybe after a week, I’ll have enough to send a bigger spreadsheet. By default it only wanted to send a graphic of today’s results (or a progress graph).

I’m confused about a few of the things.

A few days ago, you posted:

I’m willing to join in, although you’re clearly the expert here. Maybe start a new thread for Renpho Hints and Tips? Bioimpedance measurement hints and tips?


(charlie3) #25

There is a csv export function, with some flaws. Go to click TRENDS, click clock icon, click select data, click 'three dots, click all data or current data, click the box.arrow icon lower left of the screen, then a csv file will be generated, a dialog box will come up offering where you will put the csv file. Unfurtuately Renpho embeds text in all the numeric files. I’m looking for an efficient way to strip that out. May be a text editor with search and replace is enough.

Expertise comes with experience. I’ll try to speed up the learning curve. We’ll eventually have a cadre of experienced people who will help others and discover things I haven’t.


(Bob ) #26

I was able to export a CSV file and mail it to myself. It’s a spreadsheet of one day, just this morning. Interesting, but there are things that are puzzling.

I was surprised to see that my body water percent was higher than yesterday although I did my weigh in at about hour 38 of a 42 hour fast - yesterday through today at noon. I always thought the weight loss was water, so I was interested to see water went up. It showed visceral fat going from 11 to 10. 11 to 10 what? Pounds? Percent? Rutabagas? It’s the only one without units that needs units.

My puzzle is that there are some things the scale tells me that don’t make sense to me.

The biggest one is probably after it breaks down our lean body mass (which they call fat-free body weight) into muscle mass and bone mass. (They don’t say they do, but the numbers add up.) Then they tell me my muscle mass is high but my skeletal muscle mass is low. That makes no sense to me. What are non-skeletal muscles? Our abs? They’re not moving a bone visibly, but they are attached to bones at some points. Do they mean our internal organs? The involuntary muscles lining our intestines? Our hearts? What can we do about that?

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see abs. I can tell my legs have gotten more muscular since I got back to riding last August, but that’s skeletal muscle.

Interesting device, but the way they say things like “Standard Met” instead of good, bad or nothing, is puzzling, along with other labels like that.


(charlie3) #27

My confidence in readings increases the more days I’m looking at. Day to day can have random errors. Week to week and month to month trends are more reliable. I want to preserve and increase muscle mass with minimal fat gain. For that I find the Renpho scale to be invaluable. My confidence increased over months, not days.


(Tamela Robinette) #28

Some of the terminology was confusing to me as well Bob. I’m only on day one though so I have no reference point but I find the data fascinating! My old scale, which I weighed on immediately after weighing on the Renpho this morning, says I have 28% body fat. The Renpho says 17.3! I weighed last night when I received the scale and it said the same, 17.3 and then I deleted that data because I’ve always weighed upon waking & after using the restroom. My visceral fat # is 4! I feel pretty good about my standings at this point lol.


(Tamela Robinette) #29

For reference I am a 47 year old, 5’7, 135 pound female. I still could lose 5 to 8 pounds and not be unhealthy. Also, my muscle mass reads 107 pounds, much higher than my old scale, which measured most days around 94-95 pounds.


(Bob ) #30

Very interesting, Tamela! EDIT at 1906 Eastern to say: I thought you said you used to be a professional runner, in the conversation about the Haywire Heart book, but that was someone else. Professional status or not, you said you ran a lot.

FWIW, the Renpho and my (20 year old?) Tanita both had my %BF almost the same. I don’t recall the exact number from the Tanita, but I think the last one at this weight was 26%. The Renpho was 26.4%. Your result was drastically better, like less than 2/3 of what your old scale said.

I guess my complication in figuring what the results mean come from my alternate day fasts. I eat four days a week, M,W,F,Sat and fast Sun,Tues, Thurs. Every morning I’m weighing myself fasted, it’s just a question of whether it’s an eating day, 36 or more hours after eating, or a fasting day which is 12 or more hours after eating. The last time I did long periods of ADFs, I found that my weight was always less the morning after the fasted days, and went up a little the morning after the eating days.

Today is a fasting day and my weight is up from yesterday morning, but down from Sunday morning. Again, that was almost always the case. I just took whatever I weighed on Wednesday morning as my real weight. That makes tomorrow the day.


(Tamela Robinette) #31

I always weigh a little more the day after a “re-feed” or a day I have two meals in a day (I’m usually OMAD). I don’t fast as often as you but when I did I saw the same pattern. I can’t wait to see my day 2 data and to hear your results!


(charlie3) #32

Some of the estimates I don’t understand, like “protein”. Some of the estimates don’t interest me unless they were to go up or down over weeks or months that seems like an extreme change. The BMR estimate is interesting. According to the usual online calculators my resting calories should be 1450 per day but the scale insists it’s nearly 1700 caclories. The higher number has some credibility because it hss been creeping up very slowly for the last 9 months and the graph shows steadyd increases on a smooth line. It will be months before you will decide which numbers are accurate and informative.

My understanding is the software that does the estimating was developed by the science community and is probably open source. It would help if we could find the research papers that discuss how the values are estimated.


(Bob ) #33

That’s surprising. My BMR agrees with the online calculators to within 1 or 2%. Today the scale told me 1862 and the Active.com calculator told me 1835 - 1.5% different. I thought it was just a calculation based on age, height and weight like those online calculators. Apparently they must adjust it for body composition.


(charlie3) #34

accounting for body composition would make sense. We’ve been told muscle needs more energy. I’ve added about 10 pounds of muscle since starting my fitness kick.


(Tamela Robinette) #35

So day 3 of owning my Renpho and my weight has remained within a few ounces but my muscle went from 107 to 107.2! Wooohoooo. I joined a gym 3 days ago as I just don’t have the space in my home for all the equipment I need to accomplish what I want. Apparently it’s paying off!


(charlie3) #36

What you learn eventually is that you can’t rely on day to day data, even for simple body weight. Collect all the data points but reliable information will emerge week to week, month to month, and even quarter to quarter, depending on the data.


(Bob ) #37

Quick question, @charlie3 - you mention doing one set of 10 exercises 3x/week. Do you do the same weights and same type of effort every other day? That’s what I’m interpreting.

I know some guys do like an arm day, a leg day and don’t work the same muscle group every work out. If I understand you correctly you don’t do that.


(charlie3) #38

I was a dedicated hobby lifter for 10 years up until 25 years ago. I learned some lessons that serve me well today. I’m doing 3 whole body workouts per week or sometimes every other day, depending on how I feel. On rare occaisions I might do a second set of a major movement but I find if I do that one set with great intensity it’s enough. I’ll do rest pause, low speed, or any other trick to make that one set a real spanking. I favor higher reps to protect joints and connective tissue, which I believe recover much slower than muscle (because of less blood supply, that’s why those tissues are white instead of red). While doing a lift I think about my training status in 48 hours. I can tell as soon as I pick up the weight if I’m any stronger than the last time. Then may be I’ll push for one more rep. I rarely increase weight on the bar. There are many ways to make a given amount of weight stressful. Even with all the intensity I try to minimize muscle damage. I’ll settle for the hormonal response. Upper body recovers faster than lower body. For legs I’ll rotate leg press with barbell squat. Squats are by far the most productive but if I do them for too many weeks low back falls behind. I call squats ‘shock and awe’ beause I useually do 30 to 50 reps with rest pause–it’s truely awful but productive.

Most naturals you see regularly in the gym are chronically over trained because of too many sets. They make gains but would gain the same with 1/3 of the work. May be huge drug taking guys need multiple sets to stimulate so much muscle but one set is enough for us pencil necks. The split routines make you a cool guy at the gym but I’m looking for reliable progress with minimal injury risk. DON"T OVERTRAIN!

Here is me today, on my 4 mile walk, after dieting down from 180 to 140 then regaining to 155, 5 pounds of fat, 10 pounds of muscle after a year of work. I’d like to get rid of the 5 pounds of fat but that would cost some muscle so that project is on hold for a while.

Today’s workout
1xleg press
1 x bent over row, dumbell
1 x bench press
1x standing calf raise
1 x chest dip
1 x medium grip pull down
1 x leg extension
1 x seated calf
1 x hamstring curl
2 x overhead dumb bell press standing
1 x reverse fly
1 x bicep curl dumb bell
1 x sprind grip exercise

The above adds up to more than 10 sets but all but one of those I consider minor accessory exercises. The above took 38 minutes


(Bob ) #39

Thanks for the very detailed reply. I have to assume that the 1 lb per month is distributed over your entire body in some proportions, probably proportional to the size of the muscle - the bigger the muscle the more it can build.

So far, my workouts have been primitive and, well, nothing compared to that. I do biceps curls - roughly equivalent to one single bar with weights on the ends. I do a bench press equivalent motion and a overhead weight pull down. I can do some tweaks to that, but not much.

I don’t do any specific leg work because of my cycling. I ride in the vicinity of a hour three times a week. My regular ride (because of convenience) is 13 miles (total - round trip), but I stretch to 15, 18 or 20 on occasion, usually one long ride per week. In the last four weeks, I’ve ridden 177 miles.

A famous story in the bike world (maybe you have to be an old guy to remember this by now) is about an Olympic speed skater, Erick Heiden . After retiring from speed skating he became a cyclist. Heiden was known for his monster-sized thighs which are truly an advantage in speed skating, so there were some who said he’d set records on all the epic cycling mountain climbs. It didn’t happen. His strength to weight ratio wasn’t high enough. He had to let his thighs atrophy for a year or two before he was competitive.

I’m not a competitive cyclist and clearly nobody at age 65 is going to be competing at those levels, I just figure the muscle mass I have in my legs is appropriate for cycling, which is what I want. Yeah, I’d like to be faster. I have never in my life been as fast or as strong a cyclist as I’d like to be, and I don’t expect that to change.

Today is my eating day, and I have my complete results from the Renpho for one week of alternate day fasts. Monday at waking until today at waking. I fasted three full days - my only caloric intake on those days was two mugs of coffee with HWC (about a teaspoon per cup). I rode only 41 miles, Mon, Weds and Today. A rough estimate of the caloric deficit of those rides is about 2000 calories. I ate Tues and Thurs day. I did one weight lifting session in there. I’m increasing from 1x to 3x a week, but that won’t show up for a while.

According to the scale I only gained about 0.4 pounds - 6.4 ounces. According to the scale my percent body fat went from 26.4 to 26.6. At my body weight, that 0.2% turns out to be right around that 0.4 lbs (0.414 to be exact).


(charlie3) #40

You can do one set of leg presses or squats twice a week and it can only help the cycling. The weights don’t have to be heavy. Add reps, go slower, etc.

For perspcetive, let’s say I’m managing to gain exactly 1 pound a month and I train 15 times a month and each workout creates the same gain. That would mean I’m gaining one ounce per 30 minute workout. This is a slow process. No measuring device can see such subtle changes. The reliable numbers are month to month over 4-6 months. I expect most of the gains to be from the bottom of my rib cage to my knees because that’s where the most of the muscle is. It’s where your power comes from. After that it’s back. Shoulders, arms, and chest are just for show.