Gear Pick: Tanita BC-545N Body Composition Monitor

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Tanita BC-545N Body Composition Monitor, £199.99

Katherine says: The Tanita BC-545N is an easy-to-use monitoring device that provides a detailed account of your body composition. It measures body fat, muscle mass, metabolic rate, visceral fat, bone mass and hydration levels.

The monitor works by using Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) via a foot sensor as well as a cabled hand-held sensor that’s connected to the monitor. The analysis takes about 30 seconds and the results are displayed in a graph format on the hand held part of the monitor.

The measurements are broken down by body area – arms, legs, torso, etc – to give in depth picture of your whole body as well as specifics like the muscle mass of your right arm versus your left arm. The idea is that you then use this detail to address weaknesses in your body composition and tailor your training sessions accordingly.

The monitor has the memory capacity for five users and will store results for up to one year. With this in mind, and to give an overall review of the device, myself and two members of the team – who are all currently training for endurances races (Olympic triathlons and a 50K ultra run) – used the device to track the changes in our body composition over a four-week period. We took readings at the end of each working week to compare the intensity of our training sessions and where we expected to see changes against the results displayed on the monitor.

The results from the first reading gave us a good idea what we needed to concentrate on in training. I discovered that there was some imbalance in the muscle mass in my legs to tried to address that in training.

After four weeks, all three of us saw significant changes. For the two of us training for a tri, muscle mass increased, and all three of us saw a drop in body and visceral fat. The Tanita BC-545N provided clear and honest results and would be a useful purchase if you’re keen to monitor your hydration levels, muscle mass and body fat, as well as keep track of how your training is affecting your body composition if you’re training for a specific goal.

To find out more, visit Tanita.

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