The Tanita Ironman BC554 - bathroom scales on steroids
By Loz Blain
June 3, 2007
June 4, 2007 Weighing yourself every morning only tells you a small part of your overall health and fitness picture. Is the extra weight you've gained in the last week muscle or fat? This innovative set of bathroom scales tells you your weight, body fat percentage, body water percentage, muscle mass, bone mass, basal metabolic rate and a bunch of other metrics to help you fine-tune your fitness training and better understand your body's composition.
Measurement and information is a crucial factor in weight loss and strength & fitness training - for motivation, accurate measurements of results and planning which exercises will have the most positive effects. The Tanita Ironman BC554 scales take a measure of your body composition by sending a small electrical charge through your body. It's completely safe - provided you're not wearing a pacemaker - and you don't feel a thing as it measures you up.
Apart from body composition information, the scales are able to calculate your basal metabolic rate - the rate at which your body composition suggests you'll burn calories through the day - and tell you what age is associated with that level of metabolism in a healthy person. There's also a "physique rating" which takes into account your weight and body composition to provide an overall measure of the health of your body.
The BC554 body composition monitor retails at around US$130.
For those wishing to take their body composition analysis to the next level, Tanita offers the BC558, which includes small hand-held retractable electrodes that can be used to produce a composition analysis that can be segmented to give separate readings for each arm, each leg and the torso. This model's more expensive at US$300.