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Service Spotlight: ISAK Body Composition Profile

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


ISAK Skinfold Analysis Profile Neil Livemore Consulting

ISAK BODY COMPOSITION PROFILE

International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) members are practitioners proficient at assessing body composition. Practitioners use the same method, sites, and high-end equipment for accuracy and repeatability.


Used comprehensively across elite sports and general wellness settings. ISAK reports track 17-sites across body composition and anthropometrics which correlates to health, longevity and performance.


WHAT DOES IT ASSESS

  • Skinfolds (sum of 8)

  • Muscle girths

  • Waist to height

  • Somatatotyping

WHAT EQUIPMENT IS USED?

  • Harpenden callipers

  • Tape measure

  • Large anthropometer

Harpenden callipers used during ISAK analysis
Callipers used during assessment

WHY ASSESS

Your body composition significantly impacts your health, exercise and performance. Changes in lifestyle, nutrition, and activity levels, cause constant changes to the distribution of body dimensions.


It’s important to assess regularly to bench mark your current position, track progress of exercise, training and lifestyle goals. anc compae to ideal recommendations, wheteher athletic or general health.


VALUES IT DOES/DOES NOT CONSIDER AND WHY


LIGHTLY CONSIDERED

BMI is a measure of how healthy your weight is for your height. Often it fails to tell the whole story as it does not account for the amount of muscle mass the body carries, which significantly affects your predicted health status. A 100kg bodybuilder or rugby player with high muscle mass but low body fat, can be ranked as obese.


CONSIDERED: SUM OF 8 SKINFOLDS

There are numerous errors involved in calculating % body fat from skinfolds. It does not account for hidden fat’ lying around the areas we cannot measure, i.e. visceral fat around the Organs. For this reason, we monitor body fat using sum of skin folds an absolute measure which allows for consistent tracking of body fat changes following an exercise and / or nutrition program.


We can comapre these changes to the recommended ranges for your sport, or general health as seen in the charts below




General ISAK skinfold ranges neil livemore
General athletic and general wellbeing ranges for skinfold measurements

CONSIDERED: WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE & WAIST TO HEIGHT RATIO (WELLBEING)

Waist to height ratio has been shown to be an effective marker of cardiovasuclar health and longevity. There is bodyfat under our skin and around the vital organs in our abdomen. Fat around the abdomen causes more health problems than fat carried around other parts of the body such as the thighs.




TAKEN, BUT LOW CONSIDERATION: BODY MASS

Stepping on a weight scale only tells us the combined weight of all your body’s tissues. While it can be a useful tool on overall fuelling trends, weight may fluctuate depending on the time of day, hydration status, food in the digestive system or what you are wearing. It’s not uncommon for someone to weigh 2-3 lbs heavier in the evening than in the morning or, similarly, to weigh 3-4 lbs lighter following an intense water loss. Body mass can be useful for monitoring short-term hydration and fuelling, or long term body mass trends.


CONSIDERED: SOMATOTYPE

The ISAK assessment allows us to determine your somatotype, which is a means of describing and assessing your body based on three shapes and compositions (ectomorphic, endomorphic, mesomorphic). Most people are somewhere in between these three extremes. People with different shapes tend to be good at different sports. Most top athletes will have a body shape that leans towards the mesomorph as most require strength. They will then have ectomorph and endomorph features, depending on how lean they are and how weight affects their sport. For example, a weight lifter will be more towards the endomorph scale, whereas a distance runner would be more ectomorph.


References:



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