T Nation

Tanita Muscle Mass Results


#1

So, I got a Tanita body composition analysis today and I’m quite puzzled by the results. According to the test, my body weight is 58 kg from which 43.2 kg is muscle mass. From the bar at the bottom this is just downright average (disappointing but that’s another story). I really want to convert it in muscle mass percentage to compare it with various charts I find on the web, what I can’t find is the right formula to do it (Obviously, 43.2*100/58 doesn’t work - the percentage is huge to be average). Is it that I don’t understand what the ‘muscle mass’ reading means? Does anyone know the right formula to convert the result or have any knowledge about this specific test?


#2

Total weight is 58kg
*Lean mass is 43.2kg
Fat weight is 14.8kg

14.8/58 = ~26% body fat
43.2/58 = ~74% Lean mass*

EDIT: *lean mass, defined by not fat


#3

Actually my fat percentage is 21,9% / 12,8 kg according to the same measurement. It also specifically says muscle mass is 43,2 kg, the lean mass you say is referred as FFM (Free Fat Mass) which is 45,5 kg. Any clues now?


#4

What are you trying to accomplish with these measurements?

A 2-3% discrepancy is well within the margin of error of a device like this. I would put very little weight into it’s precision. If you’re trying to manipulate your statistics to feel better about your condition, by all means, manipulate away.

If you look in the mirror and don’t see what you want looking back through your snapchat filter, then eat intentionally and train intensely.


#5

Why would I even join those forums to pose a question if I wanted to manipulate my results? Actually the image on the mirror is great, I would just like a bit more muscle mass and trying to figure out where am I at the moment compared to an average person. I understand those measurements don’t make much sense and that’s why I bother to ask for some enlightenment, also this is the reason why I asked if anyone has knowledge about this specific type of machine. If there is no way to make sense and the machine itself is not much trustworthy after all, this is also an acceptable scenario, I guess.


#6

Sounds like a very realistic margin of error. But yes, what’s the end goal here? The numbers don’t mean jack. Either you like what you see so you’re good or you don’t like what you see and need to do some work.


#7

Well, actually I like what I see and do various types of training so the most specific I can say as a goal is a bit more muscle mass (all else is more a matter of skill). I’d like to make some sense from the numbers and compare to the average, but from what I gather it may not be much worth the effort.


#8

A bit more muscle mass is easy. Train hard and eat with a slight caloric surplus. Do you lift frequently? On a program? What is your caloric goal?

Why do you care how you compare to the average person? How tall are you?

The general consensus is that machines, such as this, are fine for a general idea, but the mirror is the best indicator.


#9

I’m 168 cm. I’ve engaged to athletic activities at many points in my life but it got serious 2 years ago, I wanna compare the numbers to see the difference in that format. My program is what challenges mostly at a time, for example the past two months I’ve been focusing on cardio, HIIT, PLYO stuff (5 times a week) and less on weight-lifting, while for the two months before that I was almost only lifting (4 times a week).


#10

I live in the US, so not great at picturing a 168cm, 58kg person. Thankfully, I have a pen and paper and recall my 2nd grade math class (I confirmed these numbers using google).

Just to be clear, you are 5’6", weigh 127lbs and are ~21%bf?

Not to be an ass, but you don’t have any muscle mass. If you didn’t tell me you BF%, I’d think you are emaciated. It could be that your Tanita is way off, and you’re actually a lower BF %.

As far as training, why can’t you do both plyo/HITT and lift weights? There are plenty of great programs out there that encompass both. What exactly is your ultimate goal?


#11

I don’t know what exactly it is you have in your mind, this last was quite absurd, especially the emaciated thing


#12

Are male or female??


#13

I’m female, I thought it was clear by my name, wasn’t it?


#14

Not to me! ha, but it does make a lot more sense now.


#15

It’s not muscle mass, it’s fat free mass.

Muscle, water, bones, etc

You are trying to find and answer that you can’t get.

Use the scale as a tool and stop the micro management. Weigh yourself once a week at the same time, etc

After s few months, you will have s base.

If you don’t like being average, change. The scale won’t do it for you.


#16

Those machines can’t give you accurate results. I prefer using a tape measure, a scale and a mirror to determine my weight progress. One good thing I learned from a former coach was to use the weekly average weight instead of just weighing yourself once a week. If you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle, as the mirror image and your weekly average develop in the right direction, you are golden.


#17

My question was pretty straightforward about how the math is done and in this regard still no information, so whatever, thanks for the advice


#18

I’m pretty sure this

and also this

answer your question. There isn’t any maths that you really can or need to do beyond that.

You’re sitting at about 26% bodyfat, which for a female means you’re pretty lean. Beyond knowing that about 26% of your weight is made up of fat (and again, some will be visceral and some subcutaneous which will probably make a difference to appearance), there isn’t a formula that will let you calculate how much of the remaining 74% of your bodyweight is skeletal muscle.

You could estimate that by finding how much blood you are holding, what your organs will weigh, how much water you’re holding and how much your bones weigh. However, it would probably be a wildly inaccurate estimate because all you’d have, if you could find it, would be averages for a human being, maybe female if you were lucky, maybe similar in height and weight to you if you’re even luckier. That still wouldn’t give you enough accuracy to account for your individual circumstances.

Your best bet, if knowing how much skeletal muscle you have really matters that much to you, is getting a DEXA scan done. I’m pretty sure that would tell you with a high degree of accuracy how much skeletal muscle you’re carrying.

I’m just curious, though: I’ve had a couple of bioelectrical impedance analyses done recently, and I got various data including skeletal muscle mass (also bone density, visceral fat percentage, total body water, etc). At 88 kg and 23% or so I had just over 43 kg of skeletal muscle mass, so I’m wondering why you weren’t given similar data.


#19

My answer was pretty straightforward about the math that doesn’t exist. You can guesstimate (I did not say estimate), but it is a pretty random answer.

You not accepting the answer, doesn’t mean your question has not been answered.

But then again, you are poster child for an old proverb “if you don’t like the answer, don’t ask the question”.

Good luck in your search.