I’ve been using a Withings scale for the last 4 months. Body fat percentage started at 30% and dropped to 25% over the course of those 4 months. Muscle mass never went above 67% which, according to the scale, is well under the average.
Last week I found out from another TR user that the scale has an athlete mode, it should be used for anyone who exercises 8+ hours a week and has a resting heart rate under 60bpm.
I turned on heart rate mode and my fat percentage dropped to 18% and muscle mass went up to 80%, this has been the consistent reading for the last week. Have I been using the scale wrong this whole time or is the scale borked?
I have the same scale and do not use athlete mode. My body fat percentage started at 26% and currently at 22%. I’m now curious as to what changing the mode over to to athlete mode would read for me… Hmmm
What is the recommended mode? I am sort of all over the board on hours per week, anywhere from 6.5-12 hours a week. It’s never the same, some weekends I do longer rides than other. I’d like to think I’m an athlete, but I don’t race with anyone but myself. Always chasing that speed gain or PR improvement.
For users with a certain body type, our regular algorithm may provide an inaccurate Fat Mass measurement. When Athlete mode is enabled, an alternate algorithm is used to calculate Fat Mass for that user’s measurements.
How can I tell if I should use Athlete mode?
If you work out more than 8 hours a week and have a resting heart rate below 60 bpm, you may need to use the Athlete mode.
What effect will enabling Athlete mode have on my Body Composition measurements?
When Athlete mode is enabled, Fat Mass measurement values will be lower and muscle mass measurement values will be higher because the user’s athletic body type is taken into account.
To activate the Athlete mode, perform the following steps:
Open the Health Mate® app.
Go to Profile .
Tap your name under your profile picture.
That’s what there site says for it… I have it enabled… not sure why they have this…
The scale is starting to annoy me. I weigh myself daily about the same time. Making some progress as far as I know from looking in the mirror and the way my clothes is fitting. From the scale as well as far as weight goes.
So here is the annoying thing. My body fat mass on the scale varies by as much as 6%. Going up to 28% which is a total disappointment, and then swings down to 22% the next day. I am consistent on my eating habits, eat basically the same thing every day.
An observation I have made is when very well hydrated the scale reads at a lower fat mass percentage. My muscle mass also shows an increase when more hydrated as well. I’m not sure why it does that, but it’s something I have noticed.
I work a very physical job UPS, My water intake does vary quite a bit on a daily basis. Some days I need to consume more water just cause of weather conditions, hotter weather obviously I drink more water.
Does anyone else have similar issues or annoyances with the scale, in especially big swings in fat mass from day to day?
Large swings in hydration and glycogen stores will make a large difference in the muscle mass readings on your scale, especially an impedance based one. Muscle tissue carries more water than fat tissue.
Don’t sweat the variation, just look at the long term trend along with the other indicators you’ve mentioned.
Since you have a physical job, you are going to get more swings than other people.
Best thing to do is wake up, use the toilet, then weight (nude). That’s about as consistent a measurement that you’re going to get. From there, what you’ll want to do is ignore the day-to-day variations and instead track a 3- or 5-day moving average.
If I weigh after a workout, it’s to make sure I’ve approximately replaced fluids by the weight. A wide swing the bf% will tell you whether the water has been absorbed yet, or is just sitting in your gut still.
I’ve owned this scale for 1.5 months and registered 10 readings across 5 “parameters” captured by the unit. They include;
Fat mass (lb)
Bone mass (lb)
Muscle mass (lb)
One might predict that some of these parameters are correlated over time. For example, any one or all of the mass readings might correlate to overall weight as trends over time. Regardless, I would accepts correlated trends, but not exact trends. To examine this I calculated z-scores for each parameter across the ten readings and plotted them. I then calculated the regressions for each and the numbers indicate that the data is far too tightly connected. For example, the equations for the regression comparing the “weight” readings and the " fat mass" readings are as follows;
y = 0.0516x - 2299.6 (weight)
y = 0.0517x - 2302.7 (fat mass)
Similarly, the equations comparing “bone mass,” “muscle mass,” and “hydration” are as follows;
y = -0.005x + 221.77 (bone mass)
y = -0.004x + 176.72 (muscle mass)
y = -0.004x + 194.2 (hydration)
There is essentially zero chance that these are truly independent measurements (based on slope alone) with any connection to distinct biological phenomenon. Other than weight, frankly I don’t know what this device is measuring. Even in a relative sense, it’s impossible to know what day-to-day differences mean.
I’vee just changed my account over to “athlete mode” and will repeat this analysis in another 1-2 months assuming more than 10 readings.
I have that scale for a few years but didn’t know about ahtlete mode. I’m using it regulary every morning and my BFs are always between 12 and 13.5% and yesterday I switched to athlete mode and got 4.6% today…
I am 33 and my weight is pretty consistent in about 69kg and I’m 180cm but I look much lighter then I am…
Training about 10+hrs and RHR is 45-50.
12% looks too much but less than a 5% is maybe too low.
I just measured with cheep plastic caliper my belly fat and get something between 4-5mm