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For the Science Geek within!

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Those that know me dearly would know that I do have a bit of a science geek within. I love learning! I am fascinated with our ability to research and understand the world around us. I love New Scientist magazine because I get an insight into the world of extraordinary brilliance that is and will be our future. The facts and findings are my favorite bits of information to share with my Husband.

Just like the fact that ‘The deep ocean has been explored less then space yet is right here on Earth!’ How crazy is that!?

That’s the sort of thing my loving Husband, Max, deals with on a daily basis. I get very excited when he actually does seem to be fascinated with a fact I have found, which is usually every 10th or so one.

It’s safe to say that getting the chance to go to the GSK Science Lab was a real treat! I got the chance to be a lab rat… better me/human then a poor defenseless animal I say! I’m so utterly against testing on animals. It enrages me. All you need to see is a YouTube video of a Chimp seeing the outdoors for the first time or countless videos and pictures of poor bunnies, rats, cats, and other animals in labs on PETA to have a serious meltdown at the feeling of not being able to stop what feels to be so completely wrong! There, I said it! Test on humans NOT animals if you must test.

At the GSK Science Lab they do tests on the human body for mainly sports people. They test products for Maxi Nutrition to make sure they maximize their ability to fuel the body when it comes to the challenges we force it to endure. Fascinating stuff really.


It all started with the Bod Pod. In this pod you have to sit as still as you possibly can for a few minutes while it measures the air around you. Even a smile will upset the reading. (The smile in the pic was for your reading pleasure and done after my very serious faced test.) It calculates your fat mass, body mass, fat free mass, body volume and body density. Not exactly the most ego massaging of tests but curiosity got the best of me so don’t judge me, I’m sharing in the name of science and blogging!

My Body Composition Results
I’ve calculated into pounds as well since I’m American and grew up with Pounds not Kilos.

% FAT:  23.4%
% FAT FREE MAS: 76.6%
FAT MASS: 13.198 kg (29lbs of FAT – gross!)
FAT FREE MASS: 43.236 kg (95lbs of bod without fat – Yes!)
BODY MASS: 56.434 kg (124lbs)
BODY DENSITY: 1.0457 kg/L
THORACIC GAS VOLUME:  3.175 L (measurement of lung volume)

Apparently this all means that I am moderately lean. My fat level is generally acceptable for good health. Here are general Fat stats:

Excess fat is between 30-40%
Moderately Lean is 22.1 -30%
Lean is 18.1 -22%
Ultra Lean is 15-18%
Risky (low body fat) is below 15%

Now women carry more fat then men anyway. A runner that is a star athlete and at the peak of training before a big race can get down to about 16% body fat whereas Men of the same sort of peak fitness can get as low as 8%!! I would say that at that measure they must look quite gaunt. Not the sexiest of looks but good on them if it means they do better in the race. But just think how tasty that first burger and milkshake would be afterwards!! Must be like heaven on earth for taste buds!

Next up was the leg muscle fitness test to see how much output each my quad and hamstring use in comparison to one another. First a warm up on the bike to get the blood flowing and the muscles warm! I definitely don’t want to pull anything!


This leg machine uses a plane engine to counteract your strength while measuring your output. I’d like to think that it takes a plane engine to handle my strength. Lol! Although it looks like a simple exercise machine it is quite the opposite. I’d like to get into the particulars but my poor little pea brain couldn’t quite absorb the complete understanding of just exactly how it’s made and or works, but ultimately you push your leg out and in about five times and get an average score.

Most people have more output with their quadriceps because even to stand up or sit down you are using the quads as opposed to the hamstrings. When you run it’s all quads; footballers, rugby players, and pretty much most athletes dominate in what they do using mostly their quads. A lot of rehab then goes into trying to balance these muscles out because it can cause strain on other parts of your body and overall balance to dominate on one side.

What I found during my time at the lab that was most fascinating is that all of the work I have done as a dancer creating lines, lifting my leg and holding it, spinning, jumping, and doing lots and lots and I mean LOTS of plies (bend at the knee) means that my muscles have been developed quite equally both front and back. Well I say quite, from the test my measurements for Quadriceps and Hamstrings came out perfectly equal! 50/50 which is quite rare the science expert in the lab told me. I’m not going to lie – for some reason that makes me feel accomplished or maybe just balanced. Whichever it might be it’s a fact I can’t wait to tell my Husband in hopes that he thinks it’s as cool as I do. Wish me luck!


To end the day of science I spoke to a room of business types from Tesco’s about the importance of protein to an active person like me. I’m happy to report that nobody fell asleep, I did get a few laughs, and I’m happy to think that the fitness/health industry in the UK is opening its eyes to the fact that women want knowledge, products and support in becoming fit. Boo YA!