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Rice Lake's Competitor Series BCA gets results.
In the fitness world, results are king. When a new client enrolls in a fitness program, they have certain goals in mind. Whether it is to lose weight, increase muscle, improve overall fitness or all of the above, the client often has an image in their mind that serves as a target and fuels motivation. However, it is what’s on the inside that really matters, and inside matter is best measured with a Rice Lake Competitor Series body composition analyzer.
In 2013, Bode Central in Green Bay, Wis., began the search for a tool that measures clients’ body fat, lean muscle mass, water weight and more. The business was only one year old and wanted an industry differentiator. There were plenty of competitors in the area, but none of them offered a body composition analyzer (BCA). Incorporating a BCA would not only be distinctive, but also provide unique data to improve and track program effectiveness.
“When I first started looking,” explains Glenn Gajeski, treasurer of Bode Central, “I was interested in mobile underwater weighing where they analyze the client in a weightless environment. Then, I saw the cost. It was astronomical, but the data it provided was impressive. So I worked my way back from there to find something that offered similar metrics at an affordable price.”
Glenn attended the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) trade show on a mission to find a solution. “Most analyzers I found at the show required the client to put on a liquid paste or stick electrodes to their skin.
Nobody wants to do that, so I knew those wouldn’t work for Bode Central. Most of the equipment also required the client to get down to their skivvies, which is too invasive and makes them uncomfortable. I moved on to handheld alternatives, which were minimally invasive, but they weren’t accurate or reliable. Then, I discovered Rice Lake’s BCA.”
“The first thing that attracted me to the BCA was the affordable price,” Glenn continues. “Then I saw how easy it was to operate and all the information it provides, and I was sold.” The Competitor Series BCA gave Glenn the metrics he wanted: lean body mass, fat mass, total body water and hip-to-waist ratio at a surprising value. Additionally, the BCA only requires the client to take their shoes and socks off, so they are not intimidated or uncomfortable. They simply stand on the scale base and grip two small monitors with their hands. Built-in electrodes make direct contact with the hands and feet, and the BCA sends a low-voltage electrical signal through the upper and lower body. Muscle, fat and water affect how the signal travels, so the BCA can calculate accurate composition levels by interpreting the signal’s results.
Bode Central set up the BCA in a private consultation room and began using it with their fitness programs. “Right away, the members loved it,” explains Brian Gajeski, a fitness consultant with Bode Central. “They were wowed because we were able to give them a wealth of information that’s specific and relevant to them. It not only shows them their levels of fat, muscle and water, but also where in their body those levels are.” Each client received a detailed printout, which is also stored electronically as a PDF and attached to Bode Central’s client database.
When it comes to fitness, a scale only tells half of the story. For clients who have more general goals, a body composition analysis adds motivation and encouragement. “For some of our clients who are trying to lose significant amounts of weight,” Brian explains, “they see a lot of negatives when they have a standard scale weight. However, they actually have more muscle mass than the average person so the BCA results are uplifting. It keeps them inspired that they can get where they want to be because they are seeing some positives right away. Some weight loss programs are concentrated strictly on weight. We don’t care what your weight is, it’s the composition that is important.”
Brian began using the BCA to tailor fitness programs to individual client needs. For performance-driven athletes, he uses the BCA to pinpoint fat-to-muscle ratios (and much more) for five segments of the body: left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg and core. This allows Brian to design a workout regimen to strengthen specific muscles and track improvement over time.
A former arena football player, Brian’s history in athletics gives him added knowledge to strategically use the BCA’s data. “For athletes in particular, I determine whether their left-to-right balance is off,” says Brian. “I can see that with the BCA, and have the client work on their weaker side in sets one and three instead of two and four, for example, so they are fresher and can build that side more effectively. I also advise them if they always carry equipment or even their child on one side, they can switch it over to change things up and increase balance. The BCA’s accurate analysis gives me the opportunity to monitor this data. That’s something very unique in our location and sets us apart from the competition.”
In addition to using the BCA to optimize fitness programs and track clients’ progress, Bode Central uses the analyzer to market the business and recruit new clients. They provide an analysis when taking a perspective client on a tour, giving them a firsthand glimpse into the sophisticated capabilities and extra value Bode Central provides. Projecting a professional image, the BCA impresses new recruits and gives them a companybranded takeaway in the form of a results printout.
“It’s done more than I ever thought it could as far as the marketing end of things,” Glenn says. “Whenever I buy something new for the gym, I think about the fitness equipment we could have bought in its place. But what I didn’t think about is that fitness equipment depreciates and you have to replace it fairly regularly. The BCA doesn’t depreciate. It has helped us grow by leaps and bounds, and has paid for itself 10 times over.”
Bode Central regularly participates in national fitness challenges. This summer, they used the Competitor Series BCA for the first time with the Chris Powell 12- week Bod-e Challenge. These challenges are traditionally based on weight, but Bode Central submitted BCA results to provide the judges with additional insight. “It’s kind of a subjective thing because all that’s required is a scale weight and photos,” Glenn explains. “But we gave them something extra with the BCA.”
Glenn was one of the members on Bode Central’s team and lost a total of five pounds; however, the BCA revealed the hidden truth—Glenn lost 11 pounds of pure fat and gained six pounds of muscle. Along with the other three members, the team lost a total of 78 pounds and won the challenge. “I’m positive the BCA information helped us win,” Glenn says. “We had our history graphed every two weeks, showing exactly what was happening. If it was just a scale weight, we probably wouldn’t have won but the detailed analysis results were really impressive.”
Since opening its doors, Bode Central has drastically expanded its business. They recently expanded the gym to include a shake bar, now offering healthy nutrition to go along with their fitness programs. In general, the industry is heavily dependent on referrals, so keeping clients satisfied is paramount. Giving them more value than the competition isn’t always an easy thing to do, but it is an integral component of success. Rice Lake’s Competitor Series BCA is one piece of this puzzle, supplementing Bode Central’s business with a key difference-maker.