MuscleSound Most people’s only experience with

ultrasound is viewing the growth of their unborn child during a pregnan- cy. But ultrasound is also proving to be an effective body analysis tool that is currently being used by professional sports teams and some premium fit- ness clubs in the U.S. “People are intrigued when they

watch the video online,” says Wayne Phillips, chief scientific officer at MuscleSound, which is based in Glendale, Colorado. “Athletes and coaches really like the idea of ultra- sound because there’s no pinching, you can do it in your uniform instead of stripping off, and because of the rap- id return of results.” MuscleSound offers a plug-and-play ultrasound system with a transducer

wand that plugs into a tablet. The as- sessor uses the wand to scan seven sites on the body. With the click of a button the wand measures the thickness of the subcutaneous fat, and the data —total body fat, total lean body mass and seg- mented results for each site—appears on the tablet. There’s no requirement for an actual ultrasound machine, and an experienced person often takes just one minute to measure each site. Because the measurements are tak-

en by the machine’s software not the assessor, user error is greatly reduced, says Philips. The assessor just needs to place the wand accurately and to apply the appropriate amount of pressure. When it comes to accuracy, there’s a

high correlation between MuscleSound and other methods, including the gold standard Dexa which measures using

MuscleSound uses ultrasound to measure body composition at seven sites.

radiation, says Phillips. “MuscleSound’s biggest advantage

is that you can easily take it out into the field,” he adds. “And conditions such as hydration and pre-assessment exercise don’t affect results because they aren’t likely to reduce the size of the fat layer.” Costs for the hardware and software

are approximately $600 US per month for a 12-month agreement, and con- sumers typically pay $35–$50 US per assessment. Assessor training includes two to three hours of live or online learning and 20 monitored practise sessions. FBC

Barb Gormley is the senior editor of Fitness Business Canada, a freelance writer and editor, and a certified personal trainer. Contact her at

July/August 2017 Fitness Business Canada 21

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