By Julia Knope
Creating a fitness schedule and nutrition plan to achieve those “New Year, New You” resolutions is now made easier.
Ryerson nutrition professor Nick Bellissimo and his team of eight undergraduate technicians opened a series of fitness tests at the Nutrition and Exercise Testing (NExT) Lab that determine body composition, resting metabolic rate and aerobic fitness level.
The tests cost $300 for the general public, but students can get a discounted rate of $150.
“We take information [from the tests], we analyze it and then we give you [numeric results of body composition],” Bellissimo said. “If you are concerned, then you go to a dietician, go to a physician, go to your certified exercise physiologist and have them design a plan for you.”
The Bod Pod is the first of three tests. After enclosing yourself in this dome-shaped compartment, the machine uses air pressure to determine the percentage of fat and lean muscle tissue in your body. The results place you in one of the following categories: low body fat, ultra lean, lean, moderately lean, excess fat and high body fat.
“If you are slightly out of range, that could be a trigger to get you to start thinking,” Bellissimo said. “It’s not meant to alarm, it’s meant to motivate.”
The second test is the indirect calorimeter. A plastic dome is placed over your head for 20 minutes, calculating calories burned at rest. This test determines your resting metabolic rate (RMR), indicating how many calories are needed to consume or burn to reach the client’s ideal weight.
Aerobic fitness is the third test being phased into the program, requiring exercise on the lab’s treadmill. Using a metabolic analyzer, the test determines your body’s abilities during exercise. This evaluates what type and quantity of fuel it’s burning, like fat or carbohydrates — to decipher which type of exercise suits you best to achieve your fitness goals.
“Ryerson is well positioned to get something like this off the ground,” Bellissimo said. “We are a very business savvy institution. People are very optimistic about it and that’s part of Ryerson’s applied approach.”