Body Composition Assessment

The Body Composition Program is for use by Members Only. Once you subscribe to become a Member you will have unlimited use of the Program for a recurring monthly fee of $19.00. After your payment is approved you will be redirected to the membership registration form where you enter a user name and password. When you go to the site as a Member to use the body composition program you will be prompted to enter your username and password.

Go to to use your body composition program.

The site contains detailed instructions. The full menu is on the left — simply mouse-over the radio buttons to get the information you need. The program will maintain a historical record of each test that you run on each client.

Monthly Membership Ups the Ante for Using Body Composition for Your Health Coach/Personal Training Business

If you are a member and have registered and signed up for the $19.00 per month (automatically recurring monthly fee) you will have unlimited access to use the body composition program.

Dr. Gregory Ellis’s Body Composition Program

A Development of Dr. Gregory S. Ellis, PhD, CNS

Body Composition Brochure

What’s Your Body Fat Percent?

Today, with overweight and obesity reaching epidemic proportions, many people are desperate to shed those unwanted pounds. The first step that you must take in the process of losing weight is to know your current body composition. If you do not possess that information, then you do not have a basis for outlining an effective diet and exercise program to meet your weight loss and weight maintenance goals. Each person’s program needs individualization, and body composition analysis is a must first step.

Why Body Composition?

Body weight is a mixture of fat tissue and lean tissue. Lean tissue is composed of muscles, organs, bones, and water. But, it is primarily the muscle and organ portions of the lean mass that change with diet and exercise. In general, whenever you lose or gain weight, 75% of the loss or gain is fat tissue and 25% is lean tissue (not just muscle, but organs too).

During the first week of a (any) weight loss program 70% of the lost weight is water. The weight loss hucksters know this and that’s why they make their fantastic claims.

However, you can follow specific strategies to impact upon the loss (or gain) of the muscle compartment. So now, when you lose weight, you can preserve the muscle component of the lean by altering your diet composition and exercise strategy, particularly by using a low carbohydrate eating plan (versus low fat) and by following an exercise regimen that contains a significant amount of progressive resistance exercises.

Therefore, it’s not just weight loss that you want to achieve, but a loss of fat, while minimizing the loss of muscle (or gaining it). You cannot follow these changes by using the scale as your primary assessment tool; you must have a measure of body composition.

But, how can you simply and accurately do that?

Body Composition Analysis

It was over 50 years ago that Dr. Albert Behnke, a U.S. Navy doctor, first discovered that dunking a person in a tank of water, and measuring their “underwater” weight, provided information about how much fat and muscle a person had on their body.

Because of the importance of this information to health and fitness, scientific researchers probed and calculated for different, but simpler, methods to measure body fat. First, came skin fold calipers, then x-rays, then “electrical current injection,” and the most recent commercial method, “infrared reactance.” Today, you can even buy scales that read-out your body fat percent!

But most of these methods have drawbacks: they’re not very accurate, and more important, they’re not reproducible, which means you cannot accurately follow your progress over time because repeat readings vary so much and, as a result, they provide false data.

There is nothing more discouraging than to lose 10 pounds and then take a reading with one of these “sophisticated” systems and find out that your fat percent actually increased! I’ve seen it happen, thousands of times. No, it’s not true, you are not fatter: if you lose 10 pounds, your body fat percent will go down the tools are, simply, inaccurate, and not reproducible.

The most important limitation to these devices is that the measure of body fat percent, by itself, is not that helpful because that measure is too much of an unknown so people just don’t know how to use that piece of information in their weight loss program.

Value of Body Circumferences

In contrast to the limitations of these methods, the measurement of body circumferences, in inches (or centimeters for the metric system), provides a wealth of information about body composition including body proportions and body shape analysis. No other method is capable of providing so many pieces of critical information that are an essential part in designing a body-shaping program through the use of advanced body-shaping methods such as progressive resistance exercise.



Dr. Behnke was the pioneering researcher who first worked with circumferences to evaluate body composition and shape. What he found was that body fat, body muscle, and body shape analysis could be measured easily, accurately, and reproducibly, over time, by this simple method.

Many years ago, when I first started working with circumference measurements, I tried it on my mother-in-law just before she started a diet and exercise program that I had designed for her. Her waist measured 33 inches and her body fat percent was 34.5%. About two months later, her body fat dropped to 27% and her waist measurement to 28 inches.

She was thrilled, not so much by the fat percent change, but by the 5-inch loss on her waist. That change is what really meant something to her.

That’s because everyone is familiar with the “meaning” and “interpretation” of the size of their waist! No modern “high-tech” methods, such as electrical impedance, can provide these invaluable details. This comprehensive output of body analysis information is only available with Dr. Gregory Ellis’s Body Composition Program.

The Magic of the World Wide Web

My body composition program is both high-tech and low-tech. The calculations and analysis are high-tech: amazingly informative and accurate, and chock full of valuable information. The formulations are based on my research using the most advanced scientific equipment in use today. This program is a match “made-in-heaven” for the World Wide Web.

But, the true beauty of the product is that it is low-tech in terms of making the measurements used to calculate the “high-tech” information you need. Anyone, anywhere, with literally no training, can accurately take the measurements. You don’t need a PhD degree to be an expert in using a tape measure.

Easy Measurements

Just follow the easy on-line instructions telling you exactly where to measure.



Since I developed all of the necessary calculations and formulas, all you need to do is take the measurements and enter them into the Web page form and, within seconds, you’ll receive your personal, comprehensive evaluation.

The Truth About Body Composition Accuracy

The new “high-tech” commercial methods of body composition testing have blinking lights and black boxes. Readings are made of “infrared reactance” and “bioimpedance,” unfamiliar terms at best.

Who really knows what they are measuring? The methods are expensive, have questionable accuracy, and provide too little information. And you have to travel to a health club or university laboratory and have a trained expert do the evaluation.

Skin fold calipers, although inexpensive, are difficult to use. There is often much error in making the measurements, even among trained scientists. Skin fold calipers are not a good tool to use for at-home body composition analysis. Further, the information output is limited to fat percent and muscle percent, and provides too little information to design effective weight loss/control and body shaping strategies.

But, who hasn’t used a measuring tape; everyone is familiar with using this “low-tech” tool. It’s easy, simple, and accurate, time after time after time. And if you lose two inches off your waist, you know what that means you’ve got to cinch up your belt or buy a new skirt. My system tells you exactly what’s changing and by how much in numbers anyone can understand.

Dr. Ellis’s Body Composition Program is Accurate

Most “high-tech” methods have large errors due to clients exercising, eating or drinking, and in women, due to the menstrual cycle. And skin fold calipers are hard to use to get accurate readings, especially in overweight people. The biggest downside is that none of these methods can be used in the privacy of your own home or office.

But with Dr. Gregory Ellis’s Body Composition Program, you just put the tape around the body part and read the number. The readings are reproducible, and the accuracy of the formulas that I have developed is extraordinary. Enter your measurements, age, sex, and answer a few questions about your lifestyle and the Web program instantly calculates your data:

• Body fat percent
• Lean percent (muscle)
• Basal Metabolic Rate & Daily Caloric Expenditure (which helps in planning a diet or exercise program)
• Optimal Body Weight
• Body Fat Rating Scale
• Somatogram (see below)
• Recommendations
• Interpretation of Your Individual Analysis


The heart of the evaluation is the Somatogram. This is a graphical display of your body shape. With this graphic, you can determine specific areas of the body that may need special emphasis and see changes that occur because of your diet and exercise program.

I make specific recommendations based on your personal Somatogram that you can use as the foundation for your diet and exercise program. And because I have done so much basic research, and have data on thousands of subjects, I developed a Sample Somatogram chart. Now, anyone can compare his or her test results directly to a model. This information is invaluable because it helps you set your goals for achieving the body shape that you want.

Immediate Value to You

Anyone interested in being healthier and becoming fit needs to know where they are now and where they are going. Only by regular testing can you determine what steps you need to take to reach your goals. It’s a must, an important first step to a healthier you. Use the Program regularly to keep track of your progress. Dr. Gregory Ellis’s Body Composition Program is the basic building block for designing effective programs and evaluating progress. No other program can match it!


Wayne Westcott, PhD
National YMCA Fitness Consultant
“We are really pleased with our Targeted Body Systems Body Composition Program. We have found the program to be a very accurate and reliable means for assessing body composition parameters on men and women of all shapes and sizes. All of our fitness specialists obtain very similar readings on individual Weight Loss participants using this program. The simplicity and reliability make this a very valuable evaluation tool. The informative printout makes it our participants’ favorite assessment among our battery of tests. We’re are pleased with the Targeted Body Systems Circumference Program’s performance.”

Drs. Frank Katch and William McArdle
Nutrition, Weight Control, and Exercise, 2nd Edition 1983
“A combination of circumferences results in an accurate prediction of fatness for all subjects,” and, “the practical significance of this is obvious: percent body fat can be predicted easily from a few simple circumference measurements.”

Dr. Frank Katch
Research Quarterly Exercise Sport, 51(1):249-260, 1980
“The use of the tape measure for anthropometrical assessment can provide a wealth of valuable information about physique without the limitations usually imposed by the caliper method. There is inherently more consistency to the measurement process because of the ease in taking the measurements… there is relatively little margin of error, usually less than .2 cm, which for the largest measurement would be less than .1%.”

Arthur Weltman, PhD
Human Biology 59(3):523-535, 1987
“The use of girth measurements is a simple and practical method of estimating fat weight and lean weight in obese men.”

George Bray, MD
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 31:769-773, 1978
“The substantially greater reliability when circumferences were measured was not fully appreciated beforehand.”

Albert Behnke, MD
Annals NY Academy of Sciences 110:450-464, 1963
“The anthropometric technique (circumferences) provides rapid estimates of body fat and lean bodyweight (muscle). In addition, the method points out anatomic interrelationships and outlines body patterns which are beyond the scope of the techniques now employed for purely compositional analysis.”

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