How to Measure Muscle Mass: The Ultimate Guide to calculate lean body mass

Photo of author

There might be affiliate links in the article content below. If you happen to click and buy any product. We might earn some commissions which will help to keep the lights on for

How to Measure Muscle Mass: Do you need to calculate lean body mass?

Lean mass is an indicator of health and strength.

If you are a regular gym goer to improve your health then you should not bother much about the lean mass. You do not need to know how to measure muscle mass unless you are competing or overly cautious about your body.

For me, if you look good and feel healthy then that is enough.

Best mass gainer

Here are some methods of lean body mass calculation

Skinfold Caliper Method

The skinfold caliper method is the most accessible method for measuring body composition. This method can be done using three, four, or seven sites. After plugging the numbers into a formula, practitioners can estimate body composition.

Body Circumference Measurements

You can take this measurement at home and it will highly depend on the skills of the person taking the measurement.

To get accurate results, it is important to find someone who is experienced in taking these types of measurements.

Thigh, calf and arm circumference is measure together with SFT or skinfold thickness.

A prediction equation was developed to estimate skeletal muscle mass:

skeletal muscle mass = height x [0.00744 x corrected arm girth 2 + 0.00088 x corrected thigh girth 2 + 0.0041 x corrected calf girth 2 ] + 2.4 x sex – 0.048 x age + race x 7 .8

If you subtract the π x SFT from the total circumference then you will get the correct data.

I also do not even understand how exactly does this works though.

[Sattu for Weight Gain!]

Are Running Shoes Good for Cross Training


MRI and Ultrasound are two forms of imaging that can be used to measure muscle mass. MRI is considered to be more accurate, but both methods can provide useful information. MRI uses magnetic fields to map the body’s water content, while ultrasound uses sound waves. Whole-body scans with either method usually take 25-30 minutes, and analysis can take up to 3 hours.

Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry or DXA Scan

A DXA scan is a type of X-ray that uses two different energy spectra to measure bone density. This technique can be used to measure bone, fat, and lean tissue mass in various locations on the body.

The DXA scan works by measuring the attenuation of X-rays as they pass through complex materials.

This information is then used to estimate the amount of lean tissue, bone, and fat in the scanned area.

The DXA scan is a highly precise method for measuring muscle mass. However, there are some limitations to this technique. For example, it can only be used to measure muscle mass in the limbs (which represents about 75% of total body skeletal muscle mass).

Additionally, precision errors can occur depending on the DXA equipment used, the population being scanned, and other factors such as age and obesity.

[Best Forearm Exercises With A Barbell]

Can You Put A Home Gym On The Second Floor

Water Displacement/Hydrodensitometry

Water displacement/hydrodensitometry is a method used to measure muscle mass. By measuring how much water is displaced by the individual, technicians can determine body density. Body density is then used to calculate body composition.

Bod Pod/Air Displacement

The Bod Pod/Air Displacement is a device that uses air displacement to measure a person’s body composition. The Bod Pod works by measuring the pressure responses in a confined and controlled space. The mass of the person’s body is then recorded with the use of an egg-shaped pod.

The Bod Pod can be used to estimate the amount of fat mass or fat free mass that a person has. To get a Bod Pod test, you will need to find a facility that offers this service. The margin of error for Bod Pods is similar to underwater weighing at 1-3%.

Bioelectrical Impedance and Bioimpedance

Bioelectrical impedance (BI) and bioimpedance (BIA) are methods used to measure body composition.

BIA systems exploit tissue specific conductivity differences to quantify body compartments. Bioimpedance measurements use whole‐body electrical or segmental pathways.

There are many available BIA system designs that range from single to multiple frequency, employ contact or gel electrodes, and measure whole‐body electrical or segmental pathways.

How to Measure Muscle Mass: The Ultimate Guide to calculate lean body mass 1

BIA can be used to estimate muscle mass. Muscle is a good conductor of electricity, so it has a high bioimpedance. Fat, on the other hand, is a poor conductor of electricity and has a low bioimpedance. By measuring the bioimpedance of different body tissues, it is possible to estimate the proportion of muscle mass in the body.

There are some limitations to using BI and BIA to measure muscle mass. First, these methods are population specific and may not be accurate for all populations.

Second, they can only provide an estimate of muscle mass and cannot give exact measurements.

Finally, these methods require expensive equipment that may not be available in all settings.

Best protein powder for athletes

Muscle mass benefits

  1. Muscle mass helps older adults counter sarcopenia and stay mobile.
  2. Muscle mass is also beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight.
  3. Exercise that builds muscle can also increase bone density.
  4. Resistance training can improve symptoms of depression.

Why you need muscle mass!

  1. Muscle mass is crucial for mobility, posture, and strong immunity.
  2. Body composition analysis shows you precisely how much Skeletal Muscle Mass you have in each body segment.
  3. To have a healthy muscle mass balance, focus on building more muscle or correcting imbalances.

How to build muscle mass

  1. Strength train regularly and eat a high-quality protein diet to build muscle mass.
  2. Avoid cutting calories drastically to prevent muscle loss.
  3. Focus on training each muscle group a couple times per week, training to exhaustion, progressively harder workouts over time, and getting enough rest and recovery.


Reasons for Low Muscle Mass

Low muscle mass can have many causes, including inactivity, malnutrition, stress and weight loss. To maintain or put on muscle mass, you need to make intentional changes in exercise and diet, including reducing calories slowly while strength training and increasing protein intake.

Typically we tend to start losing muscle after 30.

By understanding the potential causes of low muscle mass, you can take steps to prevent or treat the condition.

Body Fat vs. Muscle Mass vs. BMI

Body fat is the percentage of fat in your body. Muscle mass is the percentage of muscle in your body. BMI is a ratio of your weight to your height.

[FREE] Indian diet for weight gain

How Can BMI Be Inaccurate and Misleading?

BMI does not take into account body composition, which can lead to inaccurate assessments of weight and fitness. Tracking body composition vs. weight can be helpful in losing weight.

How to Measure Muscle Mass: The Ultimate Guide to calculate lean body mass 2

How to Track Your Progress

Keep a Strength Journal

“Write down the exercises you want to perform and the rep scheme. Document the weight you used for each set during your workout. Include how you felt during the set.

Review your journal at the end of the day or week to see how your strength has increased over time.”

Best weight gain yoga poses

This is a great way to track your progress and ensure that you are making gains in your strength training program.

By writing down the exercises, reps, and weights used, you can look back and see exactly what worked for you in terms of increasing strength.

Additionally, including how you felt during each set will give you valuable feedback on your level of intensity and effort.

How to Track Progress

There are a few key things to keep in mind when tracking your progress with body composition.

First, remember to focus on essential body composition outputs. These include things like weight, body fat percentage, and lean mass. Second, use these outputs to see how your body is changing over time.

This will help you determine where you need to make adjustments in your diet or exercise routine. Finally, tracking your progress will help you stay motivated and focused on your fitness goals.

Do Resistance Band Build muscle?

Take Regular Measurements and Photos

  1. Use a tape measure to take measurements of your chest, waist, hips, and thighs.
  2. Take photos of yourself in a bathing suit or tight-fitting clothing from the front, back, and sides.
  3. Compare your measurements and photos over time to see how your body is changing.
  4. Calculate your body fat percentage to determine how much lean mass you have on your body.
  5. If you are gaining muscle but your weight is staying the same or going up, you are doing well!

Find Your 1RM

To find your 1RM, start by performing a set that is about 80% of your max. Allow at least 1 minute rest. Then, increase the weight at 10% increments and attempt the lift with a spotter until you can no longer safely achieve the lift. That is your 1RM. You should reach your 1RM within 3 to 7 attempts.

There are several benefits to finding your 1RM. First, it can help you gauge your strength and progress over time. Second, it can help you identify appropriate weights to use for future workouts. Finally, it can give you a goal to strive for as you continue to build strength and muscle mass.

Best time to workout for weight gain!

How to Test 1RM

Your one-repetition maximum (1RM) is the heaviest weight that you can lift for one repetition. It is a measure of your strength and can be used to track your progress.

To test 1RM, you should use a weight that is challenging but not too heavy. You should test your 1RM often to track your progress. Beginners should wait until they have mastered the movement before testing their 1RM.

[Strength Training vs Weight Training]

Challenge Yourself

No matter what your goal is, whether it’s to lose weight, gain muscle, or just get in shape, it’s important to set realistic goals and track your progress along the way. This will help you stay motivated and on track.

Here are some tips for setting goals and tracking progress:

  1. Set realistic goals. If your goal is too ambitious, you’re likely to get discouraged and give up. Make sure your goals are achievable and specific. For example, rather than setting a goal of “losing weight,” set a goal of “losing 10 pounds.”
  2. Track your progress. Use a journal or an online tracker (such as MyFitnessPal) to record your progress over time. This will help you see how far you’ve come and how much work you still have to do.
  3. Celebrate small victories along the way. When you reach a milestone, take a moment to celebrate! This will help keep you motivated as you continue working toward your ultimate goal

Add Progression to Your Workouts

Adding progression to your workouts is essential for making progress and building strength and muscle. By progressing your workouts, you can measure your progress and make improvements.

Cheapest Mass gainer in India

There are a few ways to add progression to your workouts. You can increase the amount of weight you lift, the number of repetitions you perform, or the intensity of your workouts. You can also add new exercises to your routine or change the order of your exercises.

Making small changes in your workout routine can help you continue to make progress and avoid plateaus. Keep challenging yourself and pushing yourself to new levels and you will see continued results.

Ref: BMI


Working Out for 10 years | Owns a home gym |Certificate course done on Improving Aerobic Fitness, Diet | CPD (UK) Accredited Certification on Fitness

🥊 About The Skinny Author

Yo Friends, this is Samarjit! A skinny guy who is building his tiny home gym.

I have successfully gained 10 kgs in 10 months going to commercial gyms. And I have been working out on and off for about 10+ years now.

I have gone swimming, done martial arts, Olympic lifts and body building type workouts!

I cancelled the gym subscription as I was more into making my home gym for workout. And getting ready, then getting my cycle and ride to the commercial gym seemed a drag after 10 hours in the office.

Thus, I needed a home that I can access at any moment!
And I started building my home gym!

I had to research a lot to build my home gym and decided to share effective, budget friendly home gym machines, nutrition to buy as per your goals here in

If you have question then contact here

Ps: Author is highly experienced with making small workout routines, understanding and guiding people to get gym equipment and set up home gym as per their Fitness goals.

Leave a Comment