Do you really know what you are made of?
Each person may ask themselves that question every time they run, compete or set foot in the gym. A literal response to the question can drive a person's motivation, perseverance and inspiration.
As a fitness club owner or trainer, you know the power of inspiration.
To find a better way to determine what people are made of, I took a deep dive into 3D body scanning. It gives people a fuller picture (no pun intended) of their current health and a new set of metrics to think about beyond the bathroom scale.
The Evolt 360 is among the best 3D body scanners available, so I compared it side-by-side to the Styku. You may be surprised to see how much they have in common and yet how much they differ at the same time.
First, a quick rundown on the pros and cons of the Evolt 360. It uses electrical currents to do a full-body composition scan with macronutrient profiling. It has a self-service mobile app, cloud storage and a social community. Those are all solidly in the "pro" column.
The major drawback is that it should not be used by individuals with a pacemaker or any other kind of implanted cardiac or metal device. It is also not recommended for use on pregnant women.
For club owners with a diverse clientele, this "con" could be a show-stopper.
What They Share
In comparing the Styku vs Evolt 360, I found they shared a lot in common worth noting. Both devices would be an asset to any club looking to increase the education of their clients about their own bodies.
A Wealth of Data Points
3D body scanners quickly organize dozens upon dozens of measurements and parameters indicating body shape, posture analysis and body composition. It is a major improvement over the weight scale, both analytically and psychologically.
While the scanners collect information in different ways and of varying types, they both assemble an impressive amount of data and offer cloud storage. The Evolt 360 can differentiate between visceral and subcutaneous fat, muscle mass, water content, and bone mineral.
It also can provide a fitness age (i.e., a man in his forties with the healthy body of a 30-year-old, or a woman in her thirties with the wearied body of a 45-year-old).
The Styku scan, on the other hand, can extract millions of measurements that are accurate within 2mm and reconstructs your body in 3D. As you track progress over time, you can overlay circumference rings from anywhere on your body to see how they have changed.
In short, measurements and volume changes from baseline to over-time can all be tracked by both scanners in different ways.
Backed by Science
The technology behind each type of scanner has scientific merit. A quick Internet search will tell you that both electrical currents and infrared cameras are more accurate than manual forms of measurement like calipers, measuring tapes and calculating BMI.
If the idea of research and science put you in a coma like they did in high school, just remember that both infrared imaging and bioelectrical impedance were scientifically developed and are effectively used across a variety of industries.
Key measurements and other factors are charted and tracked over time. This helps to identify trends and trajectories that can keep clients grounded to reality, whether good or bad. This aids in tracking and assessing the risk of obesity related diseases, too.
With both scanners, clients can establish and follow a more targeted approach, like building muscle mass and achieving specific activity levels. No more vague notions of losing weight that can lead to bad outcomes like loss of muscle mass and decreasing bone density.
Additionally, each scanner has exceptional software (apps) that is interactive and will engage clients in their own development. Users can see real-time results on their smart phones, no matter where they are.
At-a-glance viewing is a critical component these days. Everyone wants to be able set preferences and customize views. Neither scanner disappoints in this regard. Users can access real-time results, analytical comparisons between scans and personalized data output.
Both scanners offer profile and dashboard accessibility via computer, tablet or smart phone. Unlimited cloud storage allows for instant visuals, whether they are Evolt 360 charts and graphs or Styku 3D images.
Both scanners offer certification programs, so staff can be appropriately trained to use and teach the technology. Keeping your staff informed and accountable ensures a better customer experience, as well as reducing the chance of harming the equipment.
Beyond set up and operation of the systems, staff should be able to analyze reports and understand the science behind the technology.
Where They Differ
Differences are not necessarily cons, but it depends greatly on the focus of your business. A gym for professional athletes may prefer the Evolt 360, while a gym for the general public would benefit more from the Styku.
Infrared Imaging vs Electrical Current
The Evolt 360 uses low intensity electrical current to output a comprehensive report of body composition, including skeletal muscle mass, fat mass, total body water, and bone mineral content. Better known as BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) technology, it is a good way to estimate body fat and muscle mass.
Styku uses infrared imaging to output a 3D visual based on hundreds of measurements. Unlike bioimpedance, it is safe for pregnant women and individuals using cardiac and implanted metal devices. It also does not require fasting or dietary restrictions to implement.
Both are considered non-invasive processes, but the average person may be exposed to differing opinions on social media. Whichever you choose, be sure to educate yourself on what the Internet is saying about the technology and how to inform your customers about it.
Reports for Staff/Owners
The Evolt 360 does provide extensive reporting to the individual via the app, but Styku also provides reporting targeted specifically to gym owners and staff.
In this super-competitive market caused by COVID-19, fitness centers need an advantage not only over other gyms, but over the excess supply of DIY fitness options out there.
Calculating % Fat
The algorithm for body fat % in the Styku can be negatively affected by the user's personal grooming and fashion choices. Baggy clothes will affect circumferences and therefore all analytics derived from them.
Neck measurement is used for calculating % body fat in women, so if they leave their hair down or in a pony tail (instead of the recommended style of up in a bun), it could affect the resulting % fat data point.
The BIA method can be affected if the client does not follow the fasting guidelines. It uses water content of the body to derive body fat, so a change in hydration level will change the body fat % data.
However, both devices can provide accurate data if recommendations are followed.
The Styku Virtual Coach lets clients set their own goals, view tape measurements side-by-side and graphically track any of the biometrics. Profile and Cross-section modules let the user overlap circumference scans to see changes in the actual shape of their body.
Comparing graphics at each stage can be so much more powerful and uplifting than just knowing total weight loss or changes in a series of measurements.
The Evolt Active App tracks results and changes, but does not have the extensive 3D imaging and graphic overlays of circumferences that really give life to the numbers.
Look and Feel
The Evolt 360 has handle bars for the user to grab. It resembles a stationary bike with no wheels. The current runs through the hands and feet and the scan takes about 45-60 seconds. I could not find any specification of the dimensions or weight.
The user can wear their clothes, but should remove any metal, heavy items, shoes and socks.
The Styku uses a rotating platform (approximately 23 lbs.) with a scanner that resembles a batting tee (approximately 13 lbs.). The scan takes about 35 seconds.
The user should wear form-fitting clothing with light-colored socks (or barefoot). Clients can also self-scan in private, if they choose.
It is a big investment. Fear of making the wrong decision can be a deterrent, but 3d body scanner comp will motivate your customers to keep coming back. Do your own investigating into how to stay competitive in 2021.
When considering Styku vs Evolt 360, bear in mind who your clientele are. The BIA of the Evolt 360 will exclude a large portion of customers, if your club serves the general public.
Involve your best trainers in the review and decision-making process of which new technology to buy. Who on your payroll has the best rapport with your clients? Those employees can help you choose the best 3D body scanner for your fitness center.
It should serve both your clients and trainers in the most comprehensive way. Attract new customers and improve health outcomes for your existing ones by adding 3D body scanner comp to your services.