Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Inbody Scan Explained


Guest: Cameron Haines

Release Date: 1/7/2023

Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.

Steve Washuta : Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I’m your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101.

Steve Washuta : Cameron, thank you so much for joining the Trulyfit Podcast. Why don’t you give our listeners an audience a little background on who you are and what you do day to day in the fitness and health industry.

Cameron Haines : Yep, so firstly, thanks for having me on. I, in early this year, I sold my house which actually had my studio, so I’m no longer completely in the fitness industry. But prior to that, I’d spent 12 years as a personal trainer progressing from my low end commercial gym, where I was an employee all the way through to building my own 170 square meter facility.

Cameron Haines : That was purpose built for exactly what I wanted to at my place that I run about 100 clients through these days, I’m solely focused on my body scan business. So while having that studio, I acquired body scan machines, and we now hire those machines out and across to other facilitators across a very wide range of customers. In terms of being able to supply these machines to try and help the public.

Steve Washuta : I’m really intrigued about the business related aspects of this. But first, let’s take a step backwards for the audience. Let’s do a body scan one to one here, what exactly is it? Can you explain the technology? What does it look like? What are the metrics that are associated with it?

Cameron Haines : Yeah, that’s a huge question. Partially because it comes down to which technology you’re talking about. So I guess the briefest of overview, most people know about DEXA scans, which is an image that he’s taken via an x ray style situation. It’s not what we do, but it’s probably the most commonly known of the body composition perspectives, closely followed by what our machines do, which is called Bio impedance analysis, BIA, it uses a frequency to test different densities of tissue through different frequencies that sends through the body.

Cameron Haines : And each machine is different. So are machines that embody 570 machines, which we aren’t the owner of the machines, we buy those machines from embody themselves, which is a worldwide company has five different frequencies. And the idea of those is that it is able to get a wider range of, of information back. So a scan on an inbody 570 is a 40 plus parameters.

Cameron Haines : There is a lower grade machine, which does I think, 2030 parameters, and then there’s a higher machine, which is pretty much like a CT scan. So it just depends on which level of the machines you come through. In terms of the technology, the way that they work, is it’s all done through electrodes. So you’re holding on to fit electrodes at your feet and electrodes in your hands, which is on a machine that then sends the current through and it tests the density of those tissues.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, that’s interesting. I mean, I know what that is. I don’t know if the listeners do. But you know, at first, I thought a lot of the body scan machines were almost like a, like a tanning bed with a lot of more aspects of the technical and electronical inputs, as opposed to just by electrical impedance. That’s, that’s interesting. So given that these are, would you consider them handhelds, the smallest ones?

Cameron Haines : So I really interesting question, I guess it leads me down a different path. But most of the handhelds are the one that a lot of people have at home, just a basic scale that you would step on normally only have two electrodes. And that will only test a portion of your body. So the handheld ones that you can hold in your hands will only test your upper body.

Cameron Haines : And the ones that generically a lot of people have at home, even like the Fitbit scales, or those sort of things to actually test the lower half of your body. So the machines that we run are about 435 kilos, or 70 pounds somewhere in that range. So they’re not they are portable. And that’s part of our mobile perspective is we transport them to different locations. But they are definitely not handhelds, handheld devices are definitely nowhere near as accurate as more situated or physical devices in that way.

Steve Washuta : That’s interesting. Yeah, I did not know that I think the most gyms will have that handheld biometrics and Peter impedance, where you’re just holding it in your and you’re gripping it. My understanding was that it was not always accurate. But I didn’t, I didn’t, I never heard that it only went through your upper body and not your lower body. That’s, that’s really interesting.

Cameron Haines : So the easiest way to think about it is you can only get that impedance back to electrodes. So if you’re only holding on to electrodes in your hands, the electricity can only run from one electrode to the other. It’s like if you think about it in a, I guess, Newton’s perspective, or that sort of thing, or electricity perspective, it’s not actually electricity, but easiest way to explain it.

Cameron Haines : As far as I understand, like with the embroidery machines, it sends the current from say, your right foot to your right arm and your left foot to your left arm. So like it does a dozen in a certain pattern, that it’s able to then test all of those tissues in a much more extensive way.

Steve Washuta : I imagine that these machines get better over time, right? So whatever ones you were using six years ago, are not as good as now or not as good as maybe six years from now. You could tell me if I’m wrong, but if that is the case, is that your pitch to Jim is to say, Hey, listen, why would you buy a machine that’s gonna go bad in six years when you can just rent them for me, and I’m going to have the most upgraded version?

Cameron Haines : Again, it’s a tough question because realistically, the technology hasn’t changed a lot in terms of what you’re actually standing on. It’s really software. So the software gets better, the information gets better the technology in terms of how that impedance is created and done gets better. So our main pitch of why people and why I would personally never buy a machine if I knew someone doing my model.

Cameron Haines : And that’s not because I run this business, it’s the truth is the machines stay non active for a lot of period of time. And they are very expensive, like we’re talking 30k Australian roughly for hours, or 20, to a US sort of thing. So there are a lot of excess capital expenditure. And the biggest thing I noticed from that is, all of the sales techniques from these companies alike do 10 scans a week and you can make your money back, they forget about the staffing time they forget about the all of those things that come along with it.

Cameron Haines : So when you can condense the scans, e.g. if you hire for, say three days, you can tell 100 customers, okay, we have the machine for three days. And if even if you’ve got that back on a monthly basis, and you’ve got most of those people through, you would end up making a hell of a lot more money charging average rates than having a machine in the studio 24/7. Partially because the machines not always there.

Cameron Haines : When this business started, I gave a machine to a friend. And we did a per scan deal pretty much how the business eventuate from and my scan rates, the following two or three weeks were like three times within normal because the machine disappeared. People all sudden went, Oh, I missed the scan, I couldn’t do. And so that created the urgency that created the perspective of it’s something that I can do it this time, instead of always been available to them.

Steve Washuta Let’s say I’m a gym owner, and I don’t care about the finances. I think it’s a good idea. But I’m not sold on why the metrics matter. Maybe I don’t have a background in kinesiology and anatomy in nutrition. And I I say Cameron, why do I need this? For the people who come to my gym? What is the scientific benefit? What is the overall benefit that my personal trainers can pitch to their clients on why these are important metrics.

Cameron Haines : One of our slogans is the relative to the number on a scale is relativity to gravity. So if we look at the metrics, and we look at the basics of what people think it’s normally on a scale number is what they’re looking at. When we look at body scans, we’re now looking at this from a whole different level, we’re talking metrics that are completely trackable muscle mass up down water masses, circumferences, bone mineral contents, segmental analysis, select Left and Right arm right and left leg all of those things.

Cameron Haines : All of these depending on how the machine is used can be used as part of retention, it could be used as part of satisfaction, it can also be used as trying to help someone’s transform their thought process in terms of I put on two kilos since starting training. Well, what happens if you put on two or three kilos of muscle mass a kilo of water and lost three or four kilos of fat mass, it’s a very different dynamic than just saying this person didn’t change in weight.

Cameron Haines : And that’s part of the reason I got the machines was my studio was rehab, and we had a lot of people that were I guess, complex cases. So we wouldn’t see a lot of transformation in terms of like this 20 kilo weight loss, we still had those stories, but not as many. We had a lot of 20 kilo body caught, like composition transformation.

Cameron Haines : So people going up in muscle mass increasing their water through nutrition benefits, food choices, all of those things, and really assisting those clients and making the best choices for their health in comparison to just being so figured on a BMI scale or just basic bodyweight.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, that’s a great answer. And I think people first associate this with maybe somebody who’s stepping on stage as opposed to the other uses, it could have almost more of a medical sense where if you have a client who has a osteopenia or something right, and you’re and you’re looking to help him or her, and they’re a senior, it’s good to be able to have all these metrics to know that the work you’re doing is actually succeeding.

Cameron Haines : How to present and again, it’s like one of the best examples that I share with people that I do these games with. It’s like I’ve got data from one of my close friends and who was an employee of mine, who had two kids, we know what her body composition was pre kid, like pre kids quite substantially.

Cameron Haines : And then we have information just pre her first child second and now post so you’re able to use all of this information and create a system and a dynamic that we know what works for them and EEG for myself. If I want to put on muscle mass, I know the training I need to go and do if I want to try and lose fat mass. I know the training I want to do because I’ve got the metrics to back up when I’ve done certain protocols.

Cameron Haines : What happens on the other side, and again, that’s where it can be great for us to have a machine always accessible but there There’s also a perspective of depending on how regularly people want to scan, I offered this free of charge to my members because I was in the high end range. If you’re asking a fee for this, all of a sudden, you’re not going to get someone wanting to scan every single month or every two weeks, for example, it’s going to be more quarterly or something in that standpoint that they want to do it.

Steve Washuta : Let’s go over the business model. Now our gyms paying for this in a monthly sense how many times these are used by the amount of people they have at their facility? How does that work,we just run on a per scan basis.

Cameron Haines :  So we do have a delivery and setup fee for people that are a long travel distance from us. But the basics of it is it’s per scan. So if you complete 20 scans, we will bill you for 20 scans at the end of it, I’m very much about a positive higher for our higher E is a positive higher for us as a business, we of course love to see big high like big scan rates.

Cameron Haines : But I’m also about supplying these machines to people that may not actually be able to afford them. If you only have 20 clients, there is no way you’re going to put $30,000 into a machine to sit there that you would never recoup your money from so we range from a high range all the way through to life coaches and that sort of stuff. So our, our slogans information for everybody. And we really stand by that.

Steve Washuta : I think you might have mentioned this in the beginning, but just to go back over it. Do you actually own the machines and then rent them out? Or are you sort of a third party intermediary? Who works with these gyms through another company?

Cameron Haines : No. So I can play the on these machines, they are my machines. In that standpoint, we buy the machines off someone. So there is hundreds, if not 1000s, probably millions of embodied machines across the world. So the supplier themselves, sell them out to everyone. But we’re facilitating that through our own business with the machines that I own.

Steve Washuta : Do you have any stats on how frequently these body scans are used in gyms? Is it one in three gyms have this one in 10, one and 20.

Cameron Haines : I don’t have particular stats, but it’s they’re pretty widely used these days, they’ve become super popular because they have been in the challenge aspect like the before and after. I’ve seen sadly, this, this industry declined a bit because people have been pushed into these machines and they haven’t been serviced.

Cameron Haines : And that’s one of the things again, that I’ve seen from my side. Because if I’m a business owner, I’ve got this expensive asset sitting there that I’m putting monthly repayments into, and I’m not getting scans, well, what am I going to do probably discount it, I’m going to offer less service, I’m just going to push people through it to make sure I get my revenue.

Cameron Haines : And again, that’s where I think this model works much better if you just only had it for three days. You can also set up your staff and everything else to be in that way where the machines only here for this period. And people can skip scans as they need to and you don’t have to discount it, you can truly value and offer a service that goes along with it.

Steve Washuta : Do you have an employee that is there to help with the both I guess you’d say the hardware and software components of this? Or is it really that easy, where you can just deliver it maybe teach one person at the facility that they can handle it on their own?

Cameron Haines : It is it’s pretty simple. We like to try and give. And we do offer this as part of our service a training session with whoever is going to use it. And we can do that through zoom, we can do that in any way possible, mainly because I like to share my knowledge and my perspective of 1000s of scans that I’ve seen and done to make sure that the client on the other end is getting the best service possible. But it is extremely simple.

Cameron Haines : There isn’t a lot to do with these machines, it’s really understanding information. And I would like to think that as an industry in fitness or nutrition, any of those sorts of things that everyone has a base understanding of what’s muscle mass, what’s fat mass, what’s water levels.

Cameron Haines : So it just depends on the service size like level, I’ve seen people charging $30 up to $150 for these scans purely because of the interpretation is really where that value comes to the customer. And again, our model is not about the interpretation, it is about providing the machine to the location so they can do the interpretation and offer the services they please.

Steve Washuta : Are there particular brands of these machines, obviously the brand new use, but that you do feel like maybe do a better job than other brands. If you want to call other brands out. You can just tell me good brands rather than bad brands.

Cameron Haines : Yeah, so I definitely believe anybody. I would not purchase currently any other machine. In the research that I did, they should display in a very transparent in my perspective on all details like you can put male or female it doesn’t matter. It just changes the parameters like the printout, for example. It doesn’t actually change the data.

Cameron Haines : There is other brands, which I’m not going to mention that I know of that have questionnaires and that sort of stuff prior. They don’t tell you how many impedance levels they use or how many frequencies they use. So it, there’s a lot of different things.

Cameron Haines : And sadly, I think that’s also part of the decline or partial decline in all industries is that we get people that are about the cost perspective. Again, they’re in bodies at the top end, they are expensive machines, but I believe you pay for what you get in comparison to some of the cheaper and basic ones on the market.

Steve Washuta : What is your personal plan to expand? Or is there not one? Do you think that you’ll have people working underneath you also doing the same thing just like you would as a personal trainer at a gym? Who was the head of a gym? Or do you think that’s that this is not possible given the type of business?

Cameron Haines : Geographically, I’m definitely not going to have a studio here like a lot of people do. We just live in a small town. Now in that standpoint, if we were in Sydney, or something like that one of the major capital cities, yeah, you could do it. For me, where I see this going, and what I’d love to try and be doing is franchise possibility, or even license. So helping people that have got these machines utilize them better.

Cameron Haines : Again, as I saw for myself, there is no reason that the machines can’t go be transported or do that sort of thing. We’re also supporting a lot of franchises these days. So instead of them purchasing a machine for, say, five locations, they can get us in, and we can service those locations on a regular regular basis. So there’s many different levels to the business. And I’m currently in the beginnings, I guess, in some ways, because this year is definitely seen a Transform and move in a different direction than possibly thought started the split.

Steve Washuta :  This is probably less of a question and more of just a statement as you can respond to but but I think there’s a there’s like a nice novelty. In these mobile businesses at the gym, I used to work out we had a mobile cryo that came once a month. Because it’s only there once a month, because you have both the sort of the time restriction and the novelty of this thing, not always being there. And it’s kind of new and fun, that the people were always keen to sign up for it. And the list was always very long. So I think that’s a, it’s another really cool aspect of the business hugely.

Cameron Haines :  And again, like I would, when you look at cryo and stuff, the benefits come from regular use. So where these machines is really irregular, and that’s, I guess, the biggest standpoint, and from my business perspective, if I looked across my membership base, when I was offering it to them for free, we would get maybe one scan every month to two every two months.

Cameron Haines : So across 100 people, if you do the maths on that that’s not very many scans a week, even if you’re looking at a average gym minister, like in Australia might have 1000 members, 200 300 active members, it starts to become quite a small number. And that’s part of the process. And again, I agree with you, when it’s got a novelty, when it’s got a set time and space to it, you will definitely, definitely in my experience, you see higher ratios and scan perspectives.

Steve Washuta : You look at the type A personalities who whatever, let’s say on January 3, they took this and they know you’re coming back on February 3, they’re looking to see if any of those metrics improved. And then in March, they’re looking to see if those metrics improved, right? So you get you get these people and I mean this in a good way. I’m not I’m not saying this from like a salesy perspective, like you’re trying to coax people in doing it. But it allows people to continue looking at their metrics on a sort of a timely basis.

Cameron Haines : One of the funny things in terms of what you just said, as well as people set out with intentions, right, they say in the next month, I’m going to do all of this. And they don’t. And sometimes it’s actually the best point to scan, like I am not having done as much training as I would like to be doing in this year. But my muscle mass is increasing. And that’s purely because I’m doing more yard work, I’m doing more things.

Cameron Haines : I only know that because I test reasonably regularly in some ways. But it’s also about understanding those ebbs and flows. Like if someone truly puts in a 684 week, whatever the period might be, if hard training, having this data allows them to truly understand if they’ve actually got something out of that period. So there’s a lot of different ways that can be used.

Cameron Haines : And I guess that’s part of the business is that we’re facilitating and we’re allowing the higher EA to do as they please with it, whether that be offering it for free charging for it, offering it as a before, after for challengers all literally just offering it on a monthly basis to allow their customers to do as we just discussed.

Steve Washuta : It seems like you were connected in the industry having been a personal trainer prior to jumping into this, but is that how you get most of your business? Do you have a strong sort of SEO and website? How exactly do you get clients for the most part?

Cameron Haines : We’re building that part of it. So at the current time, it’s generally people go through our website, they’re looking for it, they’re sourcing it. We’re doing a lot more cold outreach and trying to help because there’s not a lot of people that understand that our business model exists generally in Australia. And in my standpoint, if someone goes with the machine, which I highly disagree with, because that’s me interpreting my level of knowledge upon someone else’s client.

Cameron Haines : I don’t know If that person is their training style, I don’t know any of that sort of standpoint, because it’s a short appointment sort of thing. So I think there’s a massive report behind this and an ability for the individual that knows whoever’s scanning, to give the information, it’s definitely less valuable. If it comes from an outsider, then it would be if it came from the actual trainer of that client.

Steve Washuta : That’s interesting. I never thought of that. But it makes a lot of sense both. From a psychological standpoint, they are going to, they already have earned the trust of the client, right? They work together. So they’re going to be able to explain to them why it’s important, and they’re gonna believe them.

Steve Washuta : But also, like you said, from the knowledge standpoint, if you start using terminology that is above their pay grade, for lack of a better term, you know, they might not be interested, because they think, Oh, why do I need this stuff? It seems, this seems too sciency. I’m not worried about that. When, when in fact, the trainer can dumb it down on behalf of the client.

Cameron Haines : How does that and the other side of it is just actually third party information we all know, as anyone, right? If someone comes and tells me a story, and then I pass that story on or that perspective on, it doesn’t get fully passed on. So unless you’re sitting there with like, if I was to do it, and I have done it, like I’ve presented to a group, but I’m presenting to a group with their trainers there to be able to answer the questions.

Cameron Haines : And the other side of it is I’m not the authority in some way. It’s like the authority can come with inside the facility. And it creates a better standpoint behind the business, because all of a sudden, that business is offering and again, this is why people purchase the machines and put them in their own studios. But again, we’re just offering a twist on that where they can have the machine. It’s under their branding, we don’t even need acknowledgement of our perspective. We’re doing that b2b sale in comparison to going b2c.

Steve Washuta : Is the software also an app? Is it just on the desktop? How does how does that exactly work.

Cameron Haines : So that’s, that’s an embodied proprietary thing. It goes on to their phones or an app. But there is also a back end website, that the higher ease of ours or people that have looking body web get to it doesn’t have to be run. The reason we run it is one it supports our business, but also to I believe the client as they’re paying for it, they should be in ownership of their data.

Cameron Haines : One thing that really peeved me off when I used to send clients out to studios, unless they got scanned on the same machine, it wouldn’t have their data. So in bodies looked at that, and they fixed it via the app. But also now, whether you scan here in Australia, here there in America, as long as the backend system was there, all of that data would come back to my mobile phone, and I’d be able to compare it in any way I wanted to.

Steve Washuta : What would you have done differently on this journey, anything from business, to marketing, to finances to whatever it is that comes to mind that you can pass on to other fitness entrepreneurs.

Cameron Haines : If we look at it from like purchasing the machines, I definitely looked into the story that came along with it. And I definitely gained a lot of benefit from having machines, I would never offer them for free. Because people don’t respect the information that comes to it. If I was to do it, again, I would have some sort of fee charged to it. Because there’s a lot of time involved in knowledge to be able to do that.

Cameron Haines : There is also a perspective of my communication to my customers, whether that’s currently right now, or previously that I would change a little bit in the aspect of doing what I’m doing now. Try and share why these machines and what can be therefore, and how it can benefit them in comparison to just saying, let’s get the data so we can make some changes.

Cameron Haines : Helping people truly understand that this is not a judgment, I guess is one way that I’ve seen it come across that it’s more about how can we develop a technique and a perspective for you to get the most out of your health and fitness, but also track it in a way that were truthful.

Steve Washuta : Do you think any of the certifications are going to start pushing these like so for example, let me give you a rundown of like the National Academy of Sports Medicine will tell people how to measure their clients, right? Whether that’s using calipers, whether that’s using some sort of, you know, regular measurement tool, and they’ll go through why it’s important, but they’ve never really talked about body scans, do you think that will happen eventually?

Cameron Haines : I truly don’t because it’s going to be then they’d be pushing a certain brand. And I don’t think they could really get themselves into that saying by skinfold calipers. You can go buy skinfold calipers, it doesn’t really matter. Or go buy a tape measure.

Cameron Haines : I truly can’t see how that would come together because again, each of these brands that are in these machines offer different information. So each of them have their own certification and perspective that comes with them. I just can’t see how an entity could push that.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, that makes sense. This has been fantastic information. Cameron, let me know where I can find more about not only your business model, but maybe more about you You personally anywhere you want to send the viewers here.

Cameron Haines : Yeah, so the best place to get getting contact or to do any sort of conversation or I’m happy to share some of this knowledge through calls and other stuff is through our website at Mobile body We of course have our own social medias and stuff mobile body scans on most of them. We are Australian based.

Cameron Haines : So it’s mobile police came to Australia on Instagram, I believe. And again, it comes down to reach out through the website, happy to have a conversation and spread this word perspective. I’m about supporting this industry. And at the end of the day, I really want the clients to be the people who are benefiting from this, as well as businesses been able to offer this without having to fork up the capital.

Steve Washuta : I guess that has been Cameron Haynes, thank you for joining until her podcast.

Cameron Haines Thank you

Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again!





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