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Thread: DEXA Results: 3lbs difference between muscle mass in left leg and right leg.

  1. #1

    Default DEXA Results: 3lbs difference between muscle mass in left leg and right leg.

    Mark,

    I had a DEXA scan this morning to keep track of my fat loss during this strict diet. My #1 priority now is not so much the fat loss but actually finding out what foods my body doesn't like and causes my HS(Hidradenitis) to flare up. So far I'm flare-up free for 5 weeks for the first time since I was diagnosed in 2012. I don't know if it's certain foods that caused it, or issues with the digestive tract(Leaky Gut Syndrome, not sure if it's an actual medical condition or just made up shit from the Paleo people), regardless, I'm flare up free for the most part now and I'm going to keep going losing fat, introducing foods as my refeeds come to see if I'm actually allergic or whatever to foods, or did my gut just need healing on it's own.

    But, seeing the results of a DEXA really gave me a reality check. Calipers tells me I'm at 15% BF right now, wherein the DEXA, scanning every fatty tissue, tells me 25%. My lean mass was 169lbs, could be off since I'm carb depleted. The total fat mass as of today is 56.9lbs.

    The interesting thing though, the scan revealed that my left leg has 2.8lbs more muscle than my right leg, and my right arm has 1lbs more muscle than my left. Being right handed I can see how my right arm gets used more. But after about 3.5 - 4yrs of squatting, i'm shocked to see this muscle imbalance. I never do any leg exercises except squatting. I've been going through the Novice stage to Advanced Novice, switching to TM, get hurt, and repeat the cycle over again over almost 4yrs.

    Do you have any idea on how this big of a muscle imbalance in the legs can come on during full body workouts like this? I plan on video taping myself again, but all my squat videos nobody ever told me if I"m "favoring" one side to the other, including when I was down in NM to see a coach. My lifts for the most part, technique wise, I believe is pretty okay.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    My stats(while on RFL for the 5th week) according to DEXA:
    6'4
    Male
    LBM: 169lbs
    BF: 56.9lbs
    BF%: 25%

    Workout throughout the week, except Wednesday which is light:
    Monday - Volume day:
    SQ: 3x7 @ 245
    B: 3x8 @ 195
    OHP: 3x5 @ 125

    Friday - Heavy'ish day:
    SQ: 1x5; 2,2,2 @ 280
    B: 1x5; 3,3,3 @ 215
    DL: 1x5 2,2 @ 330

  2. #2
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    Have you injured your tiny-side leg? Do you have a leg length discrepancy? Age?

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    DEXA is not supposed to be interpreted like this. Ignore it.

  4. #4

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    No I have not hurt my right leg at all. I'm 30yrs old. I don't know if I have length difference between them, wouldn't that show via back pain or something?

    Where do you go to get this assessed, chiro?

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    Any intelligent provider or coach.

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by LimieJosh View Post
    DEXA is not supposed to be interpreted like this. Ignore it.
    Do you mind elaborating why? I thought because it uses all this wavelengths etc that it's the most accurate composition detector out there, especially for fat mass and bones. If it detects it with such accuracy why do you say to ignore the muscle composition results?

    Any intelligent provider or coach.
    I was at a coach last year September. He corrected a few minor things on my squat and deadlift but didn't say anything about discrepancies, sounds like I need to ask him to specifically look for it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grand666 View Post
    . Calipers tells me I'm at 15% BF right now, wherein the DEXA, scanning every fatty tissue, tells me 25%.
    Calipers by definition measure only subcutaneous fat, whereas other measures include visceral fat. So this discrepancy is common. See Heymsfeld's text "Human Body Composition" for explanation and quantification of SEE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grand666 View Post
    The interesting thing though, the scan revealed that my left leg has 2.8lbs more muscle than my right leg, and my right arm has 1lbs more muscle than my left.
    This is not uncommon. It's nothing to worry about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grand666 View Post
    Do you mind elaborating why? I thought because it uses all this wavelengths etc that it's the most accurate composition detector out there, especially for fat mass and bones. If it detects it with such accuracy why do you say to ignore the muscle composition results?
    It can be good for whole-body body-composition, but is still subject to significant test to test variability based on only small variations in positioning. It is virtually impossible to position someone in exactly the same way on the table in successive tests, and yet the way the algorithms come up with a body fat value assume not just that you are perfectly centrally lined up, but also perfectly symmetrical. Any deviation from this will have an effect on the limb or section in question. Minor variations are not a huge deal on the whole body level as these things even out, but they are the reason you should not pay attention to segment vs segment values.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by LimieJosh View Post
    It can be good for whole-body body-composition, but is still subject to significant test to test variability based on only small variations in positioning. It is virtually impossible to position someone in exactly the same way on the table in successive tests, and yet the way the algorithms come up with a body fat value assume not just that you are perfectly centrally lined up, but also perfectly symmetrical. Any deviation from this will have an effect on the limb or section in question. Minor variations are not a huge deal on the whole body level as these things even out, but they are the reason you should not pay attention to segment vs segment values.
    Thanks for the explanation it makes more sense. I honestly though the waves detect everything very accurately and didn't know the positioning can have an effect. I thought the waves get shot through and base on signal strength on the other end it determines the composition. Sounds like you're saying it runs through an algorithm based on the position of the body position on the bed which makes sense. So can the position of my legs be such that it detects a 2.8lbs different in the muscle mass? It seems like the difference would be minimal if position affected it but 2.8lbs is quite a bit.

    This is not uncommon. It's nothing to worry about.
    Is it worth doing anything isolation wise or just keep squatting and deadlifting away and not worry about it?

    She also said that my left trunk-side has 2.2lbs more muscle than my right, but also it's because being right handed the opposite side gets worked more.

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