DXA Scan Results

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I saw that Keith posted his DXA scan results last year, and after getting some blood work done, the DXA or DEXA scan was next on my list, when time permitted.

Well after the Melbourne 21 Convention, I found some time, and managed to grab a scan before leaving town. The results are posted below (click to open a high res version).

If you are unfamiliar with what a DXA scan is, see this post by Keith on BreakingMuscle.com.

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The short version : like Keith, and to the delight of my girlfriend, I got a little extra “junk in the trunk”. Speaking of my trunk, according to our results, my trunk is actually leaner than Keith’s.

Keith is otherwise dramatically leaner across the board.

10.6% vs 15.48%.

You probably didn’t need a DXA scan to tell you that though.




Now before you say “15,48% isn’t very lean”, you should have a DXA scan done. Most people think of body fat in terms of skin caliper measurements, which are grossly inaccurate.

For example, I consistently measured at 10% via skin measurements, which now according to the scan, is inaccurate to the point of being useless.

Other points of interest :

1) My bone density is rocking. Even for a healthy young male, I am well above average. This is great to know because according to Skyler Tanner, with intense strength training, bone density can increase well into our 30s. Translation : I’ve got another decade to tap out an already great BD.

2) My head is really thick, even in the context of my overall bone density. According to the doctor who administered the scan, this is apparent just by looking at the scan, let alone the numbers. My fingers are crossed that I have some Neanderthal in my ancestry. As it happens, my entire maternal family is from a small, isolated island in modern day Croatia.

3) My “fat free mass” is above the “excellent” mark. This is neat, however, I question the accuracy. As I understand it fat free mass in a DXA scan can be muddled by water weight. As it happens I felt bloated and bogged down the particular morning this test was done. I’ll be curious to see this measurement again when I have the scan re-done.

4) Fat mass between my right and left leg is almost identical, however, the difference in lean mass is enormous – 740 grams, or 1.63 lbs.  This is no doubt, mostly, or perhaps even entirely due to my knee surgery. In a perfect world I would have had a scan done just before surgery, just before beginning rehabilitation, and 6 months into rehabilitation, to track the progress in recovery of the quadriceps.


Getting Leaner

Can I get leaner? Yes.

Should I? I’m not so sure I care, at least for the moment. Looking in the mirror and appearing leaner would be neat, but I don’t know what the purpose would be. I am skeptical that I will actually be a healthier person as a result of this as well.

Plus, contrary to 99% of the population, I should automatically get leaner as the years roll by. Automatically because I am confident I can put on at least 1lb of muscle a year. By the looks of my left leg … I can do more than that in the next few months, never mind the rest of my body.

For the first time in 6 months, I also do not have to travel for an extended period of time in the near future. The 21 Convention world-wide events have been a constant future-stressor for me this year, and have placed huge gaps in my training.

Coupled with sitting on a couch for a month, 18 hours a day, post surgery, I’ve got some catching up to do over the next few weeks in my home gym.

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

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9 Responses to DXA Scan Results

  1. Stephan R January 9, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    There seems to be hardly any noticeable muscle atrophy in your left knee. Has there been a more significant difference between left and right knee shortly after your surgery?

    I have also had my DXA scan done a few months ago to find that I am at 11,0 % body fat. Working to get at ~9% and keep it there.

    I always find it curious to compare results from similar tests with other people. Maybe you find my results interesting. See at: http://biohacks.net/dxa-body-scan/


    • Anthony Dream Johnson January 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

      Hey Stephan

      First of all, great blog! I think I’ve seen it once before, but regardless, keep up the good work.

      Re atrophy, yes, my left leg appears slightly smaller, and i noticeably “softer”, where as the right leg is hard as a rock when contracted. Just after surgery my left leg was likely jelly … for weeks, even after the swelling went down. I think my rehab program has done wonders for rebuilding the muscles, and I think patience will even out the legs once again.

      Great DXA results btw!

      • Stephan R January 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

        Thank you for your kind words about my blog. Looking to write high-quality content more frequently.

        I find that your urge to find an alternative rehabilitation method for your knee other than the conventional method is akin to tinkering with nutrition (Paleo/Primal/WAPF/BP gig) and exercise (HIT/BBS etc.) and rejecting the fatal recommendations along the lines of the Standard American Diet and steady-state aerobics, respectively.

        Keep doing your research and learn – way to go!!

  2. Mountain Evan Chang January 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    I’ve seen a lot of folks claiming 5-6% bodyfat, but their pictures are nowhere near Martin Berkhan. I thought I was sub-10 myself (visible veins on abs) but DXA had me at 11%
    Thanks for sharing the reality check.

  3. Robyn bunting January 12, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    Readers might be surprised at pictures of those with various levels of verified bodyfat-


  4. Jay February 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Dxa has the tendency to overestimate bf%, so you may be slightly lower than you may think. The formulas on the DXA used to estimate body fat are from themanufacturer; however, if you use data from the DXA and plug it into a 4 or 5 compartment equation you will get a more accurate number. Best of luck with everything.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson February 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Hey Jay

      Cool, and thanks for the tip. I imagine this has to do with the inability of the machine to measure water mass?


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