That’s what the Skulpt Aim is telling me about my lower back, right side. An MQ (Muscle Quality) score of 77 pops up on the device and says, “Needs work.” Next to it is fat percentage, 30% (keep in mind this is only my lower back) and says, “Unfit.”
I blame genetics.
Let’s try one I know I can win: my right arm. I navigate through the Skulpt Aim’s menu, toggle to “Measure,” then “Single Muscle,” then “Biceps,” then “Left.” The device, no larger than a cell phone, doesn’t have a touchscreen; it has buttons you push on the side. It gets some getting used to. In any case, the device has a dozen sensors on the back. Sprits them with water and attach it to a bare part of your body that you select, and you get your muscle quality (measured, like IQ, from 1-200) and fat percentage. Biceps: MQ 115 (Fit), Fat 13.3% (Average).
Skulpt was founded in 2009 by Dr. Seward Rutkove, a neurology professor at Harvard Medical School, along with Dr. Jose Bohorquez, an electrical engineering graduate from MIT, the device was built on tech that was orignally made to track muscular degeneration disorders. The tech, in short, is called Electrical Impedance Myography (EIM). From the sensors, small amounts of current flow directly to your muscles, and since this current flows differently in fat than in muscle and in how fit the muscle is, this current is read back to the device and a result is posted.
“After being successfully adopted by the medical space, our technology was used to develop the first fitness consumer device of its kind,” says Juan Jaramillo, VP of Product at Skulpt. “Aim measures muscle quality and the fat percentage of individual muscles using Electrical Impedance Myography, a technique used to analyze how current flows through subcutaneous fat, and muscle composition.”
The end result of the Skulpt Aim? Raw numbers that are more likely shaming than uplifting. But with the accompanying Skulpt app, you can track your progress, identify problem areas and weaker areas and adjust. Skulpt hopes to build partnerships over the coming year, and might even soon be able to integrate into Apple Health or Google Fit. When you first try the device, it’ll ask you for a full-body reading: measuring your biceps, triceps, abs and quads, and comes back with a total MQ and body fat percentage score. From there, you can track your progress — the Skulpt team recommends measuring in the morning — day in and day out, until you reach your goals.
“It’s no secret that being able to measure our progress, motivates us to achieve our fitness goals,” says Jaramillo. “Aim doesn’t simply measure the activity we perform, but it shows us how our bodies are changing. Aim gives greater insight and enables us to measure the result of our fitness achievements, to know when we are losing fat and gaining muscle.”
Hopefully it’s a bit of each.
The Skulpt Aim will begin shipping soon. Preorder for $199 at skulpt.me.