- Page 1 Skulpt Chisel
- Page 2 Tracking, Battery Life and Verdict
Skulpt Chisel – Tracking and App
From the app you can test an individual muscle or perform a quick general body test. The latter will walk you through step by step, testing the necessary muscles for an average reading. The lights on the sensor will illuminate to let you know the Chisel is ready and you then need to give it a quick spray of water across the sensors. You then hold the sensors against the muscle until the app tells you it’s taken a reading and the lights across the edge change colour. The app gives you guidance on the correct placement of the sensor and also directs you to YouTube videos if you need extra instruction.
It’s generally a painless process, but you have to respray between every individual test. I found my quadriceps were also more difficult than others to get a reading from, and I had to press the sensors quite hard against my thigh.
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Skulpt claims its results are five times more accurate than bioimpedance scales. During my weeks of testing the results have been as accurate as I would expect, based on what I know of my own physiology. During weeks where I’ve been regimented in my diet, my body fat percentage would decrease or stay stable, but over periods where I wasn’t as strict, it would increase as expected. As results are provided to a decimal place, you can track fluctuations to a relatively small degree.
As an aside, the Royal College of Nursing considers 8-20% body fat a healthy range for men aged 20-39, and 21-33% for women aged 20-39. Where it came to the MQ metric, results correlated with what I expected as well. I’ve always had a proportionately large chest (99 MQ) and well-developed hamstrings (99MQ), but comparatively small calves (76 MQ) and biceps (92 MQ).
However, both body fat and Muscle Quality tests were still susceptible to occasionally fluctuating or erroneous readings. I found MQ in particular to be the far more susceptible of the two. Tests across a few weeks could occasionally swing by as much as 10 points between tests. It was typically obvious if results were off due to the disparity in numbers, and re-positioning and re-testing would eventually get a more accurate result.
The false results made the process more fiddly than I would have liked, and had me occasionally second guessing the Skulpt’s findings.
For simple readings and results, the app does a decent enough job of providing the necessary information clearly. But it’s supposed to give you guidance and advice based on those results and what you set as your training target. When it comes to this, it falls short.
I tested using the Android app. You get some simple advice on nutrition, telling you how many calories you should consume and which individual macros (e.g. what proportion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins), but that’s all. I also didn’t necessarily agree with the advice it was giving me on diet.
There’s certainly a lot of potential for the Muscle Quality metric to be applied to training programmes, but at present it requires a lot of user knowledge rather than guidance from the app. I would have loved to have gotten training advice that aimed to address any weak links more specifically.
Skulpt Chisel – Battery life
The Chisel will last several weeks on a single charge. Charging it only requires you to drop it into its cradle, which also acts as a good place to store the device when not in use. This helps ensure it stays charged when you need it.
Should I buy the Skulpt Chisel?
The Skulpt Chisel, by its design, is quite a niche product. If you have a lot of body fat to lose, having such granular information is going to be overkill and you’ll be better served just by using the mirror and photographs to track your progress.
Really, the Chisel is better geared towards those already at a relatively low body fat percentage and who actively weight train. For bodybuilders and figure athletes it will provide useful insights into your body composition and help you to track how your nutrition, diet and training are impacting your goals. If you’re a personal trainer, it can be a handy tool to measure client’s progress, which will go some way to justify the expense, too.
The Muscle Quality metric isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but the body fat percentage reading per muscle will be useful for people who want to know what needs work and development.
The app is rather basic and could do a better job of making the data more useful. As a simple and accurate body fat analyser, the Chisel does a good job, but unfortunately it’s not quite the step up from breaking out a classic pair of calipers that I was hoping for.
An accurate body fat analyser that is still a little too fiddly to use.