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155 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great scale--shows real changes in physique over time
This was the top of the line consumer Tanita scale when I bought it ($115 US), and I'm glad I chose this model. I'm sure I won't use it as much as time goes on, but currently I am using it 3 times a day for the last month and plotting all the readouts in excel. I know you don't care, but just to prove that it does work, I have been constantly adding reps to my workout,...
Published on March 9, 2006 by Redbeard

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771 of 785 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Directionally Correct, but Accurate???
I've used a simple model from Tanita for over 5 years and was as happy as a man with one clock -- I knew exactly what time it was. The added features of the BC554 were irresistable, but now I had 2 sources of data and they were not in agreement by a significant amount (e.g. 3% body fat difference on a base of 16%).

The weight measurement is as good as ever:...
Published on August 17, 2005 by W. Woolley


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771 of 785 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Directionally Correct, but Accurate???, August 17, 2005
By 
W. Woolley (Callao, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
I've used a simple model from Tanita for over 5 years and was as happy as a man with one clock -- I knew exactly what time it was. The added features of the BC554 were irresistable, but now I had 2 sources of data and they were not in agreement by a significant amount (e.g. 3% body fat difference on a base of 16%).

The weight measurement is as good as ever: precise, accurate and consistent. The best that can be said of the other functions is that they seem to be directionally correct and some are simply 'figures of merit', not measurements at all.

Customer support is surprising. When I asked the inevitable questions via their web site, I received a phone call from them. The answers made sense, but only reinforce my assessment.

It seems that the algorithms are based on a statistical sample using gender, age, height, and 'athleticism'. If your actual profile is close to the sample population, the accuracy is probably pretty good. But as you progress toward 'athletic' and away from the calibration population, accuracy declines.

It seems to me that anyone purchasing this model is serious enough about fitness to fall into this 'no man's land'. The other issue is that I would expect some continuity between the measures for 'standard adult' and 'athletic adult'. But there is a chasm! I measured 19% at 'standard' and 9% at 'athletic'. The first is clearly too high and the second is too low. Maybe a calculated average is closer to an accurate reading, but that is a serious shortcoming in a top-of-the-line product.

So, simpler & cheaper is my recommendation. Accept the idea that you are getting directionally correct numbers that are only accurate if you match the calibration population profile.
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319 of 333 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful in choosing a Tanita model to fit your needs, August 16, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
This is a great looking scale, I just wish they hadn't put stickers on the glass part that leave residue which is close to impossible to remove. (see the comments for some excellent tips on how to go about removing this - thank you to all who posted.)

There are several types of Tanita scales out there for choices in functionality. This "high end" model only really gives you an expanded recall function over most of the others, that recall function is horribly engineered by the way. It only recalls the LAST measurements, shows no statistics and is pretty much useless in my opinion. I use a pad and pen, it works ten times better.

The manual that comes with the scale is essentially non-existant, it has a five sentence explanation of what most of the measurements are looking at. It never explains how it comes to these conclusions, mostly for the reason that to explain the calculations, would invariably reveal how innacurate the result set would be.

The other issue with this scale is that the icons backlight by LEDs are about a 1/4 inch big, making it impossible to see them when standing on the scale. The only way to recognize the setting that you are currently looking at is by memory or getting off the scale and down on your knees.

The accuracy of the weight function seems dead on, however, I have had four people step on this scale and the body fat, muscle mass and other "features" are ridiculously off. One of the people to step on the scale was a nutritionist who was very familiar with her measurements and it was way off, by at least 20% in fat measurements.

The biological age feature is a joke, I change ages daily according to the scale. The thing that I will say is that the fluctuations are registered so that you can see if the measurements are either decreasing or increasing.

My suggestion is that if you are interested in these scales, and they do have their merits, go with a lower end model than this one as it is really not worth the extra fifty or so dollars from much similar models. Go out to Tanita's website and compare them to see what you would like to have as far as options are concerned.

For myself, it does give me some record to set goals against and I like that, I just wish I had gone with a more reasonably priced model.

UPDATE: (07/25/2013) - This scale still performs flawlessly in measuring weight so I can say that Tanita scales have longevity as it gets close to daily use, all despite a crack in the glass which although not pleasing to look at has not hindered the functionality. Overall, I certainly do not feel the need to replace it and that it gets the job done.
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155 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great scale--shows real changes in physique over time, March 9, 2006
This was the top of the line consumer Tanita scale when I bought it ($115 US), and I'm glad I chose this model. I'm sure I won't use it as much as time goes on, but currently I am using it 3 times a day for the last month and plotting all the readouts in excel. I know you don't care, but just to prove that it does work, I have been constantly adding reps to my workout, and I am seeing results only a scale like this could tell me. My weight is staying constant, but my body fat is dropping by 0.06% per day and my muscle mass is increasing by 0.1 lbs per day. That's 3 lbs of muscle and almost 2% body fat in only a month! I only regret I didnt get this scale sooner. Oh, and it only stores your last measurement, so don't expect to track your changes with just the scale.

Their instructions say to take your reading just before your last meal of the day. I also take mine right when I wake up and just before bed, but the afternoon reading seems to be the most reliable (smallest standard deviation from the trend for those math majors out there).

If you are what Tanita considers to be an athlete (10 or more hours of workout per week or resting pulse of 60 beats or less), then you definitely need a scale with an athlete mode, bc otherwise your body fat % will be discouragingly high. I have had a few other people take their measurements using this scale (different heights, ages, body types, and genders), and the consensus is that it is pretty accurate for them as well.

Yes, it does use electrical resistance for the readings, but you could chew the two AA batteries it uses and not feel anything. (I disclaim any liability for injuries resulting from chewing batteries)

The instructions and reading material that come with it are informative and gives you explanations of all the extras (like BMR and visceral fat) along with the healthy ranges for both male and female.

If you are serious about getting in better shape, I encourage you to get this scale or one like it. It will motivate you to keep going and think twice about that fourth doughnut. If you just want to lose weight, don't waste your money, any scale can tell you that.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Source of Inspration, October 18, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
As long as you realize that this is not a precision measuring instrument, you'll be happy with this scale. What it is good for is monitoring trends in your weight and body fat.

There are about 10 functions on this scale. Two, maybe three are useful. Your weight. That's a good one to have. Body fat %. This number will fluctuate considerably depending on many factors. Perspiration is one. So you have to get into the habit of taking readings in consistent environments, like the same time of day, x hours after eating or exercising, etc. Again, you're not getting an exact number, you're tracking trends. There are numbers for bone mass, body moisture %, calories required (BMI I think), visceral fat (or something like that. The fat around your organs), age (or what age your body's shape is in) and a physique index. My physique is up to 2 (I started at 1 having done little exercising lately). My age reading was 50 (being 54 I thought I was doing good till I read that the scale doesn't go over 50).

So I check my weight, body fat, age, and physique rating, and pretty much ignore the others. Although some of the other readings can indicate that your environment is uniform. So I don't really need to know that I have 7lbs of bones, but that if that number changes, maybe some other factor has changed, too.

I'm pleased with this scale. I've had it about 4 months now, and all is well. I just need to get that physique rating up, and body fat % down. The scale won't make you exercise, but it will make you glad you did.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would call this scale "the motivator", September 6, 2005
By 
i5pro "i5pro" (South Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
OK... This scale is expensive. In this case, you get what you pay for. Why did I buy a scale that is so expensive? Because I did the research and this scale gives the most details and is super easy to use. You simply pick what button you want to be. (1-4) and you enter your weight, height, and age. Also you can select if you are an athlete...this makes the measurements accurate for people who work out 10+ hours a week. This scale is a must for athletic people because the other scales out there will say that you are fat and out of shape...even though you are looking in the mirror at your finely sculpted six pack abs and rock hard biceps.

So how do you use it? You push the number you set up for yourself and stand on it. It gives you your weight and then does the other test. It is absolutely painless, in case you are wondering. Also, it takes between 5-10 seconds to do the measurements. I haven't timed it with a stop watch but it is quick.

Then it gives you all this info. Weight, Body Fat%, Body Water%, Muscle Mass (nice), Physical Rating, BMR (This is the calories you need to survive through a day.), Metabolic Age (sweet), Bone Mass, and Visceral Fat (This is the fat you have around your stomach and organs.)

Also when you don't need all this info and you just want your weight. There is a quick weigh option that just measures your weight. Very simple, quick and easy.

Can you hit these buttons with your big toe to work them? Yes you can.

So what do you do with the info? Well I made an excel spreadsheat with charts so that I can keep track of the data and also keep notes on what I did. For example one week I did cardio for an hour every night, in addition to my regular weight training and my body fat% went down, and my muscle weight increased. (awesome) Then another week we had a hurricane, so I didn't do any work out for 5 days straight. I measured myself after this and I was the same weight. Woo hoo, I lucked out right? Wrong...Even though I weighed the same...my fat% was up and my muscle mass was down. (bummer) So this of course motivated me to work out like crazy the next week to get my numbers back in line and even drop some weight. Can your scale do that? Or would you just look at the weight, see that it's the same and say, great I'll take another week off. This scale tells you the truth while other scales don't give you the complete picture of what is going on with your body.

I am the type of person that likes to buy the very best and I am very happy with this scale.

Bottom line is that this is the best scale...period.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars additional features not included in the manual, April 13, 2006
By 
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
After recieving this scale I got answers to a few questions I had wanted to know before I ordered it that I couldnt find in the online manual (from tanita's website) or from the reviews that I did read. First of all, I was disappointed from what I read that the recall was only for some readings not all. HOWEVER, what no one mentions is that you can (once off the scale) scroll thru ALL the readings using the arrows keys as long as the scale hasn't turned off. You WILL have plenty of time to record your readings...all of them.. one by one. Don't worry about the limited recall. Secondly, the scale will beep twice to let you know when it's done recording and when you can step off. These are petty, but since I can't see anything while I am on the scale, these two features make this scale simple to use and important to me. Don't listen to people complaining about the small icons. Just step on, wait for the double beep, step off and record.
I know a lot of people worry about the acurracy. It is clearly stated in the manual that it is more accurate to take the average number of all the readings. I personally use a spreadsheet and have it average the numbers every time I add in a new days worth of numbers.
I am using this scale to track weigh loss and I tend to get hooked on a number even though I know I shouldn't (it's easier said then done). This scale keeps me focused on the overall picture. Also, once I started to exercise my weight didn't seem to change for the better which is descouraging. I found it helpful to see the muscle mass increase while my weight sometimes increased!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best scale out there (Oct 2005), October 12, 2005
By 
Keith "Keith" (Laguna Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
This scale has so many functions. It is really cool. As for consistant readings, I get almost the same readings day after day. But if I change how much I eat or exercise more I can see the change.

This scale is almost the same as the Tanita top of the line. Except this one lets you view the readings you want, rather then wait for the scale to cycle through the readings. This scale will also cycle through the readins, but you can stop them and go to any reading or let it cycle then go back to any reading you want. Also this has nice big preset number buttons. Which is important since you may be hitting them first thing in the morning when you are not awake yet. This scale also remember more readign from the last time. It has BMR instead of the daily calories reading.

I find this scale is very close to another much cheaper Tanita scale in weight and body fat. Of course the cheaper scale doesn't have all the extra readings. My wife finds the metabolic age reading to motivate her. She likes thinking she is younger then she is. (What ever helps...) I like the muscle mass wieght reading along with weight and body fat%.

The scale looks really good being half glass. The glass is strong and won't break unless you tried hammering it, etc. It is easy to use and does a reading in about 10-15 seconds. It takes more time if you are moving around as it waits for a reasonably steady weight reading.

I wish it had the daily calorie reading and it was more accurate. It would be nice if the body fat could show accuratly that I had burned off half an ounce of fat... But no scale today can do that, or any other method while you are alive. So I will live with the best that is out today, October 2005.

Thumbs up.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tanita BC554, September 10, 2005
By 
Byron (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
Weight, body fat and visceral fat, all quite important, appear to be accurate. Some variation of fat and body compositions dependent on hydration, as stated in easy-to- use manual. As I'm 65 years old, some disappointment that metabolic rate reads only up to 50 years, regardless of possible actual rate over 50. Also, bone density only a relative measurement, not much comparison data given. All told, a useful measuring and motivational tool, easy to set up and use for small or even sizable family. Glad I bought it, though it isn't exactly inexpensive. UPDATE on 2/1/13: Appears to still be working perfectly.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor follow up service affects overall rating, March 29, 2006
By 
B Kelley (Crewe, Virginia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
I was intitially happy with the scale, its ease of use and performance. However, after only a month of gentle use, the digital display broke. It has been difficult getting the item repaired and returned to me. I had to pay for shipping and insurance to send the item back. I had the original box,paperwork, shipping receipt and date of purchase, but had misplaced the receipt. Tanita is refusing to repair the scale without it. I guess they have a big problem with people stealing their scales and then sending them back at their own expense for repair.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tool to improve your health and your shape - Helped lme lost over 200 lbs, July 11, 2006
This review is from: Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Elite Series (Health and Beauty)
Is an excellent motivational tool to keep you inspired day after day, as you see the results of your workouts, diet or life-style translate into numbers in the body composition display.

I use this Tanita Body Composition Monitor, along with a Polar Heart Rate monitor (the s625x running computer) and the ABS Diet book (from Men's health Magazine) to go from 44 to 32 size pants, and I have been able to keep the weight off for more than 5 years.

There will always be a debate on how accurate this monitors are, no matter which model or brand you buy. Independently of the technology that the scale uses, the data displayed will always be related to statistical groups.

The important thing to keep in mind is that you have to record your results and see if the trends show improvements (e.g. decrease in fat %, increase in muscle mass, increase in metabolic rate, decrease in metabolic age, etc.). You get off the scale, scroll thru all the displayed measurements using the arrows keys (as long as the scale hasn't turned off). You have plenty of time to record your readings. This keeps you motivated as you see the numbers improve week after week. It may be slow improvement or small steps improvements, but over time the motivation will keep you focused and you will get the results you want.
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