Everyone exercises for a reason. For some it’s a stress release, for others it’s their ‘me time’. Some people exercise to get stronger, some to get fitter, some because they simply enjoy it. For many it’s to change their appearance: to get slimmer, more toned, more muscly.
So whatever your reason for exercising, if you don’t measure your progress, how do you know if you’re getting what you want?
And if you don’t know that you’re getting what you want, how long will it take until you get complacent or even deflated, and exercising quickly becomes less of a priority?
At Seven Movement we love to measure results. It’s not so much a marker of success, but evidence to see if what you’re doing is working. If it is, you keep going. If it isn’t, you change something…
When it comes to measuring changes in your body composition, it’s too common to get hung up on what the scales say. You celebrate in the morning if you’re a pound lighter than yesterday, but then you’re frustrated by the evening when you’re 3 pounds heavier.
The problem with the scales is that they only measure your total weight. The number will change depending on fat, water, muscle, plus whatever you’re wearing at the time. Yet most people use them to try to determine changes in body fat alone.
A much better way of measuring your body composition is to test with a body stat analysis machine.
We use a medical grade machine at Seven Movement, and many other gyms and health shops have machines that their members or customers can use. These machines tell us exactly how much fat, muscle and water your body is made up of.
So where the scales can’t tell you if you’re heavier or lighter because you contain more or less water, fat or muscle, this machine can.
That means that you will know for sure if what you’re doing is working. There are no fluctuations, no wondering if a change in the scales might be down to water retention or the time of day or what you had for dinner last night.
How many times have you told yourself muscle weighs more than fat and that’s why your weight hasn’t changed? Well, now you’ll know.
We recommend retesting every 2 – 6 weeks, depending on how disciplined you’re being and how quickly you’d expect to see a change in the result.
Remember this isn’t a test to see if you’re successful or not. You’re testing to see if what you’re doing is getting the results you want. If it is, brilliant. You keep going.
If it isn’t, then you can seek advice on what you need to change. It’s better to know and be able to react than just keep trying blindly hoping you’ll achieve your goal.