We are obsessed with the scale. Plain and simply put, our scale weight is the standard by which we judge our progress in an exercise program. The scale doesn’t reflect what is really going on in your body. The scale measures everything in your body; muscle, fat, water, bones, skin, etc. The best way to measure your progress is by checking your body composition in a weight loss program or by charting your strength gains in a strength building program.

Skin calipers, bio electrical impedance and hydrostatic weighing will give you a much better reading of the effectiveness of your workouts. The first two, skin calipers and bio electrical impedance, give a quick, pretty accurate measurement of subcutaneous fat. I say pretty accurate because both have plus/minus margins of 3-5%. High levels of sodium, different test administrators, menstrual cycles, etc. all have an impact on the test results. Hydrostatic weighing, submersion in a big tub of water, gives the most accurate measurement.

The only problem is finding a place to have it done. As long as you use the same type of body fat testing and the same person doing the test, you will get a good test result. If you were to take two people that weighed the exact same on the scale, one had 20% body fat while the other had 10% body fat, you would see how inaccurate the scale is for measuring progress.

Girth measurements are also an excellent way to track results. We choose to use both girth measurements and skin calipers to track our recruits progress because we want the best for them and out of them. You could still not see a change in girth measurements but a reduction in skin fold measurements and we would know that you are losing fat and gaining muscle.

We want to emphasize fat loss not just lost pounds. Losing muscle is definitely not the goal of a fitness program. If we only use the scale to track our progress, we wouldn’t know where the lost pounds are coming from and we could be sabotaging our metabolism by losing muscle. Stick to a sound eating plan, no starvation diets, hard exercise, low stress and enough rest and you will accomplish your goals. Your clothes will tell you how you are doing as well. When your skinny jeans are fitting you again and you have to have your clothes altered, you are losing fat! Keep the muscle, lose the fat, forget the scale! Use that as your mantra throughout the day and don’t worry about what the scale says. Until next time, John

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About About Us The San Diego Boot Camp believes that we all have the power within us to do great things. Fear can be controlled...



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