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### Thursday, November 28, 2013

I borrowed this blog from Matt a trainer at the gym. I thought it may help others.

Get Strong and Bail on your Scale

"My pants are all fitting looser. But is it possible I could be gaining weight?" This line of questioning opened a training session last week. She went on to explain that while her clothing was fitting better than ever, she was very concerned that the number on the scale had gone up a few pounds. Prior to us working together, the treadmill had been her primary source of exercise, with only light weight, high repetition strength training making up a portion of her workouts. She has been getting stronger every week. She is now seeing evidence that she was getting leaner as well. So why did that few pounds on the scale matter? When pressed for an answer she couldn't even provide one. I went on to explain that the scale measures weight. Nothing more, nothing less. The scale doesn't know if you are male or female. The scale doesn't know if you are very fat or very lean. The scale doesn't even know if its measuring a 120 pound human or a 120 pound rock.

She went on to reference the Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI calculates a number based on height and weight. This number classifies you as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. She wanted to stay within a certain range on the scale. To put it mildly, the BMI is bogus. The formula came from a mathematician in Belgium nearly 200 years ago. it doesn't factor in body composition and basically assumes low muscle mass and high relative body fat. In a recent study the BMI has shown that half of the NFL is obese and nearly all are overweight. According to the BMI half the NBA is overweight. These are some of the most lean and conditioned athletes on earth. Yet the scale and a 200 year old mathematician are conspiring to say they are fat.

A steady diet of cardio and the scale is a recipe for frustration. Yet it is a cycle so many women find themselves in. 3 Days a week of running, near starvation diets and daily cringe inducing treks up onto the scale. Does that sound familiar? So what is the right answer? First off the only number you should be concerned with if any, is your body fat %. You want to look lean? Lower that number. We could put 2 women on the scale the exact same height with the scale reading the exact same number. Yet one could be a size 2 and the other a size 8. It's all based on body composition.

So how do we best affect body composition? First and foremost it starts with food. We have to create a deficit in calories while also taking in nutrients essential for the changes we are trying to make. 3500 calories burned equals a pound of fat lost. So if we are burning 300 calories on the treadmill 3 days a week (and that's generous for some of you walkers) then that's 900 a week. If your nutrition is perfect you're looking at 13 pounds lost...IN A YEAR. Which I suppose isn't horrible if your goal is to lose 13 pounds and you're VERY patient. But what if you want to lose 30 pounds? Or 50? Or 100? See where I'm going with this? This is why we emphasize strength training and high intensity interval training so much.

In summation, worry more about how your clothes fit than any number on a scale. If you need a number to stay goal oriented then focus on your body fat %. Eat clean, pick up heavy things often, and move quickly. You're on your way to a whole new you.

Woman's Workout Company Program Director

• LIFEISPURRFECT
Great post. I've been working on increasing my strenght training and this post is great incentive to continue.
1574 days ago
• RENLLY
Thanks for sharing that.
1574 days ago
• STRONGNFIERCE
Thanks for sharing! Great insight and information!
1574 days ago