Every personal trainer fears the dreaded words, ‘I just want to lose weight’! Its surprising how few words can make an individual want to curl up in to a ball in the middle of a consultation and cry uncontrollably, but it really does. Why? Its just so basic and so little thought has gone into it, and it makes you as an individual question the potential clients real motives and that’s when the fun starts.
Then we move it on, we converse more and can start talking about the more important things. Straight away the first thing any personal trainer will do is look at what you want to achieve, once that’s been established its about looking in to the best methods of monitoring progress along the way, as you’ve probably guessed from the title, it should never be the scales… STAY AWAY! There’s clearly several options you could look in to, but most importantly must be how you look and feel, I don’t care what anyone says, if you’re coming to the gym for body composition reasons (change in body shape) you want to look and feel better. That being said, get your camera out and take those progress pictures at regular intervals in your training programme, keep everything consistent and watch your body shape change. Small disclaimer here, your body shape will only change if you put some effort in, if you can’t be arsed nothing’s going to happen, so you can save your gym membership fee and sit on your backside at home watching television, happy days!
Having touched on what I feel is the most important we can go in to some of the more measurable ways of tracking progress, lets begin with body fat percentage. There’s a few ways to measure body fat some accurate but pricey and then some not so accurate but a lot cheaper. Unless your made of money as they say stick with the cheaper option and use it as a guide and take it with a pinch of salt also. The most common way is the bioelectrical impedance machines in the gyms, you stand on a platform hold a couple of handles and follow the instructions. At the end of the ‘test’ you get a result/estimate of your body fat percentage and 9 times out of 10 most people will take it as the holy grail, word of warning for you all use it as a guide and you’ll be fine, do not get hung up on it and measure it all the time, otherwise it becomes just like another set of scales and you’re always targeting something rather than looking and feeling decent. Then we can move on to the measuring tape, the good old-fashioned measuring tape.
Sometimes sticking to basics can be the best thing for it, its easy, its quick and its pretty easy to do on your own with out anyone else to instruct or help you. Again, with anything that contains numbers and is a target/goal that is based round numbers it is easy to get hung up on what we perceive to be a bad week, month or year.
The big thing to take from this week’s article or blog which ever you prefer to call it is that numbers are not the only thing that matters when it comes to the results you want to obtain. If you look in the mirror naked and think, Jesus Christ I look shit hot, do you really care what you weigh, what your body fat percentage is or lastly how many centimetres your thigh is? Id hazard a guess at no you wont care, and I’ll hazard a guess at if you’re getting compliments along the way they’ll make you feel way better than the scales ever will.
One last thing from me, FUCK THE SCALES!