Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Monday, November 8, 2010

To Weigh or Not to Weigh

I had a discussion recently with someone about weighing clients. At the gym I work at, we weigh clients, check body fat, and take various measurements. Those numbers are regularly re-checked as we go, to ensure we're getting where we aim to go.

My discussion partner suggested that basically, this wasn't the way to go. People - especially women - don't like to get weighed. I took that rather personally - people hire me because they have a numerical goal for weight ("lose 20 pounds") so I need to know that number.

Ultimately, the way I see it is this - weight is just a number. Not a particularly important number, compared to body fat percentages and size measurements. But it's a number. And it's one people want me to help them change.

If you want a number to change, and you want my help - then we have to know what that number is and check it regularly to see if we're on the right path. It's going to be a subject of discussion and we'll keep coming back to it. If you're shy about getting on the scale, okay, I understand that. That's why we weigh you privately and don't share the number. But it's a measurement you specifically want to address, and I can't address it blind.

My real goal, though, is to convince you in your heart that it's just a number and not an important measurement. One of many. Your health, the fit of your clothes, your self-esteem, you improved physical abilities - these are all more critical than the number on the scale. If you aren't a weight-class athlete, don't fret 180 vs. 170 any more than you'd fret 25 pounds versus 30 pounds on an exercise. It's not the goal, it's just one number that we choose to use to represent it.

But keep it in mind - if you hire a professional to change a number, you have to be willing to share that number with that professional.
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