Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's not about the numbers

I was sitting down with one of my trainers today and we started talking about "why we weigh and body fat test our clients?" Ok the typical answer are for assessment, making sure the client stays on track, to show perspective members that we get results, and so on. Yah, I get it. But then I started thinking, "Why do we really measure clients?" I teach and promote a healthy lifestyle. I do not teach 10 week programs. I want my clients working out and staying healthy until the day they die. There is no finish line for health and fitness. It is a consistent approach that is a lifelong adventure. Then we get into the numbers. If I have a 40 year old mom who comes into my gym and all she cares about is numbers, she will never be satisfied. And yes, I have these clients. The day we have them step on the scale or measure their body fat and they do not see what they want to see, it ruins their day. But she looks fabulous, is in fantastic shape and lives a very energetic and active life! Oh but her body fat was not down so it depresses the hell out of her. I don't like this method. To me the results are there. If we keep testing and measuring body fat she will eventually go up. Just with age, your body fat goes up. For instance, I am 29 and 8.5% body fat and have 12.5 lbs. of fat and 133.5 lbs of lean mass. The day I turn 30, if I have the same skinfold measurements, I will be 12.5%, 18.25 lbs. of body fat and 127.75 lbs of lean mass. So eventually my body fat will go up and my pounds of body fat will go up and my lean mass will go down. Does this mean I am failing in my fitness program. ABSOLUTELY NOT!

For some reason we as fitness professionals think that testing body composition is the gold standard for results. In my opinion results are when a 55 year old man ,who trains with his wife, changes his life dramatically in two years with working out, choosing the right foods, able to move without pain and now enjoys bike rides with his wife. To me results are a 45 year old mom who has more energy then her kids, can perform bodyweight chin-ups and is able to give her family 100% daily effort. To me results are when my clients come in and they feel 100% better than the day they walked into my facility.

Results are not numbers. Results are real life changes, an increased vigor to Live life and a contagious positive energy that they built through living a healthy lifestyle.

Stick to your program. Do not get down or depressed when you see numbers. Keep going and keep staying positive. You will see the long term results.

1 comment:

Sports Endurance Enthusiast said...

You're right! Numbers are never accurate, except for the age!

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