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Don't Watch Your Weight

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Don't Watch Your Weight

Don't Watch Your Weight

Why the scale is not a friend of your progress


We have all been here before. The end of the year marks the beginning of new opportunities, goals, and resolutions. Health, fitness, and weight loss are at the top of many people’s list. Inevitably, most of us hit the gym hard to get in shape and lose the weight we gained over the holiday season.


Eventually, we step on the dusty scale that has been pushed to the back corner of our bathroom to see what progress we have made. We deem our success based on the number that is revealed as though this is the only deciding factor in how far we have come.


But our weight is only one small piece of the puzzle. So many other things factor into our progress than the number on the scale.


Why does watching your weight not work?


Losing weight ranks number one in people’s list of resolutions, but also in goals people set throughout the rest of the year.If I lose weight I will feel better, look better, and be better. 


But getting in shape is not all about losing weight. Using the scale to determine your success can leave you feeling defeated if the number is not budging, or even worse, if the number increases.


Our weight fluctuates day to day, moment to moment, work out to work out. It is directly correlated with hydration levels, food intake, sodium, use of some medications, and honestly…. bathroom status.


If you weigh yourself before you hit the gym, you will most likely weigh more than you would if you weighed yourself afterwards. This is because of the loss of weight from the amount you sweat


But this does not mean you actually lost that weight. As soon as you replenish your lost fluids, you should arrive back at your original weight.


And, have you heard of the old saying, muscle weighs more than fatIt's not entirely true. Muscle takes up much less space than fat, so it's entirely possible to gain the same pounds in muscle as you lose in body fat and weigh the same as before.  But how good will it feel to be able to fit into smaller clothes and tighten the belt a couple notches.  So, you have to decide - does the number on the scale matter more than having strong, lean muscles? 


Perhaps a measure of muscle mass versus fat mass is more accurate. Let’s look at other ways to measure progress.


Other ways to measure progress besides weight and the scale


Since the number on the scale is not an accurate measure of our progress, we need to use other, more reliable methods:

• Body fat assessments
• Progress photos
• Wearable trackers
• Fitness tests
• How are you feeling? 


Body Fat Assessment

Having a body fat assessment is a more accurate measure of progress. Just as it sounds, it is a measure of your body fat, not just how much you weigh.


You can also perform a simple test at home. By taking body circumference measurements you can accurately track and measure progress and calculate your own body fat.


All you need is a tape measure to find the circumference of your upper arm, chest, waist, hips, and thighs. By taking these measurements at the beginning of and throughout your health and fitness journey, you will be able to clearly track the progress you are making. 


Progress Photos

Taking progress photos is a great way to track your changes, instead of using the dreaded scale. It is true, a picture is worth a thousand words


How you physically look and feel is a way better testament to the work you are putting in the gym and how hard you are working on your nutrition, more than a scale can ever tell you.


To be able to accurately track your progress, make sure to take baseline photos, and repeat them throughout your health and fitness journey. Make sure to take them from the same angle and in the same lighting for the most accurate comparisons. 


Wearable Trackers


Technology has come so far! These days, the most simple strap you wear on your wrist can tell you how in shape, fit, and healthy you are. 


Common trackers include the FitBitApple Watch, and the one we use in our Farrell’s Farrell’s kickboxing and strength training classes, MyZone.


These trackers can paint you a picture of your overall health with more information than your weight and the scale can ever give you.


Think about it, the scale cannot tell you if your resting heart rate has improved through training. Nor can it tell you if you are overtraining and need a rest or active recovery day, 


This is why wearable trackers are so much more accurate in tracking progress than scales and your weight could ever be. 


Fitness Tests


Good ol’ fitness tests. These leave you feeling depleted as you put everything out there on the line. But, that makes these simple yet effective tests perfect for measuring progress.


When you start your journey towards better health and fitness at Farrell’s, we’ll conduct a simple fitness test to help you understand your fitness starting point. Then, 10 weeks later we’ll repeat the test to assess your progress.


The Farrell’s Fitness Assessment test includes:

• 1-mile run
• Max pushups in one minute
• Max sit-ups in one minute


Last, but not least…


How are you feeling?


You can go without fancy technology, machines, pictures, and the scale, as nothing is more telling than how you are feeling. There has never been someone who has started to eat healthy, sleep more, and exercise regularly who has come out of it feeling worse than when they started.


You will feel more energized, happier, and less stressed. The hard things life throws at you will be easier to handle. Your clothes will fit better, your skin will be clearer, and your hair shinier. Recovery from workouts will be faster. You will just feel better overall. 




Weight loss and the scale should not be used to calculate your success. Instead, go to the gym (or a Farrell’s studio 🙂), eat nutritious foods, and live a healthier lifestyle for yourself, for your health and wellness, and for how it makes you feel….not for that number on the scale.


Is it time to throw the scale out? Perhaps for most of us!


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