“Do you feel in charge?”
“And this gives you power over me?”
The scale is the least valuable but most feared tool in the fitness game.
The scale holds unearthly power over the minds of most trainees. When it is time to weigh-in, the butterflies in the stomach begin to fly.
How many of you reading this have seen a number on the scale you did not like and absolutely lost your mind or became very depressed?
In my 9 years as a strength coach, I have noticed that men and women look at the scale differently.
Most male meatheads have a fear of the scale, but if their chest and arms are bigger they truly do not care!
They are actually ecstatic if they hit 200lbs despite having a big gut and no conditioning to go with it. It is all about mass, bro.
Most women fear the scale as if Michael Myers is chasing them around in a bad 80’s horror flick! They typically turn a ghastly pale if the number goes up.
Social conditioning has turned folks minds to mush regarding the scale.
Fear of the scale is extremely common amongst trainees who believe that weight loss is the only way to measure results.
The truth is that the above scenarios are fatally flawed.
While the scale can let you know how much you weigh on a given day, weight gain or loss is not the ultimate determinant of successfully building a spectacular physique.
The name of the physique game is gaining muscle and losing fat. The more muscle you have, the less body fat you will carry around.
The main factors when it comes to developing a lean physique are increasing your training performance, eating a nutritious diet, and recovering properly.
When you focus on these things, you will inevitably build a great body.
Losing excess body weight can be of great benefit if you are overweight. The body does not function optimally when carrying excessive weight.
While trainees can use the scale from time to time to see where their weight is, it cannot be an everyday, OCD deal where it is running your life.
Letting the scale be the only way of how you measure your progress is a terrible mistake.
If you are stronger, leaner, more athletic, and looking much better than why does the number on the scale matter so much?
If you gained 10lbs of muscle (not easy) and lost 10lbs of fat over a period of time than the number on the scale will remain the same.
Meanwhile, you will look 100x better so what is the problem?
Same But Different
Let’s look at two active females who have the same body structure, height, and weight.
Samantha Scale and Paula Physique are both 5’5″ and 140lbs.
Samantha is 40% body fat and Paula is 20% body fat.
They will have completely different looks despite the scale saying that they both weigh 140lbs.
Paula will be relatively lean, while Samantha will be fat.
The scale only gives you a number and that number will fluctuate throughout the day due to your water and food intake.
If you looked in the mirror and had your dream physique would you really care one iota of what the scale said?
During the first year of my natural bodybuilding career, I chased the number on the scale.
When it was pre-competition time, I would try to drop as much weight as possible to get “ripped.”
The end result of this doomed plan was a flat, stringy, skinny 152lb natural “bodybuilder” who did not belong on the stage.
In the off-season, it was no better. I would try to eat myself up to 180lbs thinking that when I arrived there I would have a substantial amount of new muscle mass.
I was dead wrong like Christopher Wallace once said. Real muscle is hard to build as a natural athlete and gaining 20-30lbs of it is not happening in 2 months.
I was gaining weight on the scale, but the majority of it was pure fat. Muscle does not weigh more than fat as 1lb is 1lb whether it is muscle, fat, or feathers.
The end result of that failed bulk was a smooth, bloated, and less athletic version of what I once was.
As I evolved in the bodybuilding game, I stopped chasing hollow numbers on a scale and started chasing muscle and strength.
When I focused on physique development instead of chasing weight, I was able to build the physique that I wanted.
To increase your performance, build muscle, and drop body fat you should:
• Eat whole foods 80-90 percent of the time
• Lift weights 3-5 days per week
• Get quality, restorative sleep
• Limit your stress levels
• Rely on your performance in the gym/track and your appearance in the mirror/progress pictures to show you your progress
• Give a consistent, quality excuse-free effort over time
If building a stand out physique is your goal than the scale will not have power over you.
In terms of importance how you feel, perform, and look matter substantially more than the number on the scale.
We do not even have a scale at The Center!
Men lie, women lie, and the scale lies. The mirror, the bar, progress pictures, and your performance do not.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,