Taking Accurate Body Measurements
It doesn’t matter whether you are doing the Insanity workout, one of the P90X workouts, the 21 Day Fix or any of the workouts on Beachbody on Demand, if you want to really get a good picture of your results, you have to be taking accurate body measurements.
The scale is not an accurate tool for fitness assessments, because it only gives you one metric—total weight. The scale doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle. It simply tells you how much your body weighs, which includes your bones, the water in your body, as well as blood, organs, muscle, fat, etc. It just doesn’t give you complete picture of what’s really going on with your body.
For example, Tony Horton and I are both about 5’9″. He weighs about 180 pounds and I weigh about 170. No one in their right mind would say that Tony is 10 pounds fatter than I am. If you look at the two of us, it is pretty clear that he’s got more muscle on his body than I do. But, if we went by the scale alone, you might be tricked into thinking he’s a bit overweight.
This is a pretty extreme example, but I see this again and again. People begin a new fitness program and start seeing that scale move down and get really excited. They keep going, but eventually their body starts building muscle at about the same rate it’s burning fat. This causes the scale to start to equalize, which can be very discouraging IF that’s the only metric you use.
The picture to the left shows the difference between one pound of fat and one pound of muscle. The fat is nearly three times as large, but both weigh one pound. This helps you see why taking measurements is key.
The scale won’t give you this information. If your body is shrinking, but your weight is either staying the same or growing, then you are building muscle and that’s a very, very good thing.
Who cares how much you weigh if you look like Tony Horton—or you can fit into your favorite pair of jeans or that little black dress! Use the scale, but understand what it is telling you – and, more importantly, what it isn’t.
Here’s a short video explaining how to properly take your measurements.
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