Don't Lean on the Scale: Measuring Body Composition

You treat the scale like you’re testing a sink hole.

One toe… tap, tap…

Whole foot. Second foot. EYES CLOSED. OMG. OMG. OMG.

People don’t like to use the scale or measure their progress in general because they’re scared to get the bad news. Even when they’re doing everything they can and they’re making all the best choices, they’re still scared.

One toe… tap, tap…

The fact is we’re at the gym because we’re already getting bad news. The doctor tells us we need to lose weight to be healthier. Our clothes aren’t fitting the way we want. Our body feels like crap.

Change is an emotional process and a lot of subjective observations leak into the process. Numbers are the only way to objectively way to see if the choices you’re making are working. Hopefully combining trial and error with measurement leads to success. Then, repeat.

What are our recommendations for measuring your fitness and fat loss journey? Check them out below!

1) Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis Machine


This is our #1 choice for measuring body composition. A machine like this measures body fat mass, muscle mass and water in your body. This gives us the best insight into the actual changes that you’ve made.

Hopefully your local fitness facility has one. If not, maybe a doctor or nutritionist has a similar machine that’s more sophisticated than just a scale.

2) Circumference Measurements

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If you don’t have access to a fancy scale there are still options!

Our next best recommendations would be circumference measurements of your right arm, chest, waist, hips and right thigh.

Contrary to popular belief a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, muscle just takes up less space. If you don’t see the scale moving, but your measurements are changing, you can rest assured that you’re on the right track.


3) Scale + Waist and Hips

Our last recommendation still includes measuring something besides the scale. If you don’t want to ask for help in measuring your right arm, chest, waist, hips and right thigh, measure your hips and waist and track your numbers on the scale.

Using this method, we’re still not relying solely on weight to measure the changes in your body.

No matter what method you choose to measure progress remember that change comes from consistency. Not seeing changes in the first few weeks is normal so don’t get discouraged. There are numerous benefits that come from exercise from increased energy to better mood and sleep.

To keep you sane makes notes of the small changes you feel to keep you motivated when the ultimate goal still feels like it’s out of reach.

Also keep in mind that:

Your weight can fluctuate 3-5 pounds on a daily basis.

In the beginning of the fat loss process, people lose fat, gain muscle and become more hydrated “negating” any change on the scale. In that first month you may be down 3 pounds of fat, up a pound of muscle and 2 pounds of water. The scale would show "no progress."

The scale is a poor indicator of progress but using it along with these other tools will give you the extra information you need to know what you’re doing is working!

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Body Building the RD Way

Burn Calories, Get Lean and Stay Strong!

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When people think of body building they think ARNOLD.

I actually think this a good comparison.

Classic Arnold was a specimen just like you. Young. Energetic. Able to eat and do whatever you want with little consequence.

Todays Arnold is still a sharp, passionate person, but his body is not what it once was.

Can you relate?

This where your mindset has to shift.

How can you build your best body now when you’re not the person you once were?

What does that even mean?

At Results Driven, we deal with people who are in between current and classic Arnold. At this point in your life, building your best body means becoming more limber, strong, coordinated and agile.

Body building doesn’t mean back day, chest day and biceps day. We’re talking total body movements like squats, planks, rows and carries. We’re training on the ground, on your hands and knees, kneeling and standing. We’re doing cardio with ropes, sleds, medicine balls and resistance bikes.

We want to help you body build the right way!

We want you to feel good, confident, strong and every positive adjective because you deserve it! So here’s a look at how we systematically look at exercise to get clients build their best bodies.

1) The Functional Movement Screen

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The FMS is the first place we start with any member who comes through our doors.

Would you agree that guessing wastes time?

When members start they want results NOW! So what can we do to meet their needs? By starting with an evaluation.

The Functional Movement Screen is an objective assessment tool that helps us make the most effective exercise choices to reach their goals.

How many times do we walk into a gym and not know what’s right for us and what isn’t? What might hurt and what’s going to feel good? This helps our coaches make sure you feel GREAT during and after your workout.

2) Developmental Sequence


This concept is a game changer! Once we’ve have a better idea of how you move our goal is to train in a variety of positions. We’ll do exercises on our backs, on all fours, kneeling and standing to challenge the body in different ways.

Why does this matter to you? By training in different positions we’re able to rehabilitate movement. The term, “developmental sequence” refers to the way babies developed from little humans, helplessly lying on their backs to upright children and beyond.

Typically, people only train in 2 positions, standing or sitting. By peppering in these other positions your body can regain some of the mobility and stability it’s lost.

3) Lift Things

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Lifting is scary to a lot of folks. Why? Because they’re scared of getting injured. That’s why we take the precautions we do before the member even starts exercising.

By screening the member and getting to know them, then understanding how to train in different positions, members are able to explore safe exercise choices for them and their body.

Ultimately, resistance training has multiple benefits from increasing bone density to building muscle and helping in the fat loss process. When people think of “lifting,” they think of sweaty dudes grunting and throwing weights around but it doesn’t have to be that at all.

We encourage members to squat, pull, use their hips, push or plank and carry things. It really is that simple. As they learn to move their bodies, they can increase the complexity and learn even more.

4) Conditioning

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Another big part of building your best body is conditioning or endurance. We don’t talk about it too much because a lot of people who frequent the gym typically spend a lot of time on cardio equipment, but why is it important?

Consider this, you’re recovering from an injury and you’ve been limited, pretty much going from work to bed and back. What happens when you try to workout the first time back? You’re pretty damn tired, right?

This seems obvious but conditioning is the quality that allows us to do more work. When people first start exercising one of our objectives is to just keep them moving. We use heart rate monitors to make sure we’re not over doing it because that would have a negative effect on their ability to adapt.

By helping the member do just enough work without overexerting themselves, coupled with the next topic, recovery, we’re able to build up their conditioning which allows them to do more work, get stronger, learn more skills and potentially increase their ability to ward off injury.

5) Recovery

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It only seems natural that the list would end here. If we do all of these things, but never recover from them, eventually it will catch up with us leading to burn out, injury or potentially developing a health issue.

What is recovery? It comes in many forms. Sleep, stress reduction techniques, eating well, hydration, even light exercise like walking or hiking. It’s really difficult sometimes to take care of ourselves after a long day, but taking the extra time to have a good meal, get a little extra sleep or go for a walk with a pet or loved one can make a huge difference in how our body adapts to the stress we put it under.

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Work Smarter! Choose Recovery for Results!


The Brief

The “no pain, no gain,” “work ‘til you drop,” mindset is killing your results.

• Focus on 3 to 4 hours of resistance training a week and support your hard work with:

• A diet focused on whole foods when possible and at least 64oz of water a day.
• Healthy sleep habits geared to get you 6 to 8 hours of restorative rest.
• “Off days” focused on joint restoration, light lifting or outdoor activities.

You’re in the gym A LOT. You start to see some results and think “It’s about time this hard work pays off!”

So now you’re COMMITTED. Rain, you’re at the gym. Snow, you’re at the gym. Brush fire? You have an SUV! Gym time!

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Then, out of nowhere you hit a wall. You feel tired and your body aches. Motivation is dwindling and now thinking about exercise makes you cringe.

What’s the big idea? What’s missing? What happened!?

Training without recovery is like putting gas in your car but never getting the oil changed. Maintenance is mandatory!

If you’ve ever hit the wall and want to know how to get over the hump keep reading!

Check out this recovery guide to round out your program

1. Proper Nutrition and Hydration


Resistance training recruits a lot of muscles so we need food to help fuel our recovery. That means nutrient dense food and plenty of water. We’d also recommend whole foods when possible. Whole foods are more nutrient dense than supplements like bars or meal replacement shakes. Choose apples over sugary drinks, greens over hamburger buns and quality meat vs. battered chicken or fish.

2. Healthy Sleep Habits

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If there’s one thing you need to drop fat or gain muscle it’s sleep! Sleep is prime time for your body to recover from the day’s stresses, both physical (like a workout) or emotional. Amplify your sleepy by putting your phone away a half hour before bed, turning off the TV, and doing some deep breathing to get some z’s.

3. Movement Restoration or Active Recovery


Let’s face it, when movement and exercise helped deliver results, it’s hard to put the pedal to the metal. It’s okay to move everyday of the week, it just needs to be varied.

If you’re deadlifting heavy weight seven days a week your body’s going to be pretty pissed off.

Mobility and flexibility work, light carries, crawling, rocking, or whatever else makes you feel good are great alternatives! If all else fails, do an outdoor activity. Get fresh blood to your muscles and feel the endorphins flow!

Listening to your body throughout your process is key. Maybe you have to drop down to four days of strength training and two days of movement or a walk. Nothing is set in stone and once you find what works, your body will thank you!

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