How come I haven’t lost weight when I’ve been training so hard?
I always answer this with a question., “How do your clothes feel?”
The reply comes back in 9 out of 10 cases, “Oh, they’re looser” or “They’re hanging off me!”
So then I have to go into the “Body Composition” Speech.
It goes like this:
Weight is a general term for your total body mass, this includes the muscle, bones, fat and fluids. A drop in bodyweight can mean a drop in any of those factors (whatever you do, don’t loose bone mass!)
So really we learn nothing about our progress if weight is our only factor.
What we really want to do is measure how much fat we’ve lost, while keeping as much fluid and possibly increasing our muscle mass.
There are many scientific measures for this, but for most there are two simple methods, both of which are as accurate as we need them to be. One is to take before and after photo’s, many find this embarrassing but that’s cool, the second measure I call the Wardrobe test.
Somewhere in the back of your wardrobe is a shirt or pair of jeans that you can no longer fit into. If your fat loss program has worked you ought to not only fit into this item, but it should also look good on you.
The guy asking the question at the top of this post replied with, “Yeah, I’ve a shirt that I bought years ago and have never been able to close, I got that on for the first time the other day.”
So he’s gotten smaller, he’s lost a significant amount of body fat but his weight hadn’t changed, so looked at him and saw that his back was significantly bigger as were his quads, he stood much straighter and had just put in the fastest time on the running portion of the days workout.
He had grown muscle, which is heavier than fat, a litre bottle full of muscle would weight 1.06 kg whereas the same bottle of fat would weight 0.9 kg, this is the reason he didn’t notice a change on the scales.
On the other hand, John who was seriously overweight and out of shape when he joined Boot Camp has shifted nearly 2 stone in 8 weeks. He’s complaining that he got into trousers he hasn’t worn for years but then couldn’t button up a shirt over his chest. John has gone from looking like a barrel to having a barrel chest. That and for a man who couldn’t complete the cardio day a few weeks ago, now is keeping up with everyone else and even got home first on one of the runs. He’s delighted, and so am I.
So the bathroom scales are not always the best measure of your progress. At Wild Geese, we’re more interested in performance, body composition change comes as a result of increased performance, but if you need to check your body composition, dig out those old jeans and see how you go, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The next Boot Camp commences on September 6th. Are you up for a challenge?