The scale is overrated – try these tools instead
Step off the scale and take a look around. Could it be that there’s more to being healthy than your weight? We’re here to tell you that there is. Pounds and kilos don’t tell the full story, which is why we’ve never been sold on the scales as the ultimate measure of success.
Focusing on other key milestones in your fitness journey could be the key to rediscovering your confidence and recharging your motivation. Sure, the scale has its place, but it ain’t all that. Here’s why.
Just looking for the alternatives to the scale? Scroll down.
1. It can't tell the difference between fat and muscle
If you’ve ever tried to gain muscle for strength or endurance, you know that the equation for health is not as simple as less weight = better. (As an example, Bobby put on 22lbs/10kg of muscle to prepare for the latest Thor movie. He definitely wouldn’t have been happy to see the number on the scale going down!)
Your weight doesn't tell the world what you're capable of.
Even if your goal is to lose fat, you may be gaining muscle through training, which is definitely a good thing. The old saying “muscle weighs more than fat” isn’t actually true, but it is true that muscle is higher density than fat. This means you may look leaner and more defined, and your clothes may fit better, while the scale hasn’t budged.
2. It doesn't measure fitness
The number on the scale won’t help you when it’s time to walk up a flight of stairs or lift a heavy object. In fact, studies have shown that increasing your fitness by exercising is more important for your health than losing weight. Plus, your weight doesn’t tell the world what you’re capable of. Peak fitness comes in all shapes, sizes and weights, as these amazing images of elite athletes show.
Fitness progress means something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?
How do other members measure their fitness? Leonie gained lean muscle mass when doing Centr Power, but more importantly: “The program turned this 40-year-old nurse suffering from lower back pain into a confident, healthy and strong lady!”
Think about it, don’t you feel so much better about yourself when you’re being more active, learning a new skill, or you’ve just smashed an epic workout with Luke? Would you trade that feeling for a slight increase or decrease on the scale? Didn’t think so.
3. It might not be helping you
How many times have you let the number on the scale get into your head or tried to explain it away? Take it from our nutrition expert Angie: “Your weight WILL fluctuate on a daily basis, and if you only focus on the daily fluctuations, it can become mentally exhausting.”
The scale shouldn't be your only measure of success.
A variety of factors can cause these day-to-day fluctuations: hormonal changes, hydration, fluid retention, digestion, bowel movements and so on. That’s why, says Angie, “the scale shouldn’t be your only measure of success”.
Frequent weighing can also be mentally taxing and demotivating. While some may be fine with doing weekly weigh-ins, others may feel better mentally if they weigh in less regularly, or not at all.
So long, scale!
So if the scales aren’t providing the full picture, how can you tell if all the hard work you’re putting into your Centr workouts is actually paying off? Here are five practical ways you can measure your fitness progress.
1. Set mini-goals
When the road to your ultimate fitness goal seems long or even impossible, mini-goals will keep you moving forward. Perhaps you’re struggling to get through a full Centr Ignite workout. Aim to do all the moves without weights first; when you can complete the workout confidently, bring the weights back. Achieving these mini-goals will reaffirm the progress you’re making and give you the confidence to keep pushing.
Luke wants YOU... to try his all-out abs challenge.
2. Challenge yourself
Looking for a tangible way to chart your progress? Give yourself a fitness test. You can get creative with how you do this, but be consistent. For instance, you might test your endurance by taking on Luke’s 1000 Rep Bodyweight Challenge at the end of every month, or measure your core strength gains by doing his abs challenge every two weeks.
3. Measure what matters (to you)
Is one of your goals to get arms like Chris Hemsworth? Two words: measure them! The only way to accurately measure the progression of size is to bring out the fabric measuring tape. You can also use a tape measure if you’re looking to drop a few inches around your waist or add some mass to your chest or shoulders.
4. Strike a pose
Snapping a photo before you start your fitness journey (and at regular intervals along the way) is an impactful way to show Future You how much progress you’ve made. Increased definition, better posture, clearer skin! Consistency is key – take side, front and back photos in the same light and same outfit (less is more, you’ve got nothing to hide!) You don’t have to show anyone else, but you will have a simple way to compare where you’ve come from with where you are right now.
If you DO want to share them? There’s a whole Centr community of selfie-lovers on Facebook waiting to cheer you on!
5. If you do it, track it
Whether you’re using Weights Tracker on Centr, a smart watch on your wrist or an old-school notebook, track your workouts. Note down whatever you consider to be important info: the weight you’re lifting, the round you completed up to, or PBs for certain exercises. Update it regularly, recording the wins AND the setbacks – that way when you look back on it a few months down the road, you’ll have a really good map of how far you’ve come.
Do you have an “it’s complicated” relationship with the scale? Or have you got rid of it altogether? Let us know in the Centr community.
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