Two numbers we don’t believe you should be worrying about when it comes to your health and fitness
This one is controversial...
For far too long, the health and fitness industry has pushed you to be motivated by the aesthetic improvements that come with exercising regularly. Selling you that being a big, strong male means you have succeeded or being a slim and petite female means you’re the epitome of health. They’ve thrown body fat measurements at you and shamed you for your body weight/BMI being out of the “norm”.
What often is not taken into account is the genetic variability, gender differences and most importantly, the psychological influence these measurements can have on you.
Body fat percentage
Bodybuilders push this to the very edge and they go way beyond the healthy norm of both male and female spectrums (>6% for males >12% for females) - yet they are often the ones who are dishing out dietary and training advice…?
By all means, being leaner isn’t necessarily a bad thing - but using your BF% to determine your health is potentially misguided.
There are a number of factors that influence your BF% but we’ll rain check that one for another day. Focusing on a number (which isn’t always 100% accurate) can become quite burdensome and can negatively affect your health (both mentally and physically).
Similar to body fat percentage, your body weight is subject to fluctuating as a result of a range of factors. Just compare your weight first thing in the morning to the last thing at night and you can see how much it can fluctuate.
Using weight loss to determine an effective exercise program can be limiting, as the majority of results regarding an effective weight loss program comes from what you eat, not what you train - again a topic for another day.
Additionally, an effective exercise program will see you improve in strength which will see an increase in muscle mass, which will see an increase in BW - quite contrary to the result you might be chasing.
Move away from comparing your body to the statistical “norm”.
Genetic and environmental influences can have a massive effect on how your body presents when testing - and this is why we tend to lean away from the subjective influence.
We haven’t really even touched on the psychological influences of aesthetically-driven results when it comes to exercise testing.
It is pretty obvious when a person is carrying too much non-functional mass/adipose tissue (a gentler way of saying fat mass) and as we’ve said, the quickest way to change that is by changing what foods you put in your mouth.
For our members, we shift the focus toward more performance-based measures.
Strength, strength endurance, metabolic measures and endurance tests:
Some decent performance-based results that we encourage include:
<7min 2km Erg.
2 x BW Back Squat
10+ chin ups.
<6min 1.2km bronco shuttle test
5 x BW bench press (.75%BW for females)
Shift the thinking from training as purely a calorie burner. Don’t train purely for weight loss or train because you feel guilty over something you’ve eaten. Train for performance. Train for strength. Train for fitness, mobility, cardiovascular health, mental health… The list goes on. Forget the unnecessary numbers and watch yourself improve instead!