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My gym pet peeve… and why you need a fat analyzer

11 January 2011 No Comment

Everyone has a gym pet peeve.

  • Grunting weight lifters
  • People who drench machines in sweat and simply walk away
  • An expensive gym membership that entitles you to broken antique equipment
  • The guy that basically doesn’t lift anything and is always going for a drink of water
  • People who try to pick up at the gym
  • Imaginary lat syndrome

I have my own pet peeve:
People who weigh themselves at the gym

Why is it a pet peeve? Your body weight is constantly fluctuating throughout the day based on your meals, physical activity, washroom habits, and hydration levels. When you are at the gym you are probably furthest from an “equilibrium state”. You are likely to be dehydrated or superhydrated, so it seems pointless to weigh yourself.

Aside from that, your overall weight is rough estimate of your physical well being and does not provide the details you need to know if your program is giving you the results you want. For example, if someone is on a body building program, he has a goal of gaining muscle mass while minimizing fat gain. If he has gained 1 lbs after 2 weeks, how does he know it is not fat? On the hand, someone on a fat loss program wants to maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss from cardio workouts and proper dieting. It’s not possible to get information alone from a typical bathroom scale.

Omron Body Fat Analyzer

In August 2007 I bought an Omron Body Fat Analyzer to enable me to track my performance numerically – and avoid the misconceptions that come with a standard bathroom scale. A fat analyzer is the easiest way to see what is happening to your body during workout regiments, which allows you to adjust your routine if you aren’t getting the right results.

2010 Gym Results

When my body fat peaked around October 2009, I decided it was time to sign up for a Gold’s gym membership. I kept track of every cardio workout at the gym, as well as the time I spent doing activities like cycling and snowboarding. I focused almost exclusively on cardio workouts to burn the fat, and didn’t do much weight training. It wasn’t until the end of 2010 that I started weight training. You can see the results in the graphs below.

In 2010, I burnt a total of 47,000 calories (equivalent to 15 lbs of fat) from cardio activities at the gym, bike rides, and snowboarding. My actual weight loss was approximately 10 lbs of fat. Had it not been for the weight training towards the end of 2010 I would have also lost an additional 5 lbs of lean mass.

Final Thoughts

I I know I take data analysis to an extreme for many situations, but I think anyone who is serious about fitness should definitely invest in a body fat analyzer.

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