As an IFBB Bikini Pro and a coach, I often find myself reminding clients that bodybuilding, whether it's lifestyle fitness or contest prep, is about so much more than just the number on the scale. While the scale can be a useful tool to gauge progress, it's certainly not the be-all and end-all, and thank goodness we don't have to wear a neon sign flashing our weight for the world to see.
There are numerous other factors that are equally, if not more, important when assessing your progress. These elements can provide a more holistic view of your journey and give you a comprehensive understanding of your fitness status.
1. Measurements and Visual Changes
One of the most tangible ways to track progress is through body measurements and visual changes. These can include changes in body composition, how clothes fit, or noticeable transformations in your check-in photos. These indicators can sometimes reveal progress that the scale may not.
2. Gym Performance
Are you lifting heavier, running faster, or enduring longer workouts than before? Improvements in your performance at the gym are a clear sign of progress and an indication of increased strength and endurance.
3. Hunger, Mood, and Stress
Your appetite, mood, and stress levels can provide crucial insights into how your body is adjusting to your regimen. Stable hunger levels, improved mood, and reduced stress can be indications of a well-balanced lifestyle and workout plan.
4. Proper Sleep and Digestion
Quality sleep and proper digestion are essential for overall health and optimal fitness performance. If you're sleeping better and your digestive health is improving, it's a sign that your body is responding positively to your lifestyle changes.
5. Water & Fiber Intake
Monitoring your water and fiber intake can ensure you're properly hydrated and your digestive system is functioning optimally. Regularly meeting your water and fiber goals is another form of progress.
Remember, your weight is just a single number measured at a specific time during your day. As your coach, it's my responsibility to worry about the scale. What you need to focus on is consistently putting in the necessary work and dedication to achieve your goals.
Every individual is unique, and progress looks different on everyone. Communication with your coach is crucial to navigate this journey effectively. By keeping an open dialogue, we can tailor your regimen to your needs and celebrate your victories, big and small, together.
At the end of the day, bodybuilding is about enhancing your health, strength, and confidence. The scale is just one small piece of the puzzle. The real victory lies in the commitment to the process, the determination to push through challenges, and the courage to redefine your limits. That's where you'll find the progress that truly matters.
Coach Kiki McClellan