As an experiment over the past couple of weeks, I decided to do “whatever workouts I wanted to do” and “whenever I wanted to do them”. In other words I didn’t have any pre-planned structure to my workouts. I just did whatever, whenever. This was to simulate just what would happen if I were to lose focus on my fitness goals.
It’s hard for me to measure just how much my body fat, bone, water and muscle has been affected by this loss of focus because my Bluetooth scales have been playing up today. It seems that the developers of the app that receives data from the scales haven’t tested it against iOS 11 which Apple released with week. Therefore, my scales are showing that I’m over 2 lbs lighter than last week (on the scales screen itself) but I don’t have access to the data about my body fat or muscle for example because the app isn’t receiving that info from the scales.
This has made me feel like I’m missing something really important in my life. I’ve come to realise that those scales have been a very important tool in measuring my success during this fitness journey. Some people don’t weigh themselves at all. In fact one lady told me on Instagram that “you should never weigh yourself”. Really? A person aiming to lose weight shouldn’t ever stand on scales to see how much weight they’ve lost? How do they know if they’re on target then? How do they know whether their body fat has increased or decreased if they don’t use the tool that measures that.
Of course, some people use these body fat calipers for tracking changes in their body fat and they’re good. It appears that using these is not quite as easy as pinching your flabby bits and sticking on the calipers. I suppose some people do it like that but it does seem slightly more complex according to this article on bodybuilding.com
By the way, I don’t solely rely on scales to monitor the progress I’m making. I do get the tape measure out and measure my upper arms, lower arms, calves, thighs, chest and waist once a month. There’s little point in doing it more frequently than that, such as weekly like I do with the body fat scales, because there aren’t many noticeable changes within such a short period of time. Monthly is perfect. Maybe I’ll invest in some calipers and see what the fuss is all about.
So in terms of numbers, it’s hard to complete the test without scales and an app that work with iOS 11. However I can talk about how I feel.
Whilst it’s convenient just doing whatever random workout I feel like doing whenever I can be bothered, it’s not the best thing to do if you want to see good results. I have found so far during my 14 month fitness journey that having a written plan of what specific workouts you’ll do each day of the week is the best solution. Anybody experienced in this field will know that you can’t just throw together a load of exercises and hope to lose weight, particularly if you’re doing weights. Working on a weights programme that targets a particular set of muscle groups on Monday should require that you work on a different group on Tuesday. Having the right amount of rest between workouts is essential when it comes to fat loss and muscle-building/retention.
So this proves my point, which is that non-focused thrown together workouts (and meals too!) aren’t helpful if you want to continue achieving positive results. Plan the specific workouts you’ll do each day, and get together all the ingredients for your week’s meals too so that you have more structure to your weight loss plan and can monitor progress and adjust targets accordingly.
I’ll bring you a full update on progress so far in a week’s time…that’s if I get my app and scales to work again ofcourse.