Let’s be honest. We’re all judging the heck out of this whole exercise and nutrition experiment. Sure, maybe some (or most of it) is in a surface level, vanity type judgement, but evaluation is important. I mean, no matter what it is, we’ve got to have ways to evaluate how things are going, right? In school it was our grades and at work it’s performance evaluations.
How do we know if we are doing well when it comes to health and fitness?
Well first and foremost, I can say that the most relied upon tools to evaluate health and fitness in our society are the WORST. Take for example the following:
The Scale. This worthless tool is the most bastardized evaluator of progress on the planet. But, for most folks the number on the scale is a bottom line dealmaker or deal breaker.
Lord, help us. Not only is this thing the source of so much unnecessary stress and validation, it all falls apart because people don’t know what their body weight means. With this tool, you’ve got people excited that they are an out-of-shape 42% body fat instead of a fitter 31% body fat, because they weighed less for the former scenario.
Plus, did you know your weight can fluctuate five pounds a day based on your hydration level? Think about the amount of meaningless heartbreak happening on scales as we speak.
The Mirror. Well, we don’t have walls, but when we do they won’t have mirrors on them. Use these things to comb your hair or find the right outfit but for the love of God, don’t try to figure out how fit you are in the mirror.
I’ve said my piece on aesthetic driven training before, and though aesthetic goals are legit, it cannot be the focus. Period.
Though I may play the part of a meathead well, I’m fairly well read. Bear with me as I make a reference to the use of fractals in finance…
You see there’s a great perspective about markets that says the more often you observe outcomes in the market place the more redundant those outcomes become.
Think about it..
You buy 10 shares of Apple stock in 2008 at 89 bucks a share. If you looked at that stock once every quarter, you’d have a positive experience (higher price) all but a few instances. Now, make that same investment and if you looked at the stock price every 10 seconds you’d experience losses about 45% of the time. Clearly, too much heartbreak for 300% returns over 5 years ($442/share).
The same is true of using the mirror day in and day out to evaluate your fitness journey. It’s irresponsible and full of unnecessary disappointment.
So, we know what NOT to do. How then should you evaluate your fitness progress since evaluation is important after all?
Performance. Performance is the key to evaluation and goal setting. Performance is the perfect unbiased tool to move us along. As long as you keep getting stronger, faster, and improving in your measurable performances, your goals (aesthetic or not) are probably in good hands.
The good news is that’s exactly how we measure everything we do at Functional Fitness on the Bluffs. Ditch the scale and get out of the mirror. For responsible evaluation of your health and fitness progress, dive in deep to the numbers from one rep maxes, to baseline times, to benchmark workout efforts.
..oh, and quit checking your stocks, too. It doesn’t mean anything that your mutual fund is up a quarter percent today.
In 90 seconds:
15 Hand-to-hand KB Swings (2/1.5)
100m Run (50 o/b)
Max Lateral Burpees
-Rest 90 seconds-