One of the key measures for progress in the gym is your weight. Weight is not the single most important variable for progress and to be honest, it’s not always an important indicator at all.
The fact that it can be used as a measure is important though and most people attending the gym want to track their weight. With this in mind, you might have come across a rumor that most gyms don’t have scales…
So, why don’t gyms have scales?
Why Don’t Gyms Have Scales
Many gyms do have scales for the members to use to check their weight. Some people feel that your weight is a key measurement of your fitness so most gyms will provide a scale for members to use. Planet Fitness is a popular chain that does not provide scales but they are an exception.
If you’ve heard that gyms don’t have scales, it’s usually due to Planet Fitness (a large gym chain) not providing a scale but this is not an industry standard. In fact, it’s far from it!
There are several different factors to consider as part of determining if your workout is truly working out. Read on to find out how to find information on assessing your workouts and weight.
Why Doesn’t Planet Fitness Have Scales?
Planet Fitness’s registered trademark is that they are the Judgement Free Zone. Scales could be viewed as intimidating for someone who is seeking to lose weight, especially if they are new to exercising at a gym. Weighing yourself, particularly in front of others, is incredibly stressful.
As part of their goals, Planet Fitness seeks to encourage ordinary people to work out. They have been successful in their marketing since 4% of the United States population has a Planet Fitness membership.
Another registered trademark of Planet Fitness is Lunk. Lunk-like behaviors are also detailed.
Planet Fitness does not market to serious athletes, bodybuilders, or powerlifters. Their gyms are equipped with alarms that will sound if someone drops a massive weight (also known as lunk alarms).
Ensuring that customers and members do not feel intimidated is a core value. Therefore, scales are not a part of their equipment. You would also see that gyms like Planet Fitness also don’t allow deadlifts or chalk.
Using a Scale
Before you signed up for the new gym membership, you hopped on the scale. You made a commitment to yourself that it is time to lose weight.
Week one of working out found you at the gym five out of seven days. Great job! Now, you jump back on the scale. Peeking through your hands, yikes you gained weight. Do you drop your gym membership or toss out the scale? Neither.
Your weight is one component of assessing your health. Weighing yourself at a regular interval will give you the most accurate information about your weight.
If you are going to weigh yourself, pick the same time of day, wear the same type of clothing, and pick the same day of the week. Whatever the number is, it does not make you who you are. There are other measures of physical well-being.
Muscle Versus Fat
To help explain what the scale is telling you, many of us fall back on – we are big-boned, or we now have more muscle from working out and that weighs more than fat. Well, not exactly.
A pound is a pound whether it is muscle or fat. There is a difference in the impact of a pound of fat or a pound of muscle on your body.
Fat is softer than muscle. Muscle is a denser pound. Therefore, muscle takes up less room in your body. This means that your clothes will fit you better, and you will feel better. Another great benefit is that muscle increases the speed at which you burn calories.
Why Join a Gym?
So, if a scale is not the best measure of success, how do you know if your gym membership is worth the money? There are several other benefits to gym memberships than the numbers on the scale. Some are:
Working out with others can be a great source of motivation. Meeting new people at a gym can inspire us to continue going to the gym. You will begin to look forward to seeing and talking to people you have met who may share similar purposes for joining the gym.
Gyms provide an assortment of equipment. Most gyms will have a mix of treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines, and more. The variety is good for your body to work on different muscles. It also can reduce the tedium that can accompany using the same exercise bike at home daily.
Classes offered at gyms have many benefits. These are also great ways to meet people. A knowledgeable instructor can help you with your health goals. With an instructor teaching you the proper form, you can reduce your chance of injury.
Measuring Your Success
You joined the gym and are faithfully attending. You are not weighing yourself at the gym. How do I know if all of this effort is worth it?
Whether you work out at a gym or not, physical exercise is proven to have many benefits for us. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intense aerobic activity.
These benefits include our physical, mental, and cognitive health. Regardless of your weight, everyone will feel better because of physical exercise. Some results are experienced sooner than others.
Exercise Makes You Happier
Physical exercise sends chemicals to your brain that make you feel happier. One of those chemicals is endorphins. These are part of the brain chemicals that improve your mood and make you more confident. Endorphins are released as a result of physical activity.
Another measure of happiness as a result of the gym is how your clothes fit. Instead of using a scale, use the fit of your clothes to measure your progress and the gym. This will also make you feel good.
Grab those jeans you struggled to zip up a month from the corner of the closet. Try them on now. The zipper glides up much more easily. Overall, your clothes should start feeling more comfortable on you. This can give you more confidence.
One contributor to the difficulty of a good night’s sleep is tossing and turning. Thinking back through the day and worrying about this and that. Since exercise reduces your stress, you will sleep better at night.
Additionally, because of your physical activity, your body needs rest. Your muscles need to recuperate. Sleep comes easier for you. People who exercise sleep better and deeper.
Scale or Not
It is up to you if or how often a scale fits into your routine. There are numerous other ways to measure the effectiveness of your time at the gym. It is about the whole picture, not one number.