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Body Composition: The War Between The Scale And The Mirror

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It happens every Monday. Someone wakes up and decides to enter the world of weight loss.

They jump on the scale and sigh in disgust.

Next they try to eat better and workout to lose that weight. They might even set a goal and/or time frame to be at a certain weight.

Thousands of people are slaves to the scale. They are either being happy or frustrated depending on what the numbers say.

The scale does not reflect your work. Unless you are trying to make weight for a bodybuilding contest, fight, wrestling match or BJJ tournament, you should not worry about the scale.

On the other end there’s the person who weighs themselves at the start of the program and forgets about the scale. They set their goals and use the mirror to decide if they are in shape or not.

What good is it to drop 10lbs of weight if you have no muscle and look heavier, or if there is no change in your physique? Jack Nicholson had it right in the movie “A Few Good Men”: you can’t handle the truth.

The mirror is the truth, it will never lie to you. It will tell you if you are training correctly or not. If you have abs and biceps showing the mirror will tell you. The scale will not give you this.

In the end the scale only tells you the weight of your body. The mirror will let you know if the work has been put in.

In the picture above I weighed 165 pounds. This was after the juggernaut contest. On the right I weighed 164 pounds with more muscle.

If I worried only about the scale I would think I only lost one pound. In reality I lost two inches on my waist and grew one inch on my chest, legs and arms.

Ultimately it’s wise to use both tools: the scale at the start of any program and at end of it if you need to. But the mirror will reward you with the truth.

For this reason, it’s always a wise idea to look at your body in the mirror, not for vanity purposes, but to see which muscles might be shrinking, or getting bigger. Or if your waist is decreasing at the rate you’d like. Without constantly observing your physique, you won’t be able to see if your diet/training is working or not.

Wanting to transform your body without looking in the mirror, is like an artist painting without looking at the canvas.

How do you measure your progress? Do you look in the mirror or rely on the scales? Leave a comment in the box below. 

Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the founder of Muscle and Brawn, and a powerlifter with 30+ years of experience. Steve's recorded a 600lb squat, 672lb deadlift and a 382lb bench press.
Steve Shaw

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