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Change to split; Why has the scale not moved?

Friday, April 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Yesterday I decided to make a minor change to my current weight training split: I’ve moved calves from Thursday (quads and hamstrings) to Friday (delts, traps and now calves). The reason for this change is mainly to better balance the volume and length of those two workouts. As always, my current and past training information can be found on my training page.

I received an email yesterday asking why my weight has been flatlined all week, and if I was already planning to make a change to my cutting diet as a result. I think scale weight is a common concern – especially among beginners – so I’d like to talk about this subject a little bit…

My scale weight was 195.4 pounds on Monday, and today it is basically the same: 195.2 pounds. Does this mean I’m not losing fat? Maybe yes, maybe no. The scale can be useful, but it is by far the most blunt instrument in our transformation toolboxes. A standard scale does not know the difference between lean mass and fat; it can only give you the total of both. If you are relying solely on your scale weight to determine your progress, then you are only viewing a very small swatch of the information available to you. Soft tape measurements, photographs, the mirror, how your clothes fit and body fat calipers (I use the Fat Track PRO Digital Body Fat Calipers) are light years beyond the lowly scale when it comes to tracking body composition changes; these basic tools and methods should be utilized by everyone who is serious about tracking their progress.

Returning to the original question, do I need to make a change to my cutting diet already? The answer is that it is way too soon to tell. This Sunday I’ll take tape measurements and a body fat reading, and will evaluate things from there. Even though I’m cutting, it is very possible that I’ve been adding lean mass while losing fat over the past couple of weeks. Muscle memory is a very real thing, and my nutrition and training have both been 100% spot-on. Also, I’ve been taking creatine and that’s certainly causing some lean mass gains in the form of water. This past week I’ve noticed increased definition in my abdominal area, and my clothes are feeling looser. Also, stalls are normal when cutting. These are all things that I will take into consideration before making any changes.

OK, time for me to get to work. Happy Friday!

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