We’re a highly visual culture. Instagram and Snapchat prove that what we love most about social media are the photos. And that’s probably because, as Fast Company tells us, we remember more information when it’s associated with images. It’s a phenomenon frequently referred to as the picture superiority effect.
Often times, when people begin a weight loss or fitness journey, they’re initially motivated by a shocking visual: catching a glimpse of themselves in a mirror as they walk by, being tagged by a friend in an unflattering Facebook photo or glimpsing back at photos that showcase their more ideal physiques.
Data is good – don’t get us wrong. It’s incredibly motivating to see numbers change as you work through a weight loss program. But the numbers on the scale can be so misleading. Muscle weighs more than fat. So one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat. Think about that for a minute: you might physically take up LESS space but weigh MORE on the scale if you’re involved in an effective training program. That’s why so many personal trainers prefer tape measures and calipers to scales. Inches and body composition mean so much more than your body’s relationship with gravity expressed in numeric form (which is all weight is when you really think about it).
Lauren Usherwood, a certified personal trainer at Elevate Fitness in Liverpool, NY says, “The scale can lie. I’ve had clients that have impacted their health and fitness positively in every way imaginable, who weighed more after they trained with me than they did before. BUT what the scale doesn’t show you is that they dropped dress sizes, or they played sports they hadn’t been able to play since high school. Body circumference measurements and body fat percentages tell you way more about a person’s body changing for the better than a scale can.”
At the same time, fitness professionals will warn you that you should have some sort of metric that you’re measuring as you complete any fitness program so that you can ensure the effectiveness of that program and make adjustments as necessary to make sure you reach your goals. And most of us can’t do our own circumference measurements, and we certainly can’t measure our own body fat percentage.
One option is photos.
“Photos are great,” says Mark Clary, a Program Director with over 30 years experience in the health and fitness industries, “getting a full body photograph that shows your body as is, without filters and flattering angles and special lighting will give you the best visual starting point for tracking your progress.” It makes sense, after all, before and after pictures are the most common way for people to share their success when it comes to weight loss.
But maybe you don’t have a timer on your camera or a tripod to get a full body shot. And maybe you’re not comfortable asking someone to take a photograph for you. We get it, it’s not always a practical suggestion. That’s where technology is starting to offer some interesting solutions, like 3D Body Imaging and Composition Analysis.
In less than a minute, this technology can scan your body, create a 3D digital image and take hundreds of body circumference and body composition measurements to give you both a visual AND relevant data to establish your starting point and track your progress as you work toward your goals.
Think about it – you wouldn’t want a surgeon going to work on you without first carefully assessing your condition and THEN creating a plan for you – why should the gym be any different? Why waste your time doing exercises or participating in a program that isn’t the right one for your body or your goals?
Elevate Fitness Clubs in Liverpool and Dewitt, NY are now offering 3D Body Imaging and Composition Analysis on site. Members working with a personal trainer in one-on-one personal training programs will receive monthly scans to track their progress and document their results. Members with VIP status will also get monthly scans. But what about the rest of us? Well, the good news is a) you don’t have to be working with a trainer or a VIP member to get a scan and b) right now, through the end of the year, you can get 50% off body scans! Fill out the form below to request more information or to schedule your body scan and composition analysis today!