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Throw Away Your Scale!


Encourage your members to track their fitness goal success with more realistic measurements than weight loss alone.

Even though many of your members may join your club to lose weight, dropping numbers on the scale may not actually give them what they’re looking for. There are better ways to track your fitness success than just weight-and it’s your job to help your members understand that. By giving your members a realistic view of their accomplishments beyond weight loss, they are more likely to be satisfied in the short-term-which makes them more likely to continue at your club until they achieve the longer term results they are looking for.

Here are some of the best ways to track your members’ fitness success:

A person’s percentage of body fat is one of the best indicators of overall health and fitness. Not only does it give your members the most accurate picture of their overall health-overweight people may be delighted and motivated to learn that their overall health picture is better than they realized-it also helps members to track their progress effectively. “The problem with just measuring weight loss is that it doesn’t provide any information on what is being lost,” says Luiz Da Silva, PhD, CTO of IntelaMetrix, Inc. “Dieting alone, for example, can lead to muscle loss with limited health benefits. Tracking body composition and weight allows members to develop a dietary and training program that can lead to more muscle and less fat. In some cases members entering a fitness program initially gain weight which can be discouraging and send the wrong message. Showing that the gain in weight is due to more muscle and less fat can overcome this concern.” Da Silva believes monthly body composition checks provide the best member motivation.

Your members may not see results right away, but they will start to feel them early on. One of the most immediate effects of exercise is the ability to make your exercise sessions last longer the more frequently you do them. Members may not see immediate weight loss, but they can feel almost immediate physical improvements.

Encourage members to compare their performance week-to-week-how much longer can they work out? How much easier is it to do their workout as the weeks go by? The more they can see results, the better they will feel about their progress-and the more likely they will be to stick with it until their workouts (and your club) until the weight loss they are looking for really does start to happen.

Encourage members to get regular health checkups over the course of their membership because they are likely to see good results that will keep them motivated. Studies show that regular exercise can lower your resting heart rate, improve your cholesterol levels, reduce your risk factors for conditions including heart disease, stroke and diabetes and otherwise positively impact overall health.

Most members do want to lose weight, and helping them to achieve that goal is certainly an important part of your job. But encouraging them to look beyond the scale to measure their success will boost their overall satisfaction with your club-and make them likelier to maintain their memberships longer.

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