Workout of the Day

Looking At The Scale Too Often


We are big believers in having definitive and repeatable metrics for our performance and fitness. There is a reason that we require everyone entering our ranks to complete our “Baseline” workout, a simple metric that we can refer back to and re-test to see where progress has been made, and where greatest opportunities for more progress are. In the end, you really don’t know that you’re getting better unless you have something measurable and repeatable.

All that being said, there is such a thing as measuring too much. Typically, this manifests as an attitude that leads you to weighing yourself daily, or multiple times per day, always checking in the mirror to “measure” your physique-related progress, testing your max lifts every week, or viewing every workout as a definitive test of your fitness. And while all of these (with the exception of the subjective act of mirror-measuring) are fine ways to measure progress, and a large collection of data points can lead us to a clear picture of progression or regression, people typically struggle to look at all of these data points as an aggregated whole, and instead put considerable weight in each individual data point. Unsurprisingly, this mode of thinking is also most common with the type of person who tends to feel the impulse to “check in” on their progress with extraordinary regularity.

Let’s take this example out of fitness for a moment and look at stocks. Let’s say you invested in stock for a tech company with high growth potential in 2005, and felt the need to check in on your stock every hour on the hour. Even with a stock that displays record-level growth, over the span of a few weeks, you would likely find yourself opening your portfolio to find losses in your stock value almost 50% percent of the time. Over the span of a few months, you would likely see drops in your stock value over 700 times. Zoom out for a moment, though, and check your stock value every 2 weeks, for example, and you would see a more steady upward trend. Zoom out even more to the span of 6 months, and you would see a steady upward facing arrow. Zoom out further to 5 years, and you would see growth of over 400% in your stock value.

There’s no denying the value of a rich collection of data points, and there are some people who can manage taking a scientific approach to personal data points; but there’s also no denying that for most people it’s a self-defeating game to “check in” every day and face a negative outcome nearly 50% of the time. If you’re drawn to check the scale every morning and evening to see if you’ve lost or gained weight or to feel the impulse to test your strength every time you step under the bar, you’re probably among this majority. Play this game, and you’re likely to end up abandoning your program, switching around your diet, giving up, or selling your stock before benefits have truly been realized.

Remember, not every day is test day. This is training. Your performance, your physique, your health are all part of a larger process that stretches far beyond the peaks and valleys of days and hours. Check in, measure, and test, just not too often.

- PS


  • Spend 10 minutes working on ring muscle-ups, muscle-up strength, and transitions


  • “Cindy”

  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 5 pull-ups

    • 10 push-ups

    • 15 squats