We all have fear and anxiety about certain things. For me that list includes: bears, a Kardashian Empire, and actual chocolate toxicity. Sure, there are worse ways to go, but knowing that consuming just 13 pounds of the dark stuff could put me in the ground? Well, that still makes me a little nervous...
That aside, when it comes to health and wellness, there's one thing that seems to make people shudder more than just about anything else: the scale.
Heck, it scares people more than carbs. Or gluten. Or sugar. And that's a whole lot of scared peoples!
Say the word 'scale' in a gym, and it's like yelling 'fire!' in a crowded theater - people panic. It is the big bad wolf of the fitness industry, but it certainly doesn't have to be that way.
In fact, the scale is not a scary thing at all. It's not even a bad thing. It can actually be a very good thing - something that can benefit you as much of if not more than any of the other equipment you typically use in a gym - and I'm going to explain to you exactly why and how to use it.
First things first: that number you see on the scale is just a number - a data point to be precise. It doesn't matter if it says 137, or 223, or even 569. Like any other piece of data - it's just a number. It is by no means who you are, or what you are, or an exact indicator of health. Like blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, or blood sugar levels, it is a reference point at a given time. That's it. Nothing else, nothing more. And like those other numbers, it can be tweaked and improved if you care to do so.
So repeat after me: scale weight is just a data point at a given moment in time. Got it? See, it's not so big and bad after all...
Now, where this number (or piece of data) can be particularly valuable is for anyone wishing to increase or decrease their body weight. More specifically, most people are trying to increase or maintain muscle mass while decreasing body fat. When someone says they are trying to lose weight, that's pretty much what they're trying to do - maintain or increase muscle mass while decreasing body fat. They're not really looking for a specific number on a scale, they're looking for a specific result. But the scale can be a valuable tool in the process.
But wait a second, you say. Scales can be wrong. Scale weight can fluctuate wildly over the course of a single day. It can be manipulated by simple hydration and dehydration. It tells you nothing about the composition of that weight - is it fat or is it muscle? - so how then can it be of any value?
Just like any other form of data, results can be skewed and manipulated, and therefore inaccurate. That's why we have standards when collecting data. It's the reason you fast before specific blood tests, why you don't jump up and down when taking your blood pressure, and why you don't hold your breath when taking resting pulse rate. Scale weight as a data point is no different.
So then, to make the best of things, we need to establish and follow some simple, consistent guidelines for collecting our info. And know that any variance from said guidelines will result in inaccurate, inconsistent results.
Those guidelines include: Weighing in on the same scale, and at the same time of day each time. Wearing the same clothing (or no clothing at all) each time. And, avoiding any extreme behavior (with regard to meals and exercise) before collecting the data.
Following those basic guidelines should help for sure. But there are a few other key points that are as important, if not more important, if you truly want to monitor your progress as it pertains to fat loss.
First, weigh in once a week, or every ten days. And second (and this is critical) take a body circumference measurement each time you weigh in. For males, a good reference point is the thickest part around the waist, and for females a good reference point is the thickest point around the hips and thighs. You're essentially taking a circumference measurement around the widest part of your body. And since most males and females tend to store the bulk of our excess fat in these respective areas, it's a great reference point to use in conjunction with scale weight to make sure you're moving toward fat loss and not just weight loss.
If your goal is fat loss (and you're actively doing things to facilitate that result) you should see a dip in at least one of, if not both of those numbers each time you collect your data. But essentially you're looking for long term trends - plot points that tend to go the same direction after two, four or six weeks and beyond. If scale weight is dropping consistently but body circumference remains the same, then it's probably time to adjust and reevaluate your program. True fat loss should be reflected by a decrease in waist circumference along with a decrease in scale weight.
Is this a perfect, iron-clad system for tracking fat loss and changes in body composition? Absolutely not. There are much more scientific (DEXA), expensive (BodPod), inconvenient (hydrostatic weighing) ways to gauge that. But using a simple scale (and a tape measure) in a consistent way is an easy, cheap, accessible and fairly reliable way to measure long term trends, figure out if you need to adjust your program, and monitor overall progress.
So don't fear the scale, people - it's just a tool. One of many instruments you can use to collect data and monitor health. There are far worse things out there in this big, bad world of ours.
by: Tom Trevino
Tom Trevino is s personal trainer and wellness coach based out of San Antonio. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio, multiple certifications from the Cooper Institute in Dallas, and is currently pursuing his Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. He can be found at our Alamo Heights location, or aimlessly wandering the aisles of Central Market.
If you would like information on personal training with Tom please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may view Tom's profile and all of our MBS Fitness personal trainer profiles by following this link.
First of all let's be clear: I love breakfast. I mean love breakfast. That goofy, tail-wagging dance your oversized Labrador does in the morning just before the kibble hits the bowl? That's pretty much me.
I think about it all night, and make sure to get up early enough in the morning to prepare and fully enjoy it without having to rush out the door. And all that makes a huge difference, and often sets the tone for the rest of the day. Bottom line: a solid, tasty, nutrient rich breakfast makes me happy, and gives me everything I need for my extra-early, super-busy mornings.
That's not to say you have to eat breakfast. You can skip it entirely and still meet all your caloric, nutritional, and body composition goals. It's really a preference thing, as this recent article pointed out.
That aside, if you love morning eats and have a busy day ahead, then I've got an awesome recipe for you. I've actually got several, but this is one of my current faves which I tend to rotate in several times a week. It's simple, sweet, savory, filling, and so nutrient rich it will make you and your body happy.
So, grab a medium bowl, and throw in the following in the order listed below:
So, why is this such a potent breakfast (or snack)? Because aside from just looking good, nearly every ingredient serves a purpose and packs a punch. And several of the ingredients are straight up superfoods in their own right!
Strawberries (and most berries in general) are high in vitamin C, low in sugar, nutrient dense while calorically light, and among the top 20 foods in antioxidant capacity. In fact, you can eat two full pounds of strawberries for less than 300 calories. Seriously! Think about that next time you're actually hungry and reach for one of those tiny little food bars.
Cacao nibs (the raw, potent, unprocessed origins of chocolate) are pretty much the superfood of the year, high in fiber and magnesium with more antioxidants and flavonoids than you can shake a stick at. They also naturally contain a bit of caffeine and theobromine - both of which are stimulants - so they can give you a bit of a kick if you need it in the morning. They're nutty, crunch texture is also a nice plus.
Pistachios (and most nuts in general) pack in a hearty dose of positive fats, along with some fiber. Pistachios also pack in B vitamins, trace elements of minerals like copper and manganese, and are also higher in protein than most other nuts. They're striking green color also adds a nice visual touch to anything you put them in.
The cinnamon and toasted coconut chips add in a little flavor, color and texture without corrupting the recipe. And the cheeses sticks are an excellent protein source - you'll get 14 grams of the stuff for only 100 calories - and add a nice, savory touch to compliment the berries.
Even better, you can toss this recipe together in just a few minutes, and easily pack it in your own little bento box to take to work and enjoy later.
So, if you're having trouble getting your day started right, give this powerful recipe a try. It will leave you fueled up, satisfied, and fired up for whatever lies ahead!
Conquer The Bar: This class is open to all fitness levels and is completely focused around the pull-up bar using multiple variations of the pull-up. Other exercises include toe to bar, variations of toe to bar, back lever, and some slightly acrobatic type movements. These exercises will all be performed to max rep, aka failure. This class will improve strength, body movement, and in some cases functional flexibility. For this class, if you feel the need, bring work-out gloves as to not hurt the palms on your hand during this one-hour bar centered class.
Quadric Agility: This class is based around quadrupedal movements for all fitness levels. These movements promote flexibility, strength, and agility using all 4 limbs and your body weight, as well as plyometric movements. This will enhance proprioception as well as all around confidence in body movement.
First Class is FREE to San Antonio Residents
First Week Unlimited │ $20
Drop In │ $15
5 Pack │ $55
10 Pack │$85
Monthly Unlimited │ $99
Kimberly Aubuchon is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and specializes in individual and group training for women and men of all ages who seek strength, endurance, fat loss, lean body mass, or general fitness. A competitive runner with numerous age group and division wins, she works with other runners to help improve speed, efficiency and endurance, and will be a certified running coach with the Road Runners Club of America in early 2012. Aside from her physical endeavors, she is an accomplished artist, holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and is director of Unit B Gallery. An outdoor enthusiast at heart, she looks forward to helping her clients achieve any and all of their health and wellness goals.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Jennifer has over 8 years experience in the fitness industry. She became a fitness professional after witnessing the positive effects regular physical activity had on her own health. She holds certificates for Certified Personal Trainer through both NASM and AFAA. After encountering several clients with muscular imbalances, she went on to achieve a Corrective Exercise Specialty from NASM. Jennifer is also a group exercise certified instructor through AFAA. Jennifer believes fitness is not a destination. It’s a lifestyle. Anyone can reap the benefits of making their body stronger and their muscles more functional. Variety is an important part of a fit lifestyle. Jennifer has completed Level 1 Kettle-bell certification, and both TRX Suspension Personal Training and Sports Medicine courses. In addition to certifications geared toward working with individuals, Jennifer is also a certified Spinning, Body Pump, and CXWORX instructor.
Great opportunity to coach CrossFit classes. Must be CrossFit Level 1 certified. Great pay starting at $25 per class with room for growth. Please send resume to email@example.com
Are you a Pilates-qualified instructor looking for a gorgeous, fully equipped studio that focuses on small classes and individual lessons? Email us today to see if the MBS team is right for you!
Jake’s style of training is versatile and adaptable to any range of client. He individualizes training to maximize each person’s effort. From his 6 years of personal training experience, and a lifetime of sport and exercise, Jake understands the challenges exercise and balancing life, nutrition, and sleep present. He takes pride in finding each client’s specific needs to optimize their goals.
Constantly active and trying new methods, Jake never trains a client in a way he himself hasn’t tried and vetted.
Jake translates his passion into to sport and activities in the community. He also specializes in youth and adolescent training; teaching youth the fundamentals of strength and conditioning, while also helping them improve their fitness and sports training.
Jake is a Certified Personal Trainer with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona, and the manager and senior personal trainer at MBS Fitness.
Joshua Levine specializes in helping people become fitness minded. He has devoted his life to learning as much as possible about resistance training, sports conditioning, yoga and flexibility techniques, plyometrics, nutrition, and cardiovascular exercise. With a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Texas, he strives to create a dialogue with his clients in order to achieve the greatest results. He is a Certified Personal Trainer with National Federation of Professional Trainers and the founder of Mind, Body & Soul.
Born and raised in San Antonio, TX, Felicia has been active her entire life. Starting at the age of 4 with gymnastics, transitioning into serious ballet training at 12, and continuing into a successful professional dance career, Ms. McBride has an immense amount of experience with the body. As a freelance dancer, personal trainer, Dance and Pilates instructor, Felicia strives to help each individual achieve their own fitness goals through personalized training sessions. Ms. McBride holds certifications in Pilates Mat, Pilates Reformer, and a certification for Personal Training from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Felicia is excited to be back in her hometown and working at MBS Fitness!
“I build relationships, not a client base,” says Noelle Owens, a 24 year veteran of the fitness industry with certifications from The Cooper Institute and the National Academy of Sports Medicine with a specialization in corrective exercise. With her extensive experience and background, she’s had the opportunity to work with a variety of individuals, including an ever growing mature population. She believes that everyone has the potential to reach their very best selves, and works with clients to help identify goals, assess available resources, and create a specific plan that is right for them.
Richard Garcia grew up with a passion for music, arts, and movement, and at the age of 15 began his professional career as a dancer. A major injury cut short his dance career, but opened the door to strength training, rock climbing, triathlons, and ultimately Pilates. As an teacher, he’s worked with a wide variety of clients from first time exercisers to college athletes, and even Olympic hopefuls. He has vast experience working with those with special health considerations including multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, back, shoulder and neck issues, and other chronic pain disorders. In 2009 he was recognized as an official Fletcher Pilates ambassador for his ambition, talent, and strong drive to help others.
Meet MBS certified fitness professional Claudia Ramirez. She has over 20 years of training experience and specializes in all areas of fitness including golf fitness, high-risk clients, and sound nutrition practices. She holds certifications from The National Strength and Conditioning Association, The Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research and The Titleist Performance Institute. Claudia grew up in San Antonio and went on to play four years on the TCU Women’s Tennis Team where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience, then, went on to earn her Master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas. It is Claudia’s goal to motivate people to live happy, healthy, and thriving lives. Whether that means losing weight and looking great, practicing sound nutrition habits, or striking the golf ball in the purest form possible, Claudia wants her friends, family, and clients to get the most out of all the joys life has to offer.
Tatum Rebelle is a fully certified personal trainer working with mothers for over 10 years. She holds pre/postnatal fitness certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Her personal training certifications are from both the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Tatum holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Tom Trevino holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio with certification and training from the Cooper Institute. He’s spent the last 10 years working with a wide range of clients and has a background in running, triathlons, cycling, strength training, nutrition and fat loss. His programs are based on functional movement patterns that are not only challenging, but fun. His goal is to be a complete wellness coach for his clients, providing service and insight into all areas of general health.
Ants on a Log:Take a piece of celery, wash, and slice it in half. Then fill the slices with almond butter or peanut butter and top with raisins or any type of dried fruit.
Taco Lettuce Wraps:
In a pan, cook ground beef or ground turkey meat until brown. Then add taco seasoning to the meat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Take the lettuce like a boat to make the wrap. Add about half a cup of meat to the wrap and then add your choice of toppings – some popular choices include tomatoes, salsa or guacamole.
Did you know that you don't have to be a member to train with our Personal Trainers? In fact, you can schedule a session with any trainer at any time via our website.
Work out on your own terms!
Looking for a last minute gift ideas? Stop by MBS Fitness and pick up a gift
certificate for membership to our exclusive studio, or for training sessions
with our talented team of trainers. From strength training, to pilates and
yoga, to nutritional counseling, and group classes, we can handle just about
anyones needs. You can also stop by the MBS Life retail store and pick up
Lucy activewear, nutritional supplements, custom t-shirts, inspirational
books, and more. Even better, get a gift card from the MBS Life store and
let the special folks on your list shop for themselves. Happy Holidays!