In this week’s blog I am going to discuss the importance of completing a fitness assessment and a body composition test in order to create personalized fitness programs best suited for each individual. Assessments are vital for so many reasons, and it always boggles my mind when coaches or trainers offer diet and training programs without first completing these necessary steps.

In order to be successful in your training regime, you need to know your baseline and your starting point; you need to have predetermined checkpoints and to know when your target goal is attained. In order to help guide you through this process, you will need to find someone with the experience who can give you an accurate reading of your current body composition. Calculating one’s body fat to lean rations is vital to understanding the difference between fat, muscle and water retention. The results collected from the assessment are used to create your customized program. As you continue on your fitness journey, scheduled assessments will indicate if you are on the right track, if you are eating up too much muscle or if you are not losing enough body fat.

In the beginning of every diet and training program, people will often experience an initial rapid weight loss; however this is mainly consisting of water and has done nothing to alter the lean to fat ratios. Why??? When you clean up your eating and reduce the amount of simple carbs in your diet, your body empties out the “emergency” stores of carbohydrates it keeps in the liver and muscles in the form of a glycogen. Each gram of glycogen is bound to 4 grams of water. So, when you lose that glycogen, you also lose the associated water. That’s the reason why, during the initial stages of a weight loss program, people may notice a dramatic weight loss. It’s also why you may feel slimmer and lose “inches.” You haven’t lost fat. You’ve simply squeezed out the water and glycogen in your muscles. It’s important to understand these differences in order to be successful. People sometimes become discouraged when they believe their progress has slowed down, so this is where having the right coach and trainer can help. We can show you your lean to fat rations on paper and plan to make the necessary adjustments accordingly.

Once we have discovered your body composition ratios, we can now create a timeframe to get you to your desired goal. For example, if you started out at 24% body fat and you wanted to get down to 12% in 20 weeks, you would know how much you need to lose per week, or every two weeks. Once we have determined a goal and a timeframe, we can customize your training and meal plan in order to hit these targets. So, at the 5 week mark you should have lost at least 3% body fat, at the 10 week mark you should have lost 6%, and so on. This way, it guarantees you are on track, and if you are not you and your coach together can determine the adjustments in the training and eating to get you to hit your desired goal on time.

Our system of using metal calipers to perform your body composition test is highly accurate because it is based on raw data. For example, if you weight 150lbs and your body fat is 10%, then we know that you have 15 lbs of fat 135lbs of lean muscle. Contrarily, if you solely relied on pictures and scale weight as a reference, there is no way to determine these important rations. In addition, if we only used pictures and scale weight to document your process going forward, we would not be able to have an accurate reading of your body composition as it changes. Often, our clients may notice their scale weight remaining the same or even going up, but this is because they are losing fat while putting on lean muscle. Only our caliper testing method will show us these important changes and remove any guesswork that would result in relying solely on a visual assessment.

When you come to see us for your assessment we use a combination of methods to assess you. These include caliper tests, scale weight, girth measurements, pictures and a hands-on method to get an accurate all-encompassing reading of your current body composition. The benefit of using multiple units of assessment is that we are able to see changes in one area that may not be apparent in another. For example, our hands-on method enables us to determine through touch whether or not you are getting enough protein in your diet. Little tricks of the trade 🙂

Lastly, coming in to see us for your scheduled assessments enables us to answer all your questions in person, to address any issues you may have, to make you feel supported through your journey and to make you accountable. We create a customized multidimensional program that encompasses all four pillars of any successful fitness program, these include diet, weight training, cardiovascular and supplementation. We have the experience to guide our clients through the process and to help them achieve their goals through our multiphase process of continued assessments and our constant tweaking of your plan to keep your body guessing and to inhibit plateaus. As your body changes, we recalculate your diet plan with your new body weight so that your program is perfectly adjusted for your new lean self. Making the commitment to improve your health is an honorable decision and one we would love to share with you, book us today for your complimentary consultation and we can go over all our packages to decide which program is best suited for you!

Written by Angel Simmons for