You may be wondering how to track your muscle growth as you work out. One recommended way is using a smart scale, which can give you muscle mass readings.
Smart scale readings are fairly accurate. Smart scale muscle readings are a reliable way to track muscle growth. Their accuracy varies depending on the quality of the scale and the kind of scale. The readings may not be as accurate as something like a Fit 3D machine, however.
There are several factors that can change how accurate the readings are, as well as many uses for the scale!
What Affects the Accuracy of a Smart Scale
The most impactful factor in accurate measurements is the quality of the scale. The better designed the scale is, the better readings it will give you. CNN reviewed several readily available smart scales and found that the Wyze Smart Scale on Amazon was the most consistently accurate. Because smart scales rely on bio-electrical analysis, even slightly poor quality can massively change readings.
You can also affect how accurate your smart scale muscle readings are. Be sure to wear very little clothing when you take your weight and other measurements. Maintain the same level of dress every time that you weigh yourself. If you wear clothes while you are weighing yourself, you will likely have an extra bit of weight that is measured. If you do not maintain a consistent level of dress, your weight and muscle readings may fluctuate based on that instead of your actual weight.
Take your readings at the same time every day to improve the chances of an accurate reading. Your weight naturally fluctuates throughout the day. If you consistently measure at the same time, you will be able to see genuine changes in muscle mass and weight instead of fluctuations.
How Does a Smart Scale Work?
Smart scales are a great way to measure body composition and are often much more helpful than just weighing yourself or calculating your BMI. Smart scales use bioelectric impedance to measure your muscles and fat. The scale sends a safe electric current through you; based on how quickly or slowly the current makes contact with the scale again, the scale is able to calculate if the current went through muscle or fat. The scale tracks how long the current takes to travel generally and uses that for weight measurement.
Almost all smart scales project at least some of the measurements they take on the scale themselves, similar to an analog scale. This means that all you need is batteries for the scale to get measurements. Many of the scales also have Bluetooth capabilities or an app, meaning that you can see much more on your smartphone! The app is helpful because you can track fluctuations over long periods of time, set goals, and save helpful data.
When to Use a Fit 3D Machine Instead
A Fit 3D machine uses infrared scanners to determine your body composition. They are more accurate and can give you more information than a smart scale can. However, Fit 3D machines or other infrared scanner machines are very expensive to purchase for yourself. It can also be hard to find a machine that you can pay to use or borrow.
If you do have one around your area, at perhaps your doctor’s office, school, or gym, getting a scan at the start of your training is likely the best idea. You do not need to do the more intense and accurate scan every time you want information about how you are meeting your goals. Having all of the scan information from the Fit 3D machine can be very helpful in creating goals and objectives, so starting with a scan is the optimal option.
Seeing a Doctor for Fitness Measurements
Another option for measuring your muscle and fat ratios is seeing a doctor. A doctor who specializes in sports medicine or nutrition will likely have the best tools available to help you. They can also help you determine your overall health and what some of your goals should be. This is especially a good option if you are concerned about your weight, cannot find a Fit 3D machine, or are just starting out your fitness journey.
Don’t Rely on Just Your Smart Scale
Because smart scales are not always 100% accurate, and they only measure numbers, they should not be the only thing you use to determine how fit you are. Remember to create S.M.A.R.T. goals when working out and maintaining a certain level of fitness. Here are some suggestions for additional ways to track your fitness and measure how you are doing in your goals and general fitness:
- How you feel during and after an exercise. If you are feeling very tired after an exercise or set that is a sign that you are pushing yourself an appropriate amount.
- If your abilities are increasing over time. If you are able to lift heavier weights or do more reps at the gym that is a clear sign you are becoming more physically fit, and sometimes is a better metric to consider than a scale.
- You are maintaining a nutritious diet. If you eat intuitively and feel satisfied but not over-full after meals and snacks then you can know that your body is doing its job in keeping you healthy!
- Your recovery time is faster than when you started. If you are recovering quickly or less sore after workouts, that indicates that your body is adjusting to more intense exercise!
- You are moving intentionally every day. Most people choose not to or cannot work out every day of the week. Instead, being sure that you are moving intentionally, even just stretching or yoga, is a great way to be sure that you stay healthy and active on your rest days!
A smart scale can help you track how your muscles are growing and if you are losing fat, but it is important to remember that that is not all that being fit is. If your goals circle around just numbers on a scale you may be liable to overexert yourself or cut too many calories from your diet. Instead, use the scale as one indication of improvement.