First, let’s be clear: there is no simple answer to this question. It partially depends on your fitness goals and your timeline. The short answer to this question is that the more often you measure yourself (up to a point), the better your chance of effectively tracking your fitness progress. But strictly speaking, even if you start working out like mad and simultaneously dieting, you will probably only see your numbers change gradually over time—namely over 1-2 weeks or perhaps even a slightly longer period. So what’s the point of measuring yourself daily even though you won’t see a daily increase in MQ or decrease in fat percentage?
The reason is fairly simple: the device is not going to give you identical values each time and by doing more measurements, you can achieve more accurate results. As with any physiological measurement, there is going to be some “noise” in the measurement—whether it’s the position of the sensors on the muscle, body temperature, or the fact that you have just worked out. This noise means that every measurement is not identical even if you do two or more in fast succession. It is kind of like taking your temperature with an oral (mouth) thermometer. If you do it several times in a row, the data will be fairly close but the temperatures are often not identical. And if you happened to have had a cup of hot coffee shortly before, you might find you have a fever.
The Skulpt Aim, unlike skinfold calipers, is a personal device, making it easy to familiarize yourself with its placement on your muscles. This reduces the chance of variability in your measurements. We recommend experimenting with your Aim when you first get it to see how you can get the most consistent results. It may take a couple of tries before you position it correctly, with enough water on the sensors and press firmly against the muscle.
But like any technique with some associated noise, the more often you measure, the more accurate, on average, the results become, and the better your ability to track improvements in your data. The Skulpt app will actually provide a daily average for your readings, so your saved measurements will be the most accurate representation of your fitness. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to delete any “bad” readings within the app, so it doesn’t affect your average.
The figures below help put that into perspective. On the left, a person is doing infrequent measurements over 1 month and on the right, the same person is doing frequent measurements, during a vigorous exercise/diet routine:
- The blue dots are measurements.
- The green arrow represents the overall “real” trajectory based on the data.
- The curved (black arrow) data is the running average based on previously obtained data (i.e. the information that would be available to that person at any specific point in time during that month).
On April 16, more than halfway through the 1 month, the left graph would imply that you’ve made some progress, but judging by the slope of the red arrow, not a lot. But if you had been doing measurements daily, like in the right graph, by the same date, you would have seen that you had made considerable progress with an impressive trajectory. So by doing more measurements, you are able to effectively gauge your progress more effectively.
So our suggestion is to start measuring yourself daily or at least 3-5 times per week, especially if you are embarking on a new fitness routine or training so that you can identify your gains more quickly and make any adjustments you may need to your workout routine to keep up your momentum.