HOW To: MEASURE PROGRESS

In some way or form, you should be looking to measure your progress - particularly if it's your job to stay in shape!

You can't manage what you can't measure!

Measuring is amazing for relaying information back to you on how your current regime is going. Whether it shows you're going in the right direction or not is POSITIVE information.

Why? Because it lets you know whether your plan is working or needs some adjusting...which you wouldn't have known without measuring.

Finally, DON'T put too much emphasis on single measurements, focus on the TRENDS - before looking to shake things up.

Here are some ways to measure progress cheaply and effectively:

 

Bodyweight Scales

- When: as regular as you can, but at least once every 2 weeks - Some have psychological difficulties with this so it may even be best to use other measurements instead.

- Has to be analysed against other measures, as your body composition may change e.g. Lost 2lbs fat but gained 2lbs of muscle = amazing result if your aim is too lean down, showing progress. However scales won't show that by themselves.

 

Skinfold Calipers

- When: every 2 weeks

- You can buy them cheaply online

- However if your gym has a DEXA or bioelectrical impedance machine, use them to help save time and collect your bf% and lean mass%

- Measure the 7 main sites and then repeat all 7 again 2 more times to collect an average before recording.

 

Measuring Tape

- When: every 2 weeks

- Measure: Neck, Shoulder, Chest, Upper Arm, Waist, Hip, Thigh, Calf girth

- Repeat 3 times and take your average before recording.

 

Photos

- When: every 2 weeks

- Take: front, sides and back

- Same conditions e.g. Lighting, background, flash / non-flash, angle &distance

- Really useful to show changes in body composition. E.g. No change in weight but a loss of fat and gain in muscle.

 

For each measurement try and do it under the same circumstances e.g before consuming anything in the morning.

 

With just these 4, you can really tune in on:

  • Where you're losing fat
  • Gaining muscle
  • And figuring out trouble areas e.g. Dropping fat everywhere but your limbs, could be due to high estrogen from your diet (soy).

 

If you want just a few to keep you on track, stick to:

  1. Scales
  2. Waist measurements
  3.  Photos

 

Stay Healthy & Happy!