The majority of people who lose weight successfully, build massive muscles, or sustain a good level of fitness have one thing in common – they keep track of their fitness training progress. This enables them to have accountability and as we’ve talked about before – accountability is key to acheiving goals.
Tracking your progress can help make your diet and workouts more focused thus enabling you to achieve amazing results fast. But how exactly does one go about tracking their fitness progress?
Tracking fitness progress
Here are a fewe handy methods that you will find to be effective. As a not so closet geek I’ll say upfront now – Number six is by far my favourite.
- Take Measurements
Depending on your fitness goal, you may be looking to either loose fat, gain muscle mass, become stronger, or elevate your endurance level. Taking measurements can help you determine if you’re achieving the desired results. Measurements that you want to track may include your body weight, exercise duration, ability to complete certain routines, or even the size various muscles. The measurements you take will let you know if you need to change diets, up the intensity of your workouts, or switch workout tactics in order to accelerate results.
- Take Pictures
Photos are a great and easy way to track your fitness progress. Not only do they give you a visual of the changes happening in your physique, they can also act as a huge motivator that will push you to stick to your workout plan. To get an accurate view of your progress, make sure to take photos wearing the same clothes, in the same spot, under the same lighting, and on the same day of week and time. I’ve never quite been game to post them online though – still working on the accountability thing.
- Keep An Eye On Your Body Fat Percentage
Measuring your body fat regularly is a good tracking method as it will let you determine if you’re making serious progress or not. There are many body fat measuring machines available, and they range from skin calipers to bioelectrical impedance gadgets. Some gyms tend to have these tools available. You can also buy some “fairly” accurate body composition scales from brands like Tanita. I say fairly as they won’t be as accurate as a full VLA Bioimpedance Body Scan, but so long as you use the same scales the error margin should be consistent – meaning you’ll be able to track changes.
- Create a Workout Calendar
This is probably one of the most overlooked methods of tracking workouts yet it’s quite effective. A workout calendar allows you to compare different workout sessions to determine the effects they have on your body as well as which ones are more effective and advantageous. It will also allow you to set realistic deadlines for when you want to achieve certain fitness goals and allow you to create routines aimed at meeting these targets.
- Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal of your eating habits and workout routines can help you track your progress as well as stay on track. With a food journal, you’ll be able to access the impact of your dieting habits or lack thereof. It will also be easier to discover a diet plan that works for you. I’ll say right now – I’m terrible at this – just putting in out there!
- Invest in Fitness Trackers and Applications
Numerous progress tracking gadgets and apps exist these days, which are all designed to do everything from counting calories, to monitoring your heart rate, to recording every detail of your workout sessions. With these fitness trackers and apps, you can give personalized attention to the trouble areas of your body, push yourself harder to reach a certain fitness goal, or strive to maintain a steady level of performance.
Personally I’ve chopped and changed among the fitness apps – it’s often hard to find one that does everything you want – and that of course changes per person. My app of the moment is Strava (paired with a Polar V800 Multisport GPS Watch and HR Monitor) – probably geared a little bit more toward the serious runner than programs like MapMyRun based on the forum feedback – hopefully it helps turn me from my current “muppet” runner status to serious contender!
When I’m really just involved in friendly competition stepwise against friends I switch from the mini wrist computer to my FitBit.
Check out my FitBit Alta Fitness Tracker Review here.
Whether you’re looking to increase endurance, build strength, bulk up, or lose weight, tracking your progress can give you the insight and motivation needed to achieve the desired results. So, make sure to use one or more of the above progress tracking methods and you’ll be well on your way to reaching and surpassing your fitness goals.