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How to track progress in your fitness journey

Posted by Ben Disseldorp in Weight Loss

Estimated reading time: 4mins

How to track progress in your fitness journey

Tip 1: Weight Scales

Be consistent with your check ins
Be consistent with your check ins

These are a great place to start, however, they are only a tool and not the only determinant of your progress. The best way to track your weight is to jump on the scales the first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom. Track this every morning and write it down on your phone or on paper. Once you record Sunday’s weigh-in you will have 7 different numbers.

Eg: Day 1: 70.5, Day 2: 70.1, Day 3: 70.4, Day 4: 70.2, Day 5: 70.3, Day 6: 70.9, Day 7: 70.6.

Add all weight check-ins and divide them by 7 (7 days).

Total weight: 493 divided by 7 = 70.42 is your weekly average.

If your goal is to lose weight I recommend 0.5kg weight loss a week.

If you're trying to put on weight try for 0.25kg per week.

The importance of tracking weight daily is essential as weight fluctuates all the time due to stress, hydration, sleep and many other factors.

Tip 2: Measuring Tape

The number on the scales does not define you
The number on the scales does not define you

Although the scales are a great tool, it is essential to also use a measuring tape to measure your body circumference.

Here are a few places I recommend measuring:

  • Neck (around the midpoint)
  • Shoulders (both arms down at your side, at the widest point from shoulder to shoulder)
  • Chest (lift up your arms, wrap the tape measure around your chest, just above the nipple, and then lower your arms)
  • Biceps (both left and right)
  • Waist (at the belly button for consistency)
  • Quadriceps (both left and right)

Track these at the front of your workout journal. Track once a month to see the changes you have made.

Tip 3: Workout Journal

Progressive overload is the key to results

Too often I see the same faces in the gym lifting the same weight all year round. They usually look the same.

For each workout, keep a log of what you do. When you are set to complete that workout next time make sure it is different in some way.

You may do more weight or more reps on any given exercise. If you can increase weight or reps, add another set. This will ensure your body is challenged and therefore tearing muscle fibres.

Tip 4: Rest and Recovery

Give yourself time to recover

To ensure your muscles can recover and rebuild from your workouts you need to rest! Some sources state a muscle group needs at least 24-48 hours to recover before training that muscle group again. However, this varies from person to person.

Resting 1-2 days a week from the gym is advised. Also, ensure you don’t train the same body part back to back. Give it rest and it will grow or tone.

Tip 5: Nutrition

I’m sure everyone has heard “Abs are made in the kitchen” or “You can’t out train a bad diet”

This is the key to muscle growth or fat loss. Your diet should include a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. I won’t go too in-depth here but you need to ensure you are filling your diet up with nutrient-dense foods and limited processed food.

Put simply you need to be in a:

  • Calorie surplus for muscle gain = Consuming more energy than your body needs

Or a:

  • Calorie deficit for fat loss = Burning more energy than your body needs

You can either track using a food journal or via the touch of your mobile phone.

My favourite app is MyFitnessPal (free), however, there are many others.

Once all these steps are in place you are on track to achieving the results you deserve. Don’t make the mistakes I and many others have made.

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