Guest Post: How to Know How Much You’ve Progressed in Training

Fitness tracking is an integral part of training but it’s frequently ignored. There are two things you should know in order to see results: where you are at right now (in terms of fitness goals) and what you have to do to get to where you wish to be.

Once you start training, your body will slowly start to change as you eat properly and exercise. The body keeps the muscles it already has and builds them further, while the fat gets burned away. However, with a lot of cardio and crash dieting, you risk shedding both muscle and fat, eventually looking slim, but weak. In that case, something hasn’t been done right.

In order to know whether you’re doing the right thing or not, you have to keep track of your fitness progress and body composition. It guides us on how to move to the next phase and tells when it’s time to move on, builds efficiency, on lets us know whether we’re on the right track. Here are some of the best ways to monitor your progress in training.

Take Notes

Gather all the facts in a fitness journal. The journal should be filled up with facts that you can refer back to, and to remember each training session. It enables you to find out what has been working the best for you when you look back at the facts.

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Take Measurements

This can be done with just a cheap tape measure. Always take your body measurements in the morning, never after a workout, and also make sure they’re always taken in the same location (for example, 2 inches above your knee, a birthmark on your arm, or whatever else you decide). Measure your thighs, hips, waist (at the belly button), bicep, chest (raise your hand, place the tape measure right above the nipple, then lower your arms), shoulders (with arms down, and measure the widest point between the shoulders), and neck.

Take Pictures

Most people claim this to be their favorite method. Take your phone, stand in front of a large mirror in your underwear, and take a picture. Take one of your front and one of your profile view, and place it in a separate folder in your phone’s memory or your computer. After a few weeks or months, compare your first picture to the last one, and you’ll be able to tell whether there’s any difference. The other option is installing a reliable body measurement app to measure, track, and compare your physique and body measurements continuously over time.

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Measure Body Fat Percentage

If a person is extremely overweight, measuring body fat percentage is not necessary, and one should stick to measuring inches and taking pictures. Add body percentage method once you’ve had success. However, this can be somewhat tricky, depending on your financial situation and resources, as it can cost you about $50 per visit to get your body tested. If you’re low on cash, you can use a simple body fat caliper.

Heart Rate Monitor

A very useful tool for knowing if your training is optimized and how hard your body is actually working. With a heart rate monitoring app that’s connected to your GPS coordinates to collect data, it keeps track of your progress and speed, making things much simpler for you.

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Rely on the Feeling

After a workout, think about how did it feel. Were you concentrated on your exercises, movement, and form or did you just went through it? If you’re not focused, you can easily injured. That ‘feeling’ you have is important and you should listen to it, and all the tracking tools available that do the measurement job for you, they allow you to concentrate on your performance.

The ground rule, before starting to track your training progress, is not to track it on a daily basis. Our bodies are not cut-and-dry math problems but incredibly complex mechanisms. The weight can fluctuate over the course of a day, and tracking it every day may kill your motivation and make you obsessed with it. It takes time for significant changes, so measure your body once a week (let’s say, every Saturday morning) when you have enough time to track all the measurements.

Images taken from pixabay.com

About the Author:

I’m a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me, and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. I follow all the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life, and l love to share my knowledge in this field through useful and informative articles.

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