Contrary to popular belief (or in this case habit), the number on the scale isn’t the only way to track progress. From my clients’ experiences and my own personal experience, there are various ways of tracking progress. From using a body composition machine to how your clothes fit to side by side pictures, you can see and feel visible changes with these! Here are some other ways to track your progress:
Circumference Measurements – This is simple and easy to do at home! Grab a tape measure and measure the circumference around a particular body part. Typically I like to do the chest, waist, and hip. You can always add more areas such as the arm, quad, or calves. Just be sure to use the same physical landmark for each measurement that way you have an accurate reading.
Clothing – Seeing and feeling the differences in how your clothes fit is a great way to track physical changes! Sometimes our weight can stay the same, however, our clothes may fit better or become too loose!
Progress Pictures – This is by far my favorite way to track progress. It took me a long time to actually take pictures since I can be self-conscious, but having the side by side pictures really helps me see the physical differences. Try and do it at the same time of day – ideally in the morning and with good lighting. You want to keep the picture setting the same or similar as possible so we know it wasn’t other variables affecting the picture, just sheer progress!
InBody/Bod Pod/Hydrostatic Underwater Weighing – These methods of testing are more advanced and generally require you to go to a facility with this equipment available. If you truly want an accurate reading the hydrostatic underwater weighing is the gold standard for body composition testing.
How you feel – How are your energy levels and mood? How you’re feeling during a workout or in general is another awesome way to track progress. Feeling energized after a workout or not being winded is one way to track physical fitness. We also know working out has more than just physical benefits, they have emotional benefits as well. If you’ve been feeling more confident and happy, then you know the workouts have improved your esteem and mood too.
Lifting heavier, more reps, going for a longer distance or time – These improvements in your workouts can show you how much endurance and strength you’ve gained! I love seeing how far I’ve come from when I first started my fitness journey. I was nowhere near where I am today, but that’s the fun in it! I can look back and be proud of the work I put in to become the person I am now!
When it comes to progress, there are many ways to track how well your workouts are going and the improvements you’ve gained from them! Ideally it’s good to have more than one form of tracking. For example, you can do weight, clothing, and progress pictures. The more ways you’ve tracked, the more you can see. Overall, it’s about celebrating your fitness wins, big or small!