There are plenty of “measurements” used to mark progress. Contrary to popular belief, the scale, is the least important form of measurement. Too many people rely on this number to feel good, and then find great disappoint when they don’t see what they want. This happens all too often, though you may be eating perfectly, there are a lot of factors that go into achieving your goals in fitness and health.
1. Scale – As stated above, the scale is a form of measurement. Though we do not base results off of weight, we simply take note of these numbers.
2. Body composition – Weight does not account for muscle, the more muscle we have, the more lean we will appear. Therefore measuring the amount of muscle and fat in the form of a Body Fat Analysis is so much better than measuring weight. At my gym, Ellipse Third Ward, we perform this test on all new clients, and to measure progress on current clients. After someone finishes a program, we love to show them the difference in their Body Fat Analysis after they’ve used proper methods and focused on building muscle instead of lowering the number on the scale.
3. Reduced cravings – You know you’re on track when you push yourself extra hard in a workout because your reward is a protein shake! When motivation increases and someone is pushing themselves to reach goals, things like junk food, desert, and treats become less important and less desirable.
4. Increased Energy – With hard work in the gym and reduced cravings, healthy sleep is more prominent in our lives. With quality rest and nutrition, energy levels rise.
5. Increase in weight (of equipment) – You can tell a lot about progress when a client increases the weight in dumbbell, kettle bell or barbell.
6. Increase in level of body weight exercises – My lead trainer at Ellipse, Doug Mueller, explains it best, “Pushups is a great example of this, when a client first comes in and only is capable of doing a limited number of pushups from their knees and now they are doing a high reps from their toes. Also, going from a simpler move to a more complex move is another measure of progression. Going from floor glute bridges to a full kettle bell swing is an amazing progression on the glutes muscle group.”
7. Daily life – Reduction in out of breath moments and increased functionality in daily life. For example, performing yard work, caring for a loved one, more steps on a fit bit, or climbing the stairs.
8. Decreased rest time – After the heart rate is increased, progression is measured by the amount of time needed to recover and be ready for action for the next round.
9. Clothes – Jeans or clothing size in general. This does not mean smaller sizes, but it does mean better fit! Try my 4 Week Workout Challenge and by the end you'll be able to zip and button up those jeans!
10. Self-Esteem – I truly want people feeling better and happier. A new found appreciation for the image in the mirror, and not just because of results, but because of the smile on your face!