Tracking Fitness Goals: 3 Easy Ways

Girth_Measurement_ImageAs I wrap up my 6-week Transformation Contest, I thought it would be great time to share three ways to track your fitness goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle or improve your overall health. Often I witness a client really improve but they just can’t see it. Regardless of where you are, tracking your goals over time can be a fabulous motivator.

1. Measure Your Girth

When working with my personal training clients, the first thing I do is take accurate measurements. It’s best to do this with someone you can trust as it requires some up-close-and-personal interaction. Here are the areas I measure with a measuring tape:

  • Upper arm
  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Hips
  • Upper leg

I recommend measuring yourself regularly as you work on your fitness goals. Sometimes you won’t see pounds drop off, but you’ll shrink in inches from unexpected places.

2. Check Your Weight and Body Fat

You’ll need to have access to an accurate scale. It could be the medical scale at your gym or a digital one at home. Regardless of what you Tracking_Scale_Weightuse, be consistent because you want to track your fitness goal over time. I don’t recommend weighing yourself daily. Weekly check-ins should be sufficient. Expect to see fluctuations, especially if you’ve consumed salty foods.

Measurement of body fat is a bit more tricky. Some digital scales come with a Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis function. I don’t recommend using these scales to measure body fat.  They’re not very accurate at all.  I recommend a skinfold test, which you can get done at many local universities, at some local gyms and of course, with us a lifeSport Fitness. I use a 7-site skin fold calculation to estimate percent body fat. It’s simple and quick. It’s not as accurate as underwater weighing (considered the Gold Standard for measuring percent body fat ) but it’s much more accurate and repeatable than bio-electrical impedance.

3. Capture Your Image

Before and after photos can be incredibly motivating. Once you’ve made a commitment to your fitness goal, take a photo. Or several. Even if you aren’t in the mood, do it any way. As you hit your milestones, continue to chronicle your progress. When you feel like your commitment is fading, look at your photos to see how far you’ve come. I promise if you take photos at least once a month, you’ll find it easier to say no to that candy bar or extra helping of pasta.

Sometimes the BEST way to stay motivated on your journey to better fitness is to track your journey.

Now you have three new ideas for staying focused and motivated!

Do you have a unique way to track your fitness progress?  Share your thoughts in the comment section!