Creating that body of your dreams is not going to happen overnight. It’s a process that takes patience and attention to detail. For these reasons, it’s important to have a few methods to give you feedback on your progress along the way. Utilize these 4 strategies together to keep accountable and maximize your potential so you can see that goal physique sooner.
Track Your Strength - If your lifts are going up in the gym, it may be a good indicator that you are doing the right things to improve your body composition. Write down all sets and reps while you work out so you have measurable goals every time you’re in the gym.
Take Measurements - Use a tape measure to measure your waist, chest, shoulders, arms, legs, etc. This can be recorded once a month or so.
Check the Scale - This shouldn’t be your only tool to track progress, but is another method that can be monitored over time. Remember, water retention and food will cause our body weight to fluctuate a few pounds throughout the day. Also, if you are gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously, the number on the scale may not change much. Measure yourself a couple times a week, first thing in the morning, to be most consistent.
Check the Mirror / Take Progress Pictures - If improving your body composition is the main goal, increasing your own body awareness can be the best way to receive feedback on your progress. How we look in the mirror or photos over time, can reflect muscle gain and fat loss. Remember, food and water also play a part in our appearance on a day to day basis.
Seeing positive results is motivating and lets you know you are on the right track. Stalled or reversed progress lets your know your diet/training need to be adjusted. Try a combination of these strategies to help quantify results and achieve your body goals as efficiently as possible!
-Ethan Parent (firstname.lastname@example.org)