3 Bulletproof Ways To Measure Your Fitness Progress

If you have a weight scale. Throw it out. Or better yet, smash it with a sledge hammer.  If you’re thinking of buying a body fat analyzer or calliper. Save your money and get a kettlebell. If you got a seamster’s measuring tape. Use it on your garments, not your body.

We’re obsessed. We’re obssessed with the numbers these tools indicate. We obsess about losing ¼ an inch and fret over gaining an ounce. Our obsession with these measurements eats away at our motivation, induces frustration and can quickly erase all of our progress. We need to stop obsessing about stepping on the weight scale on daily basis and focus on other things that truly indicate our fitness progress. The things that made us decide to workout and get fit in the first place.  As a personal trainer, I measure my clients’ fitness progress and success by the following:

How The Clothing Fits

Think about the reasons why you decided to work out. I bet one of them was that you couldn’t fit into the designer jeans you bought a few years go.  Or was it the muffin top you couldn’t hide inside your miniskirt?  As you embark and progress through your fitness routine you will notice that clothing will start fitting better.  No matter what the weight scale says, whether your weight stayed the same or slightly increased. The fact that your clothing fits better you’re already making huge progress.  That’s an exciting feeling, to fit into something that you weren’t able to before.  It acts as a motivator. It pushes you to keep on waking up earlier, moving more weight and doing more reps. Once the clothing starts feeling lose and fitting better, don’t stop. Keep going!

Ability To Do More

As you progress through your workouts, you’ll quickly notice you’ll be able to do more.  Good personal trainers will not only talk to you about your current abilities and fitness goals, they will also measure, test and track them.  We will test your strength, stability, mobility and flexibility.  With the right fitness program design you’ll be able to reach your fitness goals.  The true reward of this will be realized when you do something that you weren’t able to or had a hard time doing before.  It could be keeping up with toddlers that keeping on going like the Energizer Bunny. Or sprinting across the street to help someone in need. It will take a second to sink in, but when you reach that realization that your training made you better you’ll be motivated to do more, train harder and eat better.

Compliments and Comments

This is the ultimate measure of your fitness success.  I absolutely love it when my clients tell me that they’ve been receiving compliments from their family, friends and colleagues.  Your weight scale could even say that you’ve gained a pound or two, but as long as other people are noticing the positive changes you’re making to your appearance and health, then those numbers on the weight scale are meaningless.

For the record, I do keep track of weight, body measurements, BF%, strength and other related key figures.  But those numbers are primarily used in the program design.  To achieve ultimate motivation I always encourage my clients to focus on the three alternative methods I mentioned above.