Stop & step away from the scales

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21 May Stop & step away from the scales

How are you tracking your progress?

Whether it’s body composition improvements, weight loss or performance goals, you need to track your progress in some way.

For example, if you are aiming to lose weight, one way to track your progress is going by how well your clothes fit. If it’s performance based, you can track your weights in the gym and see if are they improving? Are you getting faster out on the field? etc… These are just a couple of examples you could use.

Weight loss // body composition improvements

Back to weight loss and my recommendations would be not too use just one method. The most common mistake people make is stepping on the weighing scales once a week, and there’s a couple of reasons why I would not be a big fan of using this method and this method alone.

1 – To get an accurate weight you would need to be stepping on the scales at the same time with the same rituals (food/liquid intake) each time every single morning for about two weeks.

2 – Even with that, the scales can fluctuate after a whole host of different issues, for example, a poor night’s sleep or if you are slightly dehydrated; these will affect scale weight.

 
My top ways of tracking body composition improvements would be:

1 – Pictures – take a picture of yourself every 3-4 weeks and compare to the previous ones.

2 – Girth measurements – that’s right! The good old fashioned tape measure!

3 – Clothes – looser? Tighter? Check against clothes that previously were tight and how they feel now.

Tracking performance

Performance will be different as it’s not so much an aesthetic goal but more how you are feeling when playing your respective sports.

So are you stronger on the field, harder to push off the ball, have the speed & agility to get away from an opponent? How is your recovery after a physically hard phase of play etc.

There are tons of strength // fitness // agility tests that can be performed to test all the above. For strength, you can perform your one rep max test for the basic lifts – squat – deadlift – bench press. Simply put as heavy as you can lift for one rep. Then you test again after a training cycle.

For fitness, you can use the yo – yo or bleep test to test cardiovascular fitness. Simply put, you run until either you either have to stop or the tape stops. Then test again after a training cycle.

Vertical jump / broad Jump / three rep max tests.

The list goes on. However, pick some tests that have a direct correlation to your sport. For example, if you are a basketball player it would make sense to test and improve your vertical jump, right? Or for a soccer player, it would make sense to test cardio fitness with a bleep test correct.

So, the bottom line is to make sure you are tracking progress otherwise how do you know whether you are getting better? Whether you are an athlete looking to improve performance or simply want to get a bit fitter and healthier, pick a method and start tracking.

Start today and see how you are getting on in 4-6 weeks time.

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