9 Effective Ways to Track Fitness Progress
By Space Coast Daily // May 16, 2021
Physical fitness of the human body can be equated with fine-tuning of a machine. Unless we are physically fit and sound, we cannot utilize our maximum potential.
If you are into a regular workout, it is also important to consider the different ways to track fitness progress to analyze what works the best for your body.
A good workout plan coupled with a proper diet can help to improve your cardiovascular and respiratory health, eliminate the risk of type-2 diabetes, and promote strong bones and muscles. It also increases the life expectancy of an individual. Therefore, being physically fit rewards you with the energy to indulge in a few extra hours of physical activity that you would not be able to do otherwise.
9 Effective Ways to Track Your Fitness Progress
When you start working out, you set some goals for yourself. While someone might be aiming for weight gain, the other might be trying to shed a few extra pounds. Some people also put themselves under strenuous training for strength training or muscle building. Alongside your physical training, your diet also plays an important role in determining your progress.
The choice and frequency of meals in one’s diet vary based on an individual’s requirement of energy intake. For instance, the carb intake should be high for anyone focusing on muscle building and low for someone looking forward to weight loss.
With the kind of hectic lives that people live today, they are very likely to lose track of their progress. This article mentions several tracking methods in which you can measure your fitness progress:
Measure the Body
Before you start with your fitness regime, measure your body. You will have to measure your body composition, which refers to your body’s muscle versus fat percentage. As you work out, you may be gaining muscles and shedding excess fat, which will cause your body weight to remain the same. Therefore, simply measuring the weight won’t give you an idea about your real-time progress.
You should also measure your chest, hips, waist, and all other body parts where you wish to see a change.
Make a Workout Journal
A workout journal is not only fun to maintain but is also a great way to track your body’s progress. There is no universal workout plan for all kinds of bodies. The journal of a person trying to track weight loss will be different from someone who aspires strength gain. It is important to jot down all the nitty-gritty details of your workout for a proper assessment of your fitness progress.
You can either write down a workout template on a book or simply adhere to a more convenient digital mode such as an excel sheet. If you are unsure of how to write your journal, go through some workout templates and customize a suitable one based on your fitness goals.
Take Progression Photos
Click post-workout photos every now and then. Compare your latest pictures with the ones you clicked when you had first started working out. After all, pictures never lie! This is ideally suited to check the visible muscle growth one experiences over time.
Test your Rep Max
Rep Max is the shortened form of Repetition Maximum. It refers to the maximum weight that one can lift for a specific number of reps. Rep Max or RM is a measure that is used to determine the strength level of an individual. Measuring your RM from time to time will help you understand your strength gains.
Measure Body Weight
If you are on a weight gain or loss spree, the easiest way to do so is by measuring your body weight periodically and keeping a record in your workout journal. As you start to track weight loss or gain, mention your diet and your workout plan alongside. Consult your trainer and your dietician and learn about the periodic changes you need to make in your nutrition plan and exercise.
Track Your Workouts
This is one of the most obvious tracking methods. You can measure this by calculating training volume (workout volume = set x reps x weight)
Jot down the gradual progress you have made by measuring how the weights you lifted per exercise each week kept increasing, how you grew more and more comfortable with doing more reps, and so on.
To track your cardio workout progress, you need to assess your amelioration from low (having heart rate below 50% of the maximum heart rate) to moderate (50-70% of the maximum heart rate) and then to high intensity (more than 70% of the maximum heart rate) cardio workout.
This is an easy and accessible way to measure your fitness progress without having to go through the hassle of calculating numbers. It can give you a rough “guesstimate” whether you are coming closer to achieving your goal. The visible muscle growth or the beautifully toned body after weight loss will motivate you to push yourself further.
For any work you do, consistency is the key to success. You can easily measure this by quantifying consistency.
Just calculate the number of workout days/week. And plot a 4 period moving average and 8 period moving average on a spreadsheet and look for their divergence. It would be best if you keep them close and steady.
Be it strength training or a weight loss program, make sure that you remain consistent with your workout plan. Also, be consistent with the equipment and the conditions under which you measure your progress.
Set a Reward for Each Milestone
What might seem to be an unachievable task, if taken all together, will appear much easier when you break it down into smaller goals. Divide your plan for the dream body into multiple small parts and set a reward for each time you achieve it. Treat yourself to the cheese burst pizza that you have been craving for long!
These are some of the best ways in which you can track your workout progress.
Being physically fit does not always mean having a buff or muscular body. There are certain activities that require immense physical fitness and, once accomplished, can instill a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in you. Physical inactivity exposes you to the risk of several health hazards like cardiac diseases, mental health, and many more.
Exercising regularly and good intake of nutrition can enhance the strength of your muscles, improve bone density and stability, and reduce the risk of accidental injuries. With the different ways to fitness progress, you can get visible results, feel motivated, and strive to stay in the pink of health!