In the fitness industry having some form of metrics to measure progress is HUGE. After all, why put all this time, effort, the occasional tear, a few swear words, and all this sweat and not see how far you’ve gone? It is extremely important to have some form of measurement to keep you motivated, give you a sense of satisfaction, or on the flipside show you where you have been slacking and slap you back into the routine of being a better and healthier version of yourself.
This brings me to today’s blog post. I recently came upon this a few days ago and thought it was worth a share. I wrote this almost 4 years ago when I started training and it still my belief today. My writing has gotten better (well personal opinion) but the advice is still solid.
“Every so often I have a client or a member from a boot camp class tell me that they are upset with the scale. Although that is a form of measurement, it isn’t the only way one should gauge their progress. Throughout my journey with sports and fitness, I have learned that there are many ways to measure progress and success. Like most, when starting out and/or being young, I was always comparing myself to others and letting one method or measurement define me. For example, that person can jump higher, is thinner and can lift more. Or God forbid, letting the scale tell me how I was doing.
Although competition has a place in sports and fitness, you should start out with competing against yourself. After all, that is what we can control. Try to be better than you were the previous day and if for some reason you don’t succeed on a particular day, well you can always try again tomorrow.
Now on to my measurement rant. The scale, that (insert bad word here) scale is one and only one way to measure progress. When people come to me and complain that the scale hasn’t gone down, or worse, that it has gone up it and those people feel like they haven’t made any progress can be very frustrating for a trainer. There are so many ways to measure progress, and the scale is only one…. and a small one at that. Progress can be measured by inches lost (or gained depending on your goal). Progress can be measured but body fat loss. Progress can be measured by how much weight you can lift now as opposed to when you first started. Clothes fitting looser can measure progress. Progress can be measured by increased flexibility. Progress can be measured by how you feel (more energy, happier, etc.). Progress can be measured by being able to do certain things that were once a struggle but aren’t as hard anymore (getting up when falling, running farther and faster, going for hikes). Progress can be measured…well I could keep going on.
My point is progress can be measured in so many ways. Stop letting one measurement method define you. If you are making healthier lifestyle choices like working out on a regular basis, being more conscious of what you’re eating, and just trying to have a better quality of life, be proud of yourself and just know that you are doing more than you were before you made those healthier choices. And that people is…PROGRESS!!!”
One more thought when it comes to mind. Before we start to measure, make sure you have a clear goal of what it is you want to obtain. Once a personalized goal is in place, use many forms of metrics to help display your progress. The scale maybe the most popular in terms of our society, but it certainly is not the best or only way to measure our awesomeness.
Check out these articles for more on goal setting:
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Top 5: Ways to measure progress.
- Inches: (gained or lost)
- Body Fat: There are numerous forms to measure this. Some are better than others.
- Strength. “Do you even lift bro?”
- The scale: It isn’t my favorite, but it does have its place.
- Jeans: The denim doesn’t lie. If they are a little tighter than normal, they didn’t shrink.