When we are tracking any sort of progress we are able to focus on what we need to do to ensure we move in the right direction. Tracking can also enhance motivation and allows modifications to be made when progress has plateaued.
"If you don't measure it, you can't manage it"
If you are not measuring your progress; it will, at times be hard to know if you are actually progressing towards your goal. Not tracking progress can lead to:
a lack of accountability
lack of direction and failing to recognise when a particular program is not effective
loss of motivation if you are missing smaller milestones
Regardless whether your ultimate goal is fat loss, to improve fitness, improve strength or gain muscle mass - tracking can help you stay on track to achieve it. However, what you use to track should be based upon these goals and aid to measure what you are aiming to work towards.
Here are 5 different ways to track your progress:
InBody 570 Body Composition Scan - The InBody 570 is a non-invasive, state-of-the-art medical grade device that measures the different components of your body mass including your lean muscle mass, body fat percentage, visceral fat level, and your intracellular and extracellular water content. These results can give you a more complete picture of the inner workings of your body.
Fitness Testing - Depending on your specific goals, your fitness test can incorporate speed, strength, power, flexibility or endurance.
Photos - Do not underestimate the power of progress photos. Progress photos are a good point of reference and can help show progress over longer periods of time. More often than not, our body composition may change but the scales may not. Pictures can show how your body shape changes over time.
Take your measurements - Girth measurements are mostly used for measuring weight lost but can also be used to measure increased growth if your goal is to build muscle.
Keep a journal - Take some time out each day to record how you feel. This may include things such as your quality of sleep, stress levels, mood, energy or even hunger/satiety levels. This biofeedback can help determine if other factors could be impacting your results.
Regardless the method you use to track your progress, it is important to be consistent with the method to ensure accuracy and to perform retesting on a regular basis.