Training and eating well are two huge pieces of the puzzle. But what many people neglect to account for is progress tracking. Countless people put effort into their nutrition, train hard, and remain consistent for years. But, despite their hard work, many fail to achieve lasting results because they can not see how things are going.
To that end, we have put together this resource to outline the importance of tracking and five actionable tactics for measuring your success. Let’s dive in.
The Importance of Progress Tracking
It is interesting how many people put a lot of time into their fitness but can not spare five minutes to document what they are doing. Tracking progress might not seem that important but doing so gives you actionable data for how things are going. If you are making steady progress, you know that what you are doing is working. In contrast, not seeing improvements probably means that your process needs refinement. But the only way to know either is to track your progress.
A possible reason why many people struggle to track their progress is that they do not know what tactics to employ. The most popular tactic, weighing yourself, can work, but it can also be a double-edged sword. So the question is, what metrics should you track to ensure accuracy? Let’s see.
Four actionable Tactics for measuring your Fitness Success
1. Progress Photos
Taking photographs of your body might seem a bit weird, but doing so can be incredibly valuable. As we see ourselves in the mirror daily, noticing visual improvements is not always easy. But, by photographing ourselves at regular intervals, we can see if we are making any progress, be it muscle growth or fat loss.
Of course, taking progress photos does not mean selfies in the bathroom mirror. Instead, you should have someone photograph you or use a phone stand. That way, photos can more accurately show how your body looks. The best way to take progress photos is to stand in front of a light source (such as a window) and have your phone or camera in front of you. Be consistent with four things:
- Where do you take the photos
- What poses do you use
- What time of day do you photograph yourself
- What phone or camera do you use
In doing so, you can see how your body looks and compare photos from different periods.
2. Circumference Measurements
Circumference measurements are another effective tactic you should use to track your progress. The objective is to wrap a tape measure around different areas of your body and measure their circumference. You can measure:
- Upper arms
You can also measure your buttocks, calves, and forearms if you are particularly interested in any of these areas. Taking such measurements gives you data on how your body might be changing over time. For example, if your upper arm size increases but your waist circumference goes down, it likely means that you are building muscle and losing fat simultaneously.
For such measurements to be effective, you should wrap the tape snugly but not too much as doing so can compress fat tissue, leading to inaccurate readings. It is also important to measure the same spots each time. For example:
- The bicep peak
- Three fingers above the navel
- The widest part of your thigh
Once you take a measurement, write the value down to 0.1 of an inch or centimeter and repeat the process every four weeks or so.
Weigh-ins are the third beneficial metric to track. Many people go about weighing themselves ineffectively, only to end up frustrated and confused. Here are a couple of wrong ways to weigh yourself: Weighing yourself all the time and attaching your mood to some arbitrary number on the scale. Or weighing yourself once every week or two.
Now, let us go over how to make weigh-ins work for you:
- Limit yourself to a single weigh-in daily. Anything more than that is ineffective because you cannot gain or lose fat in hours.
- Weigh yourself in the morning, on an empty stomach, and after going to the bathroom.
- Write each value down to 0.1 of a kilo or lb, and do not obsess over any single weigh-in.
- Weigh yourself at least four times per week, calculate the weekly average, and compare from week to week.
As an example with four weigh-ins in a week, the average calculation would look as follows:
- Monday - 180.2 lbs (81.73 kg)
- Wednesday - 179.3 lbs (81.32 kg)
- Thursday - 179.9 lbs (81.60 kg)
- Saturday - 179.0 lbs (81.19 kg)
- Average: 179.6 lbs (81.46 kg)
Be aware that you gain weight as you build muscles. However, the more mussels, the more fat burned.
4. Gym Performance and Adherence
An excellent way to determine the effectiveness of your training and nutrition is to track your gym performance and adherence. Tracking the former is an excellent objective measure that tells you how things are going. Similarly, measuring the latter allows you to see how dedicated you are to your training.
Fitness apps are by far the best method for tracking both. Three of the best options include Fitbod, Alpha Progression, and Freeletics. Each of these allows you to log your workouts, track your performance over time, and see how consistent your training is.
A few simple clicks allow you to log the exercises you do, how many sets you perform, and the number of repetitions you get. You can further customize your tracking by adding notes, including rest periods, and more. Once recorded, each workout remains in your account, and you can review them weeks or months later.
What Metrics to Measure (and when)
Tracking all four metrics from above will provide you with the most comprehensive data you can use to determine how things are going. But, you might not always have to be so pedantic with your data collection. For example, if you are only interested in maintaining your progress, you can focus exclusively on your performance and adherence. Of course, the occasional progress photo and weigh-in can help, but they will not be as essential to track.
In contrast, those looking to lose weight should track all metrics:
- Progress photos
- Circumference measurements
- Gym performance
Doing so would provide them with a comprehensive data set they can use to gauge the effectiveness of their plan. The same goes for people looking to build muscle, but the process can be less rigid.
To conclude, how can you find a good hotel gym?
First of all, you want to define what is good for you. What equipment do you expect in a hotel gym? Which type of workout do you want to perform? Then, lock up your hotel's GymFactor on HotelGyms.com. The GymFactor is a state-of-the-art gym advisor tool.
You can also explore the top hotel gyms suggested by GymFactor and choose the best suits your needs. Our GymFactor is not just a label a hotel can buy; this is a label type of award to earn. Some of the main parameters that affect the GymFactor label are:
- Heavy Weights
- Variety of Equipment
- Type of Cardio and Workout Machines
- Equipment Maintenance and Cleanliness
- Opening Hours
If you can not find your hotel on our list, do not hesitate to request a review. Our mission is to ensure every person on the planet stays fit and healthy – even while traveling.