One of the most satisfying feelings about fitness is seeing results. How good would it feel to see all of your early morning training sessions and prepped healthy meals come to fruition and reveal a trimmed, toned and stronger version of you? Well as I help more and more people with their personal fitness goals at Rockingham Bootcamp I am finding that most have never tried to measure their progress with anything other than a set of scales – which we all know can fluctuate like crazy!
#1 – Tape Measure
A fantastic way to measure weight loss (or muscle gain) is to use a tape measure to take certain points on your body, I usually take the following: Left Arm - in the middle of the bicep, Stomach - in line with the belly button, Hips - the biggest circumference of your butt and Left Thigh - in the middle. It’s really interesting to use this method because you get an idea of just where you are dropping cms from the fastest, with my clients I find they drop pretty quickly in the hips and stomach measurements.
#2 – Body Fat Caliper Test
Another method of testing is to use body fat calipers. Basically you measure different points on your body by using the calipers to ‘pinch’ that area. You then put all of those measurements into a calculator and it spits out your body fat percentage as well as a general idea of how much lean muscle you have and your body fat in kilograms. You can buy body fat calipers off of ebay quite cheaply and I use the “Jackson/Pollock 4 Method” on this website here to calculate body fat.
#3 – An Increase in Energy Levels
Being a trainer who enjoys seeing progress in his clients, I always found it so frustrating when clients would say to me they are “Feeling more energetic and alert from exercise” because I couldn’t measure that! Until now. Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of calories you burn in 24 hours just to function normally. An increase in energy usually means an increase in your basal metabolic rate so if a client now says to me they are feeling more energetic I can refer back to this calculation and see the reasons why. You can use this calculator here to measure your basal metabolic rate. The only hold up with this method of measuring is that it only takes into account your weight (which fluctuates quite a bit). So I actually recommend getting a body composition scan to get a much more accurate portrayal of your basal metabolic rate.
#4 – Body Composition Scans
If I had my way I would have all of my clients get one of these done. They are one of the best ways to get a tonne of data to measure progress. They measure everything from body fat percentage, body fat weight, lean muscle weight, where you’re holding body fat on your body, the amount of lean muscle you have in certain areas (arms, legs, trunk), your basal metabolic rate, water retention, BMI (outdated measurement in my opinion) and that’s just to mention a few. As well as being a great array of measurements they are also very time-efficient as they only take 10 minutes to complete. You can find out if you have a scanner near you by heading over to the Inbody Website.
I really do recommend tracking your weight loss progress with other forms other than just relying on the scales. In my experience it is so enjoyable to see progress in more than one form and ultimately it acts as a motivator to up the training intensity a tad! Speaking of upping the intensity, head over and grab a free training program here
*Results will vary from person to person
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