What methods do you use to track your training and nutrition results? It is natural for most people to jump on the scale weekly and let their body weight dictate whether they are progressing or not. This is definitely not the best method of tracking your progress.
By tracking your body composition in more than one way, you’ll have a more accurate view of what’s working and what’s not working with your training. If after a few weeks you’re not losing the right kind of weight, you’ll know that you need to make some adjustments.
Below are some great alternatives to measuring and tracking your body composition.
Take a picture
Stand in front of a mirror in your swimwear or underwear and take a photo. Then turn to the side and take another picture of your profile view. You might not like what you see. You might not want to look at it again, and you probably won’t want to show it to anybody. But moving forward when you look back at the pictures you can see if you have made improvements.
Take a circumference measurement at each of these spots and write it down:
- Mid waist
- Mid thigh
Body Composition Test
A body composition test can be done in a range of ways with various tools. The most simple and cost effective method is to use a skin fold caliper. You can get an experienced practitioner to perform the test on you to get a good estimate of your current body fat percentage by pinching seven to nine areas of your body and working out the results for you.
A strength test can be used to track your muscular strength. The results of this test can give you an idea of whether you have gained lean mass or not, as it is generally agreed that increased strength and muscular hypertrophy have a correlation. A strength test would include the bench press, squat, deadlift, and even pull-ups.
These methods are great alternatives to the scale and should be utilized wherever possible to ensure progression.