In Part 1, https://jmortontraining.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/43/ , we discussed why scales are extremely wack. In part 2 we will go through some non-weight methods to keep tabs on your progress.
Now I’m of the opinion that if you focus on getting better in the gym, everything else will fall into place i.e. you will end up looking the way you want to. Eat well so you can train hard, not the other way around. That said, not everyone will be content with that. Thus, I have described a few of my preferred anti-scale measurement methods.
I’m assuming that because you are reading part deux you have already done away with your scale in one way or another (some acceptable methods include: incineration, black holes, and nuclear bombs).So what does that leave us with? How are we to gauge our progress? Measuring progress allows us to determine the effectiveness of what we are doing, hence allowing us to change something if it’s not working. So don’t get it twisted, checking up on your results es muy importante, and is crucial in any successful program.
The Size of your Progress (Picture not to Scale)
The best way to do this is by listening to your body. Your body knows what it needs more than your trainer, some douchebag with a fitness blog, or anyone else. Your energy levels, mood, and how you feel in general are the best indications of a successful weight loss program, especially early on when enough time hasn’t passed to see drastic visible results. If you feel more energetic, and happier, then you’re probably heading in the right direction.
Don’t be a Broken Record
Another way to measure progress is to pay attention to what’s going on at the gym. Are exercises getting easier? Are you getting stronger? Can you do more reps? Can you use a heavier weight? Keep a training log and record everything about your workout: number of sets, reps, weight used, number of guttural screams per rep, and rest periods between exercises. This simple, quantitative, concrete data gives a very detailed, visual depiction of an important aspect of progress. More importantly, it becomes much easier to decide what to keep doing and what not to.
The last method of progress measurement I will discuss is how you look and how your clothes fit. You will most likely notice your clothes fitting more loosely before you notice any prominent changes in body composition. There are other smaller changes that will happen before you lose that magical 10 pounds. They will be subtle at first, but still important indicators of progress. I’ve found that noticing these initial changes can switch on some light bulbs. Maybe your shoulders look more defined, or your legs look thinner, fuck I don’t know. Everyone will lose weight and build muscle differently, and will notice progress in different areas first.
The Point: What you need to make these Methods Effective
No matter which method(s) you use, the important thing is focusing on the POSITIVE. Focus on aspects of your body you like, not on the parts you want to “fix”. You don’t need to fix shit. You ain’t broken! That way you avoid falling into negative self talk and possibly quitting altogether out of frustration. Obviously, quitting does not yield favorable results. If you aren’t moving forward, give your best educated guess and change one thing about your program. Still not seeing results? Rinse and repeat. Experiment. Change one thing at a time and see what works.
Whatever happens, keep working. Results take time and effort. If you don’t allow enough time for your work to show before switching programs, progress will be slower.
Consistency is key. So long as you keep making progress, no matter how small, you will be successful. Even a suboptimal program will see drastic results if followed for long enough.