By Jared Boynton | 3/10/17
How can you expect to see how far you’ve come if you don’t know where you’ve been? Here are the key things that you need to track to ensure that you’re making steady progress towards your fitness goals.
Let me start by saying this: your body weight, as determined by a scale, is absolutely not your body composition. Tracking your weight is one of a number of factors that go into body composition, but it will in no way paint the full picture. To accurately track body composition, you’ll want to use a combination of measurements. Caliper skinfold tests, body circumference measurements at key points, DEXA scans, submersion tests, and other methods all have their place - pick at least two.
There is a lot that is debatable about nutrition, but you’ll find that tracking what you eat is absolutely vital to every fitness plan. You’ll either want to quantify meals by weight (e.g. 3oz of chicken) or caloric/macronutrient content (e.g. 20 grams of protein). Both are acceptable methods of tracking. Whether you decide to use a spreadsheet, a phone app, or an old school pen and paper, make sure that you’re writing these things down.
Lifts and Cardio
How many people do you see on a daily basis who walk in to the gym, pick some random exercises, throw an arbitrary amount of weight around, and assume that their time in the gym is well spent? Newsflash: not only will this lead to lazy workouts, it will also end up culminating in some potentially threatening muscular imbalances. Make sure that you walk in with a plan (a list of exercises you plan to do, along with the exact number of reps and sets that you plan to achieve). Stick to that plan week-over-week, recording the weight used, sets completed, and repetitions performed. With each successive week, push to outdo your previous week’s performance.
Once you start recording these variables, you can make adjustments and identify cause and effect scenarios with your physique. Stopped losing weight? Cut some more calories or add more cardio. Stopped gaining muscle? Add some calories, and make sure that you’re progressively increasing the amount of weight, sets, or reps performed. Treat fitness the way it’s meant to be treated – like a science – and you’ll never fail to achieve progress.
Jared Boynton is a proud Advantage Supplements athlete with a wide range of knowledge on nutrition, supplementation, kinesiology, and biomechanics. His experience has been proven through years of real-world implementation with both his own physique and the physiques of numerous clients. You can contact Jared via email at Coach@JaredBoynton.com, as well as follow follow him on social media and his personal website as listed below:
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