Track Your Body's Fitness Progress To Achieve Victory

First of all, exercise activity and/or dieting, hopefully, shows its effects on your body.  However, monitoring and tracking your workout and/or dieting progress is essential to help you stay motivated, and make adjustments to your routine as needed. In fact, such information gives you encouragement to reach your goals.  Incidentally, there are two methods to measure your body's fitness and/or dieting progress: Direct and Indirect.

Direct Methods to Track Fitness Progress

Now, direct methods for tracking fitness and/or dieting progress are listed below.

Visual Methods

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    First, take pictures of yourself at regular intervals, such as once a month, to track your body's physical changes. In fact, take three photos with a camera: front, back, and side. Also, to get a more accurate view be sure to take your photos 
  • In the same dress
  • In the same light
  • At the same time of day
  • With the same camera
  • With the same angle
  • In the same pose and
  • Of specific body parts such as arm muscles, abdominal area, others
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    Another method is to use a mirror. By the way, you can approximate your body fat percentage by comparing your body to the ones in the pictures below.
fitness progress

Measurement Methods

First Method

The first method is to use a traditional bathroom scale. And weigh yourself first thing in the morning. However, use a 2- to 4-week periods to measure progress.

Second Method

The second method is to use either a body composition analyzer or a  body composition monitor. Also, weigh yourself first thing in the morning. However, use a 2- to 4-week periods to measure progress.

Third Method

The third method shows how to use a measuring tape. Incidentally, girth measurements can be used for measuring increased muscles and weight loss. In fact, waist circumference is particularly important as a measure of health.  Indeed, this is because fat deposits around the belly are the most dangerous kind. And they correlate with coronary heart disease as well as many other serious diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. With this method, use a 1-month period to measure progress.

Incidentally, other places to measure body changes include:

  • neck
  • shoulders – at the widest point shoulder to shoulder with both arms down at your side
  • chest – wrap measuring tape around your chest and nipples, with arms lowered to the sides
  • biceps – either left or right but be consistent
  • hips – at the widest point, and
  • thighs – either left or right but be consistent.

Fourth Method

The fourth method is to use the Waste-to-Hip Ratio. By the way, your hip circumference, when compared to your waist circumference indicates your metabolic health.  In fact, excess weight around your waist points to abdominal obesity. However, research shows that butt, hip, and thigh fat is healthy, and actually lowers your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Now, Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR) is waist circumference divided by hip circumference.  And, according to the World Health Organization, WHR should be 0.85 or lower. By the way, use a 1-month period to measure progress.

Fifth Method

The fifth method is to use skinfold measurements. Incidentally, use body fat calipers for measuring skinfolds to calculate how much subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) a person has. By the way, skinfold measurement is based on the assumption that, as a person gains adipose tissue, the increase in skinfold thickness is proportional to the additional fat weight. Incidentally, use a 1-month period to measure progress.

Sixth Method

Finally, pinching your midsection to “measure” fatness is very subjective and a difficult way to determine progress. And, like the previous method, use a 1-month period to measure progress.

Using Devices to Track Fitness Progress

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    First of all, a Fitness Tracker, such as FitBit, tracks sleep.
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    Another method is using a device to measure your heart rate.  By the way, over time, aerobic exercises will gradually lower your heart rate because your heart is getting stronger and doesn’t need to beat so much.
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    Yet another device is the Shapescale.  Now, as you step on the scale, a robotic sensor starts to rotate around your body. Incidentally, the scale uses 3D depth-sensor technology to capture your body shape at an extremely high resolution and infrared light to measure the distance between you and the sensor.  By the way, a point cloud of over two million points of your body is captured and a photorealistic 3D model is created.
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    Finally, a handheld body-fat measuring device. Now, this device tracks body fat through a gentle, electric current though your upper body.

Indirect Methods to Track Fitness Progress

Feedback from Exercise Routine

Most of all, beginners can tell they worked hard because of sore muscles.  However, the fitter you get the harder it becomes to tell using the muscle soreness marker because your muscles became stronger.  Moreover, there are other signs for tracking fitness progress:

First Feedback

Most of all, you can’t hold a conversation in the middle of a workout.  Indeed, the only thing you can manage is to answer in one or two words.

Second Feedback

In addition, a quantitative way would be to use a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is at rest and 10 is you are working at your limit.

Third Feedback

Also you can use the American Council on Exercise’s Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).  Most noteworthy, it uses the same 0 to 10 scale, where 0 is at rest.  While, 10 would be where you would if you were going all out.  However, using that range, if you think you are working out at an 8, you are more likely at a 5 and so exercise with more intensity that is not an all out effort.

Fourth Feedback

Yet another indicator is that you are having a hard time completing the routine.  For example, your are:

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    First having to struggle in the final minutes of a spin class,
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    Second, having to struggle to complete a weights rep,
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    Finally, slowing down at the end of a long run.

Fifth Feedback

Next, for aerobics, you can use any device (be it on the treadmill or a wearable on your hand) that displays your heart rate. Furthermore, using the table in the “Heart Rate Targets” section, you would know how intensely you are working out.

Sixth Feedback

In addition, for strength training, find the weight limit that can do once.  Then use 80 to 90 percent of that limit and do 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps.

Seventh Feedback

Finally, after you completed your workout, you shouldn’t feel exhausted, but feel like you can still do more.

Listening To Your Body

First Indicator

First, when you have a hard resistance training session, the muscles get lots of blood bringing oxygen and nutrients to wash out metabolic byproducts like lactic acid, and toxins.  Consequently, this will cause the muscles to swell for anywhere up to two hours.

Second Indicator

Second, strength training uses up carbohydrates.  But, aerobic workouts also use carbohydrates first for energy and then burn fat. Therefore, it is better to do strength training first.   As a result, carbohydrates get depleted.  So when you do aerobic next, it uses up whatever carbohydrates are remaining and then starts burning fat.  Most of all, with either exercise, your body depletes carbohydrates. And, this causes an increase in hunger or cravings for carbohydrates after your workout.  Most noteworthy, your body needs carbohydrates for energy throughout the day.  Therefore, eat your carbs, such as home made bread using whole grains, and required calories especially within the first 30 minutes after working out.

Third Indicator

Third, you sleep well.  Now, this is because of the hormones and cytokines that were released during the workout. In fact, they interact with neurotransmitters in your brain to help you go to sleep.

Fourth Indicator

Finally, your body will let you know, thereby enabling you to track fitness progress.  Here are some ways your body will let you know:

  • First by increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
  • Second by increased aerobic fitness
  • Third by improved muscle tone and strength
  • Fourth by better coordination, agility and flexibility
  • Fifth by improved balance and spatial awareness
  • Sixth by increased energy levels
  • Seventh by increased physical confidence
  • Eighth by improved general and psychological wellbeing
  • Ninth by greater self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Finally by improved social life


In conclusion, use any combination of the techniques, described here, for tracking your fitness progress.  Also, remember, it takes time for healthy improvement to occur and be measurable or noticeable. So, stay motivated, as this video shows.