Tools And Methods For Tracking Your Progress

To make any progress you must know where you are, where you want to be, how you are going to get there and how you will measure or track the progress.

Some things will work for you, while others will not. How will you find out what works? And how will you find out if you are heading in the right direction? Through some form of measurements. And the more you know the better.

Try to see these numbers as guidelines towards your end goal. Try not to attach emotions to them, no matter what they show, they are there to help you.

 

These are a few examples on how to measure your weight loss progress, body fat percentage, maybe you want progress in term of circumference, muscle mass, etc. I will give you methods you can use home by yourself, and they are not expensive. So let’s get to it:

 

Measuring tape  

When you want to reduce waist circumference. Done in the morning and no clothes to ensure reliability of measurements – measurements must be taken under similar conditions to be able to compare them.

 

Scales

If you simply want to see different numbers. Scales can misleading though. If you drink a liter of water you will be heavier, yet there is not more fat there.If you replace fat with muscle the number on the scale will not change and can even go up.

It is a nonetheless a way to monitor your weight loss progress and for maintenance, and must be used in the morning naked to ensure consistent measurement conditions.

Some scales show the fat % as well as bone density and water %. Depending on which scale it is, it can do more or less.

 

Skinfold calipers

One of the best ways, and most accurate ways to measure body fat percentage, without . It is done skinfold and it looks like this:

skinfoldcalipers

If you ever buy one you should find all the instructions of how to use it and where on the body.

 

Heart rate monitor

Some use heart rate to monitor the intensity of their training. I personally have never used this type of monitoring but it’s nonetheless a good way to set your goals.

 

Hand held body fat analyzer

You enter your details such as height, weight, age etc, you hold it front of you with your arms straight and wait until it measures. If you google the name you will find them.

These are probably more precise than scales but not more precise than skinfold calipers. Measures fat percentage, muscle mass, heart rate (at rest or after exercise), BMI (body mass index). Depending on the model it can do more or less.

 

Other ways of monitoring progress in terms of training goals: Distance
Time
Speed
Reps
Sets
Weight
Or a combination of them.

 

For flexibility you can use a ruler or measuring tape to see where you stop (i.e. where you stop when you reach your toes, do the box split or any other stretches that can be measured).

 

In terms of weight loss I’d use the skinfold calipers. This is a brief explanation of how these tools work, but enough to give you an idea of how to measure your own progress. Of course you can always contact me to discuss in more detail, and what it best for you specific goals.

alexandramerisoiu

Alexandra Merisoiu, The Body Engineer, is the Founder of The Merisoiu Technique – Institute Of Health And Human Movement and Dracula’s Retreat. She is also a qualified Low Back Pain Management and Prevention Exercise Instructor and REPS registered.


She specialises in working with runners, beginners and advanced, who want to run faster, further, with less effort and fewer injuries. This is done through natural movement fitness and running technique and mechanics drawn from the many disciplines Alexandra has studies throughout the years, including long distance running.


Since 1995 she has explored how the body and mind works. She has done this through using many different sporting techniques and working with a wide variety of highly respected coaches. Throughout her Martial Arts career she has achieved 3rd Dan Black Belt in Karate Shotokan, runs her own Karate club and is IJKA 2017 triple World Champion, 2016 WMO Martial Arts British National and European Champion. She still competes at an international level.


It is through these learnings, and drawing inspiration from respected natural movement names such as MovNat, IdoPortal and POSE Method of running among many others, that she has created The Merisoiu Technique and has established her own unique transformational programs that incorporate thousands of years of knowledge with Natural Human Movement.


Alexandra’s mission is to challenge the status quo of how to achieve the truly strong, fit and powerful body a runner needs to perform at their best level. This is done through building strong, lasting foundations in the natural outdoor environment; reducing the risk of injuries and educating people on the power of the fundamentals of natural human movement and running mechanics.


2 Replies to “Tools And Methods For Tracking Your Progress”

  1. Dear Alexandra,
    Thanks for the intro on instrumentation to track progress,
    Good to know that Hand held body fat analyzer as a category is the best way to go for an individual.

    My orientation of “progress”, as yours, is to track quality rather quantity per se.

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