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Monitor and Measure Where You Want to See Change

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Welcome to PART II of Quick Tips for Fitness Success!! Adrian Guyer, CSCS, USAW-II, CSAC This is simple, but yet missed by so many in the quest for greatness. If you have set a new fitness or performance goal but fail to monitor and measure your progress how do you know you are taking the right steps to achieve them? For example, if you want to run faster you must record your times and then have a training program that will improve them and make you faster. If you don’t get faster it's conceivable that you need to make a change.

If you want to lose weight or fat you must first measure your body fat, take circumference measurements, keep a food-log to track your eating habits and begin a training program that will help you get there. In 6-8 weeks re-measure and see what has changed. If you haven’t lost weight, dropped your body fat, or lost inches then it’s time to make a change.

If you want to get stronger measure specific strength variables such as your squat or bench press, then have an experienced coach write you a program to help you get stronger. If you don’t get stronger you need to make a change.

The point is that if you don’t measure what or where it is that you want to see change how will you know that you are or are not making any progress? Sometimes people don’t like to measure because they don’t want to be disappointed if they are not successful. Understood. However, for those who really do want to be successful, and really do want to be held accountable then you must monitor and measure your progress. If you don't you can waste a lot of very valuable time along the way, not to mention never really knowing what does or doesn’t help you in your quest for greatness. The failures along the way are better looked at as milestones in the process, and these milestones then become stepping stones in climbing the ladder of success.

For example: 2 months ago, I retested my body fat and found that it had gone up. I also took a look at my food-log and saw that I had skipped a few breakfasts, was low on my protein intake and consistently getting less water than I needed each day. Being a new dad is life changing in many different ways. I made the changes and saw a 2% drop in my BF % on this past test. Without testing and evaluation there is probably not going to be a change as there is no stimulus to do it. We must test where we want to see change. Nobody will be perfect every test every time, we all have peaks and valleys in our success along the way. But if you don’t measure you are neither accountable nor informed as to what changes to make or to not make along the way.

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