Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I am always harping on about measurements, measurements, measurements! Anyone who follows one of my fitness programs is required to take their ‘measurements’ before and after they complete their training. Why?
Well, let me start by explaining what I mean by your ‘measurements’. I don’t just mean your weight. This is only one of a range of measurements and is often not the most reliable, anyway, when you are looking to track your fitness and fat loss progress.
Check out our Measurements Checklist in the Fitness Checklist area, but in brief they are:
‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos (front, side and rear full-body views)
There are a number of reasons that measurements are so important.
Firstly, they are a great goal setting aid. You can’t know what goals to set or where you need/want to be until you know where you are starting from.
Secondly, they are a way of keeping tabs on your progress. If you re-check your measurements periodically throughout your training program then you can monitor how you are doing and whether you are on track to achieve your goals. If not then you can either step up your training and nutrition focus or perhaps reassess whether your goals were realistic to start with. I recommend re-measuring at least every 2 weeks.
Thirdly, they draw you away from the temptation to obsessively focus on weight. So many of my clients jump on and off the scales at least once a day when they first start with me. Not only is this pointless (as your weight can fluctuate significantly over the course of 24 hours), it can be a motivation killer.
When you start training, if you have a lot of weight to lose it will drop off very quickly. But as you get fitter and start to build more muscle, this can slow down and in some situations you can even gain a little weight as you burn fat and build muscle (as muscle is heavier than fat). Checking all of your measurements will give you a more accurate picture of how the fat is disappearing from your body and limiting this to once a week or once a fortnight will stop you getting obsessively focussed on the wrong numbers!
Finally, taking your measurements in the way that I suggest is a huge motivator when you start to see significant changes in the numbers – and you will, in ALL of the numbers. This will really show you that your body shape is changing and you are burning that nasty, unhealthy fat that is so bad for you.
I’ve even made it super easy for you – below is a table for you to print out and fill in. What could be simpler?! Well…what are you waiting for? Grab that tape measure!