Last year, I wrote about body mass index (BMI) and some better ways to calculate body fat percentage. Today I’m going to talk about how tracking your body measurements can be a really motivating force in your quest to be a more fit person, and provide you a free resource to help you keep track.
Having definable goals is really important to keep us moving forward. They allow us a point of reference to how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go. Sometimes they can be discouraging, but I find that having definable goals keeps us interested in the pursuit of our desires.
The Power of Progress
I recently had a couple of clients become really excited about the progress that they have achieved in their body measurements. This got me thinking about these stepping-stones along our paths and how they affect our enthusiasm.
Losing weight and getting into shape can be a long process, particularly for those of us who have a long way to go. Having bits of data along the way to track your progress is a great way to quickly assess that you’re getting somewhere for all of your efforts, and that the process is not in vain.
I can tell a client that they are stronger and able to do more reps with fewer breaks, but that doesn’t seem to resonate like seeing that they have lost 2 inches around the neck, or gained an inch in their biceps.
In each instance where a client measured the progress that had been made through their workouts, they came back the next session with more intensity and a renewed vigor and sense of purpose. Seeing those inches lost in the places that they wanted to lose them, and inches gained in areas where they wanted more muscle inspired them more than my words of encouragement could.
Kudos to them. I showed them the doorway, but they walked through it and did the work!
Body Measurement Tracking Sheet
In seeing how well my body measurement tracking sheet works for my clients, I’ve decided that I needed to bring it to the readers of this fitness blog too.
Please download the PDF Body Measurement Tracking Sheet.
Start tracking your progress and find even more motivation to be the you that you want to be!
How to Measure Your Body
First of all, I recommend getting a retractable tape measure. They are easy to store and keep track of.
- Measure on bare skin, not on clothes.
- Make sure the tape measure is not twisted.
- Don’t pull the tape measure too tight, or leave it too loose.
Be consistent in the locations that you measure.
Neck – Measure from the mid-point of the neck.
Chest – Align the tape around the body and over the nipples.
Right Bicep - Measure around the crown or mid-point of the bicep.
Waist – Measure around the body in line with the belly button.
Hips – Measure around the body at the widest point of the hips or buttocks.
Right Thigh – Measure at the mid-point or half way between the hip-joint and the knee-joint.
Weight – Feel free to keep track of your weight with any accessible scale. The digital bath scales are really accurate these days.
Keep in mind though that I’m not a big proponent of using your weight to assess your fitness level. It can be misleading as you gain more muscle mass.
Let me know if keeping track of your body measurements motivated you to work harder. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments below!