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DON’T Track These 5 Things if You Like Slow Fitness, Fat Loss, and Health Progress

If you enjoy slow progres, DO NOT TRACK these 5 things. 

But for the rest of you, track these 5 things and watch your results double, triple, or even more! 

What are the 5 things to track? 

Progress Pics
Workout Progress

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My hot take on weighing is if you can weigh yourself every day and it doesn’t stress you out, do it. Every single day! 

Some people hate this idea, and in my early years as a trainer I too would have thought this was stupid. 

I changed my mind after realizing tracking bodyweight is one of the best ways to make sure you keep your weight in a healthy place. It shows when you’re making fat loss progress if that’s the goal. It shows how quickly you’re gaining weight if you’re trying to add muscle/gain good weight. And it’s the best way to keep your weight in check when you’ve reached your goal and are just trying to maintain! 

Tracking your weight every day and having a good coach explain what’s happening when your weight goes up/goes down by several pounds in a day is one of the best ways to learn about your body and better understand the scale. And sometimes the best solution to a fear (like a fear of the scale) is to face it every day until you’re not scared anymore.

Now If the scale really stresses you out and you hate the idea of weighting daily, I still think you should use it at some regular interval. You could weigh twice per week, once per week, bi-weekly, or even monthly. 

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In some cases I do recommend staying off the scale completely. When working with clients I always ask if they’ve ever had an eating disorder. If they have I ask them how they feel about any of the measurements, including weight, we normally take. Ultimately the goal of any measurement is to serve you. And if weighing causes more harm than good, I do recommend skipping it completely. 

I think it’s up to you to know if the scale is really going to cause issues (in some cases it definitely does!) but in many cases you’re just uncomfortable because you don’t like the truth about where you are. (I’ve been there myself.) 

If that’s you, track weight regularly and work to bring it down! 

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We only measure 3 places at Steel.

One Arm

You’re welcome to take more measurements if you’d like- chest. Shoulders, both arms, thighs, calves, etc. Measure anything you’d like! 

But for the every day man or women trying to get lean, strong, and healthy, the waist, hip, and arm give a pretty clear picture of what changes are happening in your body. 

Measurements in conjunction with the scale are a powerful duo in showing your progress.

But unlike weighing, there’s no benefit to taking measurements daily. At Steel we recommend taking measurements monthly. This is enough time to see a significant change and a short enough time frame to make sure you’re making the progress you need to. (Catching a lack of progress in 4 weeks is way better than waiting til 8 or 12 weeks.) 

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The beauty of measurements is they show exactly what changes are happening in your body and where. The scale is a pretty good indicator of changes that are happening, but the results can be confusing for someone who just started a strength training program. That’s why you want a good coach to break down the changes in weight that are happening.

A coach will help you understand the changes in your waist, hip, and arm measurements. But those measurements are a little more self explanatory. If you lose an inch in your waist,  congrats! Your waist is an inch smaller. Simple as that. 

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Progress Pictures

In addition to the measurements, we take monthly progress pictures for our clients. 

Now if you really want to go above and beyond you could take these weekly. And if you’re REALLY obsessed with tracking progress you could take daily pics. But the reality is, just like with measurements, small changes happen every week with some fairly significant changes that happen every month. Doing monthly pictures lets you capture those changes! 

Having a visual component to your tracking really helps you see your progress. Numbers are great, especially if you’re a numbers guy like me. And seeing your weight and measurements go down in all the right places feels good. But nothing feels as good as SEEING the changes happening in your body. 

A picture is worth a thousand words. Or perhaps in this case a thousand numbers. 

When taking pictures take several different pictures at several different angles. We take 4 at Steel

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One front front relaxed
One from the side relaxed
One from the back with arms on hips
And one from the front flexing

It doesn’t matter too much what poses you choose, but it’s important you are consistent in doing the same poses each time. And wearing similar outfits each time. 

Bonus points if you wear the same outfit each time! 

Consistency in pics is the only way you’ll be able to fully appreciate the changes taking place. 

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Workout Progress

At Steel we train, not exercise. I’ll explain the difference fully in a later article. 

But for now, just know training is all about setting you up for long-term success. Exercise is all about making today’s workout great. 

It sounds like exercise is a good thing, but it’s short-sighted. Yet it’s what most people do when they walk into the gym.

No notes of what they did last time. No plan for what to do this time. Just go in and workout hard. Til you’re sore, sweat, and tired. 

That is NOT going to work in the long-run.

In the short-term, this approach usually leads to burnout. People hop on the workout train and go 90 to nothing right out the gate. Then wonder why they can’t stick to anything. They’re exhausted and crazy sore and their body pushes back and tells “Hey kid, we aint doing this!” 

In the long-term you run into a different problem. Without a plan you’re not training hard enough. That’s why you’ll see people who’ve been in the gym 10 years and are no better off year 10 than year 1. 

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That’s why we have a plan. And that starts with tracking all your workouts! 

Track your workouts so you know what you did last time, then the next time you’re in the gym try to do one more rep or 5 more pounds. 

Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. You should be able to lift more! 

Track every workout you do. Track each exercise, and how much weight, the number of sets, and the number of reps you do. 

Then try to beat it next time!

If that was your only workout strategy, you would make better progress than 99% of the population! 

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Just like with your workouts, we want to track how much cardio you’re doing and how intense it is. Or if you aren’t doing any dedicated cardio, we want to know how active you are every day. Usually we track this by your daily step count. 

If you’re just tracking steps, just keep a log of how many you get each day. (Most of our phones keep track of this for us!)

If you’re tracking cardio, keep track of how many sessions/week you do, how many minutes per session you do, and your average heart rate. This way we know how much cardio you’re doing, how often you’re doing it, and how intense each session is. 

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By tracking your workout progress and your cardio along with your pics, measurements, and weight, you’ll be able to discover why you did or didn’t make good progress in some given time frame. Maybe you saw amazing results last fall but now you’re stuck. Go back and look at your logs to see if you’re not doing something now that you were doing then! 

If you like slow fat loss, fitness, and health results, please do NOT track these 5 things. 

But if you’re ready to make 2024 your best health and fitness year yet, start tracking these 5 things today!

Do you want help transforming your body, health, and lifestyle in 2024? Click here and fill out the form- I’ll reach out within 24 hours to schedule a zero pressure consultation to see if we’re a good fit to work together!