Measuring Your Fitness Progress

Measuring Your Fitness Progress

Measuring your fitness progress on the scale is a very negative thing for many people. We see that number as our worth and meter for happiness. We give a number the power to bring us down more often than it brings us up. To add to it, if you are working out to gain muscle, the scale is going to go up! We all know muscle weighs more than fat but the sad truth is when we see the scale inch forwards, muscle gain is usually far from the first thing we think about.

I am someone who used to look at the scale as my meter for happiness for the day. If it went down, it was going to be a great day (or at least start out as one). If it went up or even stayed the same, that set the course for a miserable outlook and attitude.

It’s taken me some time to get over the scale. And honestly, sometimes I still get sucked into my old ways of thinking. This is why taking body measurements and progress photos really helps your mind see just how much progress you’re actually making.

So ditch the scale! Use your phone camera and simple body measurements to track your progress every couple of weeks instead! I use a seamstress measuring tape like this one to take my measurements but you don’t necessarily need one; some non-stretchable string and a household measuring tape will work just fine.

How To Take Body Measurements

Tips to Remember:

  • Always measure the same side. I only measure my left arm and leg but if you want to, measure both left and right. Whatever you end up doing, make sure you note it and measure the same again at your next check in.
  • Keep the measuring tape or string close to your body without squeezing too tight. There is no reason to try and squeeze out a 1/4 inch, this can be just between you and the tape.
  • Make sure the tape is as level and parallel to the floor as possible when wrapping around your body. This can sometimes be difficult when measuring yourself, just do your best. I like to measure in front of a mirror to make it easier.

Bust: Measure around your bust and back, placing the measuring tape in line with your nipples.
Chest: Measure directly under your breasts and around your back.
Waist: Measure at the narrowest point on your waist, just above your belly button.
Midway: Measure midway between the widest part of your hips and the narrowest part of your waist.
Hips: Measure the widest part of the hips and around your glutes.
Thigh: Measure around fullest part of upper leg.
Knee: Measure around the leg, directly above your knee.
Calf: Measure around the largest, highest part of your calf.
Upper arm: Measure around the fullest part of your upper arm, above the elbow.
Lower arm: Measure around the fullest part of your lower arm, below the elbow.