How to Monitor Your Fitness Program, and Not Guess

in Body-fat

Your fitness training program cannot be a "feel good" ideal. It's got to be a program that involves serious, rigorous measurement. How can you possibly know if you. How can you possibly know if your fat loss/weight loss program is successful unless you're monitoring your measurements and your body fat levels--not just your weight on the bathroom scale?

Forget about the "expert opinions". They're a dime a dozen and often contradict one another as one "expert" vies to have more prestige and power than a rival "expert". The numbers won't lie. All you need is an accurate measure or two and you can do away with every health and fitness "expert" on matters of BMI, body fat, and all similar matters.

Those who are truly in the know and have real experience with fat/weight loss and muscle-building programs usually agree that people should measure their body fat levels every week or two. If you know what you're looking at when you take those numbers you'll have your eyes opened to reality very quickly. And it's reality that you must face--not wishful thinking or "do-gooder" feelings that you are training and trying to eat right so you MUST be melting off the unwanted fat.

I know of one guy who put himself on a disciplined a fat loss diet; and after three weeks, he hadn't lost a pound. So then he started to think that he had to eat fewer calories--even though he's the body type that is a hard-gainer who could easily lose muscle mass through too little caloric intake. Fortunately for him, before he started calorie-unloading he took measured readings of his body fat.

He got some reality-shock from that. After calculating his body fat levels, he concluded that he was indeed getting leaner in that three weeks, he had burned off 3% of his body fat--despite not having lost a pound. In other words, a little more of his body weight had been transformed into lean muscle--but he couldn't tell just from looking in the mirror and the bathroom scale wasn't accurate enough to tell the truth.

I knew another guy I trained with who put himself on a mass cycle. He gobbled calories like a crazy person and was really putting on the pounds--as he intended. The problem was, after he took body fat measurements, he realized he was gaining more fat than muscle--NOT what he intended. But again, if he'd not done the body fat measurement he would never have known until it was too late and he looked flabby and lacked energy.

Now, what's the best way to measure and track your body fat? You may want to use more than one because none of them is perfect. Today's technology can involve hydrostatic (underwater or in-air) weighing; ultrasound analysis; nuclear magnetic resonance; dual-ray skinfold measuring; biological impedance; or computer-driven tomography. However, these are costly and time-consuming. Many who are successful at losing body fat simply make use of the tried and true skinfold caliper. It's easy to use and it will cost you $80 at the very most.

I can also recommend The Composition Tracker tracking software, which you can find at (

The mirror lies, and you don't want to leave these results up to mere guessing or assumptions. If you think this all sounds unnecessarily complicated, just remember that taking the easy way out never transports you into your dreams.

Out of the Box Boot Camp Lifestyle and Self Improvement

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Steve Hochman has 1 articles online

Out-of-the-Box Boot Camp Lifestyle and Self Improvement. Lifestyle and Self Improvement

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How to Monitor Your Fitness Program, and Not Guess

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This article was published on 2010/03/26