How to you track your progress. And why you should!

Going to the gym is a great start on your fitness journey but to get the most out of your time at the gym you should be tracking what you are doing and making sure you are improving. This doesn't have to be huge strides but if your goal is to lose weight then making sure you are improving your cardio and eating correctly are key. The same can be said for gaining weight and strength training, if you want to put on muscle then keep track of what you are lifting and always strive to make improvements.

There are a few important points to note, firstly the scales don't tell the whole story. If you are weight training as well as doing cardio you may not be dropping weight as quickly as you want. Tracking also lets you know if you are on the right path. Estimating what we eat when we start dieting, even when we have been dieting for a while, is difficult and more often than not will be significantly wrong.

The same can be said for wanting to gain muscle, if you are doing 3 sets of 15 press ups every day for a year then you'll be really good at doing 3 sets of 15 press ups at the end of the year and nothing more. You need to increase the difficulty over time to see better results.

Take measurements or progress pictures

This goes back to not relying on the scales to define how you are doing. Losing weight is a goal for many people when they join the gym,but if that is your goal you should ultimately think about why that is your goal. If you want to be skinnier then a better means to measure progress would be taking progress pictures and taking body measurements. You could drop a size in your clothes but since you are using weights the scales might not show the change you have made.

Whilst recording how you are doing make sure not to over-do it. Weight fluctuates throughout the day, you may be a few pounds heavier toward the end of the day than the morning so when tracking try to keep as many variables as consistent as possible. Also don't track too often! This can't be over-emphasised. Tracking once a week is more than enough to see what progress you are making.

Also tag us on social media as we'd love to see how our members are doing!

Track your food!

This one seems obvious but tracking calories is vital to changing how your body looks. There are two ways to go about this, one is to track everything you eat on a daily basis. Making sure you keep under your maintenance calorie amount if you are trying to lose weight and stay above it if you want to gain weight. The other way is to have set meals in place for each day and stick to them. That will take out the need to track each day as you'll be eating the same things and sticking to the same calorie amounts. This method will work for some but not for others so give both a try and see what works for you.

The key here is to be vigilant in making sure you are tracking everything you eat. If you sneak a biscuit with a coffee during the day, a can of coke with lunch and a Kit-Kat while watching TV then make sure you are tracking them. Once you get an idea of what you regularly eat then you can make changes from there. The best way to track this is using the app MyFitness Pal: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/

Track what you are doing in the gym

As mentioned above you need to improve in the gym to make significant progress. If you run on the treadmill for 10 minutes one week then run for 12 the next week. If you do 8 pull ups one week try for 9 the next week. If you keep improving then you will see results.

If you want to keep track of what you are doing you can always go down the old school route of using a notepad and tracking what you do each workout. There are also plenty of apps you can download. Gravitus is a good one if you are looking to track your lifts, Strava is better if you are looking to track your cardio progress.

Speak to our staff!

We have trained, qualified fitness instructors or personal trainers at all of our sites. They can help you push yourself to accomplish things you didn't think you could do. If you are unsure on how to use any of the equipment they can help with demonstrations, which will help you use the machines properly and achieve better muscle growth or more weight loss.