Progress Photos & Strength Gains
It had been a while since I posted any progress photos. To be honest, I had not taken any either. After competing in an NPC Bikini Competition last year, I decided to spend time focusing on developing myself as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Along with this, my priorities include educating others and being a resource to those who are looking to lose fat, gain strength, improve their health, or touch their toes without feeling their hamstrings (or anxiety levels) tighten. This morning I decided to take some photos, never anticipating an entire blog would result. I also did not anticipate seeing a visible change in these photos, as my body weight is relatively the same. I realized my strength had improved (one of many reasons to track your sets, reps and weights). Around the time of the previous photo, in September 2014, I completed 7 reps with 30lbs of resistance in the first set using the assisted pull-up machine. Today, March 9th of 2015, I completed 10 reps using 20lbs of assistance.
The following list provides opportunities for you to discover your own progress using methods other than the scale.
-Track your workouts. One of the reasons it's so important to track your workouts is so you can improve your strength. Consider working to increase the number of reps you complete, increase the weight you lift...or both! It is also important to incorporate variety into our routine to the body does not plateau by adapting to a specific training method. I refer to myself as the "Bodybuilding Yogi," which may sound like an oxymoron to some. But it keeps me flexible, keeps me strong, and keeps me engaged. Some days I do an extended number of reps using body weight, other days I leg press so hard the plate feels like a concrete wall! I have also discovered the XBAR, a great tool that incorporates variety through the use of resistance bands (save 10% with code MeganLinge at checkout on xbar.com). It does not matter how you track your workouts. Use a notebook, use an app on your phone, grab a napkin and pen from the juice bar! Refer to the notes from your previous sessions and plan for progress.
-Measurements. Typically, I take measurements every 4-6 weeks. It is preferable to have someone else take the measurements. Keep in mind that you will have more accurate results when re-measurements are done by the same person. The following is an example of what I use with clients.
- Chest (directly under armpits, underneath arms)
- Waist (most narrow)
- Navel (belly button)
- Hips (widest)
- Thighs (center of each)
- Calves (widest of each)
- Biceps (center of each)