Fitness Program Success: How to Measure Fitness Progress & Success
Fitness goals come in many forms and definitions. Take a group of twenty people, ask them what their fitness goals are and you’ll get twenty different answers. There may very well be some close similarities between a good number of those fitness seekers – but then again, what means ‘tone up’ to one person may mean something totally different to another. But regardless of the many different individual versions of fitness goals, we can safely and confidently put them into several general categories that can hold the various subcategories and meanings as implied or inferred by the end user.
To keep matters simple, I will list the broadest terms that encompass the majority of fitness goals as applied to the general population.
1) Fat loss/Weight loss
2) Muscle ‘Toning’
3) Strength Building
4) Muscle Building
5) Energy Enhancement
6) Body Shaping (Re-shaping)/Body Sculpting
7) Flexibility Improvement
Reduction in Aches & Pains
9) Improved Self-Image & Self-Confidence
10) Improved Health/Medical Profile
11) Cellulite Reduction and Flab Lifting
There is definitely some overlap between these terms not only in definition but also in practice. But, this is a good thing – not a bad thing, at all – reason being that you can only get improvement in some of these areas if you are getting improvements in some of the others. Now, we are probably getting into an area of discussion more suited for fitness pros as opposed to fitness seekers but I think you are getting the idea of where I am coming from.
Are You ‘Hot’ or Not
Optimal fitness is not defined by one parameter – but rather by at least several. In other words, having a ‘hot body’ does not define one as fit – but having a hot body, that is flexible and capable of a moderate amount of physical output – which is fed a well rounded, nutrient dense diet will most likely fall into the ‘healthy and fit’ category.
On the flipside of this, having a body that is not defined as ‘sexy’ or ‘hot’ by societal norms does not mean that the ‘owner’ of that body is ‘unhealthy and unfit’. Remember, fitness is not defined by whether or not you can elicit cat calls and get yourself ‘checked out’ by others around you. Rather, fitness is a ‘full package deal’. It should answer the question: ‘What are we as a whole?’ when we account for all factors. Ultimately, it’s ‘how we feel about ourselves, with all elements of fitness being taken into consideration’.
So, where am I going with this slightly philosophical tilt? Well, the actual measurement of fitness progress and success can take many forms when we talk about specifics, but when the smoke clears and its time to assess ones changes and improvements – there are several elements to measure, depending on your personal goals, that will tell a tale and provide all the feedback needed to let you know if you are on the right track or in need of fitness/nutrition program adjustments.
You Already Have What You Need to Succeed
One of these key elements is your own intuition – you should be able to ‘feel’ if you are making progress or not. While there is nothing wrong with body-fat testing, weekly weigh ins, or strength testing (just to name a few)… It is more important that you start to rely on your internal feedback system. You want to learn how to get in tune with your body and your self. The better you get at this – the EASIER it becomes to ’stick with your program’, to make gradual progress… and to make your fitness lifestyle ‘SECOND NATURE’ to you.
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