It’s easy to get into a trap at the gym. We take the same classes, hop on a treadmill 3x per week, and do the same weight routine every time. We’re vulnerable to losing sight of what we’re even there for, and slowly let things slip. One way to avoid this setback is to constantly be selecting goals that are achievable, that we can measure and reassess in a timely manner. Below are a sample of goals, how to measure them, and suggestions on when to re-evaluate your progress.
Weight: On a scale.
Body Mass Index/ BMI: Calculated online (Try this one: http://www.mayoclinic.org/bmi-calculator/itt-20084938).
Body Composition/ Body Fat Percentage: Calculate with a professional with skinfold calipers, submersion techniques, or purchase a scale with this technology.
Inches: Grab some measuring tape and define the exact center of the part you are focusing on (largest part of hips, exact middle of arm/ thigh, belly button) and mark with a pen before measuring.
Attempt this every 2-3 weeks
Strength: Pick an exercise (bodyweight exercises are best for this- as in push ups, squats, pull ups, plank), and measure how many you can do after a warm up.
Record this on a calendar and measure every other week.
Heart rate: Measure your heart rate as soon as you wake up, before your feet hit the floor, if you are incorporating a lot of HIIT and steady-state cardiovascular training into your workouts. Retest after 3 weeks of consistent exercise
Mile test: On a treadmill, time how long it will take you to run/ walk a mile.
Record and retest every 2-3 weeks after a warm up
Blood pressure decrease: sphygmometer or mechanical cuff.
Measure 1-2 months
Commitment: Record in a personal journal or calendar how many times you exercising, and the length of each workout. This is a great one if you’re just starting out, or are unsure of your commitment. The American Council on Exercise recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week for the average adult.
Total up at the end of each week and make adjustments to your schedule from there
We hope this helps you stay motivated on track to the fittest and healthiest you can be!