“Why do we need to track our fitness progress?”
This seems like a simple question with an obvious answer, but is often an overlooked aspect of people’s lifestyles.
In this blog post, I will be focusing on why and how to track your progress towards health, wellbeing and fitness goals, as well as how this principle can apply to any scenario, be it personal growth, study or business.
Establish Your Baseline
It’s key that at the start of a new health and fitness journey, you establish a baseline of where you are. This allows you to be realistic about what you want to achieve and to see how far you’ve come. It also allows you to assess and answer important questions as you track your progress. Some of these may include:
- Are you using the best methods to achieve your goal?
- How does this method compare to others you’ve used in the past?
- What setbacks did you encounter?
- How can you plan differently to avoid the same mistakes?
- Is this method sustainable?
Is Your Approach Working?
Another reason to track progress is to become aware of whether the current approach (be it nutritional, training, sleep, recovery, work-life balance) is working and is aligned with your goals. We all know the feeling of having a goal set in place, but life just gets in the way; you make a great start, but you miss a few training sessions, or you skip a meal here and there. In these scenarios, tracking progress will allow you to hold yourself accountable with your current action plan and critically review your progress. This encourages you to challenge yourself to change or continue in the status quo.
How Your Health Changes Over Different Periods of Time
Depending on how often you track, you can compare and contrast weekly, monthly or even annually and note down important patterns you find. For example:
- Do you gain too much weight after a weekend?
- Do you lose weight during a busy, stressful time at work?
- Do you remain fit but feel you’re losing motivation with healthy eating or multiple training sessions a week?
- Does an hour of 5-a-side football cause knee pain which affects quality of training or work?
A lot of people become aware of these patterns over time, but it can be guesswork for others. It is advised to collect objective markers (e.g. body weight after an indulgent weekend) so that you can pick up on trends. Taking these measurements over time helps us to be more certain of the things that work vs. the things that don’t.
Positive Reinforcement & Motivation
Positive reinforcement and confidence in your current strategies are guaranteed if you track progress, so long as you’re committed and putting in the work of course. Seeing how far you’ve come will spur you on to continue achieving the goals and to keep smashing your records. Sometimes it’s obvious to see change, sometimes it’s harder to see, especially in ourselves. This is critical to our self-belief and trust in the journey to good health, fitness and wellbeing.
At PGPT we constantly track the progress of our clients – their mindset, their nutrition, their training milestones and their wellbeing. We need to know whether our chosen program and strategies are working. If it’s not, we adapt.
Remember ‘if you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing’.
Yours in measured strength,