When you start a new fitness program (or even if you're continuing an old routine), there is only one tried and true method to measuring your fitness, right? The scale obviously.
(Read on to learn how)
I highly recommend all of my new challengers to take a before picture (you don't have to share it! That's your choice!), and some before measurements.
Why is this important?
I'm sure you've heard the old saying that "muscle weighs more than fat." Guess what? It's true. So if you start a program and start losing weight AND gaining muscle (and muscle is GOOD!), the scale is going to lie to you! Do you know what usually happens when someone works their butt off trying to get results, and then the scale shows them they didn't lose as much weight or-even worse- NONE?
They quit because it's "not working" for them, but in reality, it IS.
So it's super important to not rely on the scale to track success. In fact, many of my challengers don't even own a scale! It's so much more rewarding to see how many inches you've lost, or to see how far you've come in your pictures!
Because measurements can be tricky for someone who has never done them before, I'm going to show you how it's done (and even provide you with the handy little print-out that we use!)
Measure right across your nipples, with your arms down.
You are measuring your biceps here! If you have a "peak" in your muscle, measure it right at the peak. If you don't, that's ok! Just pick the half-way point between your elbow and shoulder.
A lot of people will tell you to measure the smallest point in your waist, this is incorrect. The best way to measure is right across your belly button and around your love handles.
Legs together, feet touching, go from your waist and around the widest part of your butt.
Feet evenly distributed, shoulder-width apart, measure halfway between your knee and the inseam of your pants.
Now... How do you track your photos and your measurements?
I highly recommend an app that we use called "My Challenge Tracker." It's available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, but it's by invite only! If you need an invite, email me and I can get you access to our current challenge group.
And, as always, feel free to message me or comment with any questions you have!
Good luck, and enjoy your new fitness program!
Jillian Shanahan is an online job coach, mentor, and teacher.