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  1. #1
    The Jesus Crew 2nd_chance's Avatar
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    How do you measure progress?

    I'm sure this question has been the subject of many threads, but it is always relevant. Sometimes we want everyone else to measure their results the same way that we do. Some are very anal and do tape measurements, body fat calculations, etc. on a weekly basis. Others are consumed with the weight scale. While some only rely on the mirror to gauge progress. I also know some who only measure results by the progression of their weights they are moving. What do you use and why?
    David


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  2. #2
    Master Roshi IronCharles's Avatar
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    Tape measure and the mirror here. Strength is relatively unimportant to me. My goal is primarily size.
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  3. #3
    Registered User jmborr's Avatar
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    First, you need a goal. Then you measure progress as you reach your goal. My goal is to gain weight so I measure progress with the scale.
    Journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=128249161
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  4. #4
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Long Term: the mirror

    Short Term: log book.

    Changes in the mirror and/or the measuring tape come too slowly to be of much real use in determining the value of any certain training plan/nutritional scheme/recovery protocol/exercise/etc., etc. The numbers in the log, however, will tell the tale on a nearly-weekly basis. This is providing, of course, that you're working to a plan.
    No brain, no gain.

    You can't out-train bad nutrition.

    "The fitness and nutrition world is a breeding ground for obsessive-compulsive behavior. The irony is that many of the things people worry about have no impact on results either way, and therefore aren't worth an ounce of concern."--Alan Aragon

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  5. #5
    Registered User Tifflex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I'm sure this question has been the subject of many threads, but it is always relevant. Sometimes we want everyone else to measure their results the same way that we do. Some are very anal and do tape measurements, body fat calculations, etc. on a weekly basis. Others are consumed with the weight scale. While some only rely on the mirror to gauge progress. I also know some who only measure results by the progression of their weights they are moving. What do you use and why?
    Great post David!

    I like to use a tape measure, pictures, and training progression because results are black and white. I either lost/gained inches, look better, or increased weight or reps.
    Genshai
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  6. #6
    NAS Strongman bigtallox's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    What do you use and why?
    I measure my progress mostly by my performance on strongman events and my max squat and deadlift. I also measure it a little by the scale ( unlike most here though I'm trying to gain ).
    6'8" 306 pounds

    Wasatch Front Strongman Challenge
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  7. #7
    The Jesus Crew 2nd_chance's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bigtallox View Post
    I also measure it a little by the scale ( unlike most here though I'm trying to gain ).
    You are a little skinny bro
    David


    I'm not a bodybuilder but I play one on the internet.
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  8. #8
    Registered User rejones1976's Avatar
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    Strength - I get my most satisfaction writing a new PB in my log book. I'm hoping the stronger I get will let the mirror bit take care of itself.
    "A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality".
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  9. #9
    Registered User Damodred's Avatar
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    I would have to say... Added reps to the same max of the previous week, same goes for lifting heavier then previous week and of course weight gain / bf % .... lots of ways to gauge progress... if you are not juicing, progressive overload helps a lot with gaining size...
    Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery but today is a Gift. That is why we call it Present.
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  10. #10
    NAS Strongman bigtallox's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    You are a little skinny bro
    I am for strongman. Brian Shaw is my height and he weighs 100 pounds more. Not that I want to weigh 450, but 375 would be cool.
    6'8" 306 pounds

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  11. #11
    Banned RATTLER2's Avatar
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    if the weights arent going up, then im wasting my time in the gym. the gym is for strength, the kitchen is for looks.
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  12. #12
    Registered User x-trainer ben's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I'm sure this question has been the subject of many threads, but it is always relevant. Sometimes we want everyone else to measure their results the same way that we do. Some are very anal and do tape measurements, body fat calculations, etc. on a weekly basis. Others are consumed with the weight scale. While some only rely on the mirror to gauge progress. I also know some who only measure results by the progression of their weights they are moving. What do you use and why?
    As a 40 year old who has lifted since age 16 my goals have evolved with my age and life circumstances, but i can honestly say upon reflection that the mirror has been the greatest motivator. I want to like what i see(daily), and change what i don't like. The strength has come with the territory, and i always seem to be going through a phase of bringing up a less than stellar body part. One period it may be calves, then traps, then forearms, it simply changes based on what i see.
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  13. #13
    Finally accused of juicin Corbi's Avatar
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    Semi-serious answer, I use my wife and family as they will tell me about the changes they notice in my appearance. For myself it's a combination of body weight, whether or not my lifts are progressing upwards, how I look to myself, etc. I don't rely on just one to gauge any changes or improvements.
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  14. #14
    Registered User tnthudson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Long Term: the mirror

    Short Term: log book.

    Changes in the mirror and/or the measuring tape come too slowly to be of much real use in determining the value of any certain training plan/nutritional scheme/recovery protocol/exercise/etc., etc. The numbers in the log, however, will tell the tale on a nearly-weekly basis. This is providing, of course, that you're working to a plan.
    ^^^I like this. I was trying to do the calipers, tape and scales when my wife & I started out months ago, but now it's basically the mirror, the log and maybe how hard my pants are to button.
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  15. #15
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    I do it all .

    I log workouts
    Progress pics
    tape measure
    scale

    For me one of the best is progress pics. Especially when put side by side... They can be pretty powerful.

    When I am cutting and feeling depressed as I see the scale dip down into what I think are 'girly man' weight ranges, i just look at this side by side. I dont miss being 205 any more and 185 feels not so small.....

    as I said....I think progress pics can be a powerful tool in motivation.
    RAW lifts
    Dead 625 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sw7zEHtSlk
    Bench (paused) 420 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
    Squat 545 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qZZLnePFiI
    225 bench for reps (29) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe68-LgD0jM
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  16. #16
    Kicking sarcopenia's azz ljimd's Avatar
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    Five more pounds on a lift, a rep or two more. A little less b/f, a better picture, an occasional trophy, it's all good. The measuring stick always changes. Still being able to do it is a win win for me.
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  17. #17
    [ ]Bulk [x]Lean Mass Gain Bo_Flecks's Avatar
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    Since I made the commitment to do my first bodybuilding competition, I have gone almost completely to progress pictures. I still use the scale and the calipers to keep track of what is going on with my nutrition and how my body is reacting to it, but not for progress purposes.

    With the current goal I have (which is to win the natty Masters title of my first show), I am really only concerned with what is going on with my body visually. Regular progress pics using the same lighting and same poses speak volumes, and I adjust my training based upon what I see.

    EDIT: This is what I am talking about. I just posted these pics in my journal to take a look at the comparison of the last 10 months of training where I changed up my leg training protocol. I use the progress pics to check the results of the methods I am using to see if I am getting the desired outcome.

    Ten Months Progress on teh Wheelz

    Nov 2010 Sep 2011

    The work on the leg press/hack squat machine and the Yates protocol have made a bit of a difference over the last ten months. I am hoping to see at least this much difference again over the next 10 months.
    Last edited by Bo_Flecks; 09-19-2011 at 07:33 PM. Reason: addition
    Masters Men 3rd Place, NANBF St. Louis Gateway Naturals
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  18. #18
    Registered User phantomzero's Avatar
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    I'm trying to lose weight so I measure on a scale. I'm sure size will be more important to me later.

    I'm also for progress pictures!
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=137125273&pagenumber=
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  19. #19
    Registered User billrich210's Avatar
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    Pictures mainly, even tho I rarely see a pic of me that I approve of.....good motivation. I don't use the scale at all, mostly judge by the fit of my clothes and the mirror. I bought some XL Polo style shirts yesterday and after washing them the arms were a little snug...not complaining about that. When I tried them on for the wife she said "your arms are too big for those", although it is not true, it did make me feel good China and Korea have a different idea of what XL is compared to American made.

    Seriously, if I can lift the same or more than last week I don't complain.
    Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.
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  20. #20
    Where's my flip flops ? jayluk4600's Avatar
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    Mirror and pictures.
    Keep it simple
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  21. #21
    The Mind MontyMagpie's Avatar
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    Mirror.
    The mind is the only limit. As long as the mind can envision something, you can do it.
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  22. #22
    Registered User Atropa's Avatar
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    Tape measure mostly because the scale lies to me. Water retention etc so the scale fluctuates as much as 7 pounds no very reliable.
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  23. #23
    Non Registered User djflex's Avatar
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    Pretty much the mirror. Sometimes comments i make in my hand written log
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  24. #24
    Registered User MadJasper's Avatar
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    I go mostly my the log book. When I begin a program, the plan is usually for 12 weeks with constant evaluation. I usually make 12 goals pertaining to strength and bodyweight. The tape measure is too slow for me to gauge the success of my workout plan and the mirror, to some extent, is subjective. The way I appear to my self can change depending on my mood, bloating, etc.

    Pics are also good. I like to take a new pic each month and compare.
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  25. #25
    Registered User Bushranger's Avatar
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    I know I should havea goal set but as yet I ahve not got to do one.
    Setting goals are good if you have a body that is reliable, mine is not.
    So goals are not that as important now.
    But I do use a tape from time to time.
    But I use the looks from people walking past me.
    Turning the FLAB into a SLAB.
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  26. #26
    Registered User jdtemple's Avatar
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    Tape, calipers, scale, photos.

    I try not to give the scale too much credit, but it's tough. I'd love to be one of those mirror people, but I'm too OCD for that, and my own self image is so wrecked from being obese for years. I always see the fat guy in the mirror. The only time I can look at myself objectively, it seems, is through progress photos.
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  27. #27
    Registered User bay1west2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I'm sure this question has been the subject of many threads, but it is always relevant. Sometimes we want everyone else to measure their results the same way that we do. Some are very anal and do tape measurements, body fat calculations, etc. on a weekly basis. Others are consumed with the weight scale. While some only rely on the mirror to gauge progress. I also know some who only measure results by the progression of their weights they are moving. What do you use and why?
    I use goals to measure my progress - I have a particular goal in mind and that is by my 45th birthday to perform 1000 pushups in 30 minutes - getting close
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  28. #28
    Registered User oldspartan's Avatar
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    What's your goal? Mine are
    1. 100 military pushups in a single set. ( I'm around 60 right now). I use the '100 push up program' as my warmup on push/pull days to help get me there.
    2. Cleanup my Abs while adding a bit of size. So I eat @ high maintenance for me. Abs will come in by themselves over the next 2-3 months and hopefully I've eaten enough to feed my muscles.

    I use the god awful workout tracker here on bb.com. If week goes by and I haven't set a personal best based on volume or reps I didg in and figure out what I need to increase the weights on.

    Went up on flys and tricep extensions this morning.

    So it's about your specific goal/challenge really.
    Last edited by oldspartan; 09-20-2011 at 07:34 AM.
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  29. #29
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    I mainly judge my progress on if I’m improving in strength & endurance during my workouts. I figure if I’m increasing in strength & volume (going up reps/sets), regularly/monthly basis, everything else will continue to improve too.
    ❤ Live and let live
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  30. #30
    198 or bust Getsum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I'm sure this question has been the subject of many threads, but it is always relevant. Sometimes we want everyone else to measure their results the same way that we do. Some are very anal and do tape measurements, body fat calculations, etc. on a weekly basis. Others are consumed with the weight scale. While some only rely on the mirror to gauge progress. I also know some who only measure results by the progression of their weights they are moving. What do you use and why?
    I use the scale, mirror, tape measure, body fat calipers, my journal to track my lifts and diet and I take progress pictures. But the thing I use the most is my blood sugar readings because I'm a diabetic, which only becomes a problem when I'm increasing my calories like I am now (blood sugar is outstanding when I'm cutting). The good thing is that the cleaner my bulk, the better my readings so they keep me from going crazy on the calories.



    I'm due to add another set of progress pics this week.

    I'm currently letting myself put some weight back on and working primarily on my deadlift numbers. Prior to that I was cutting and spent some time working on my bench and then my squat.
    Eat, Sleep, Lift...Repeat!

    Starting Weight: 12-30-12 226#

    Current Max Lifts: 405S, 340B, 455D - Proof: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/Getsum/profilecp.php?module=videos&type=favorite

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