On The Right Track

Should you be tracking your progress? Well, that depends, do you want to succeed, or not? Not to be too blunt, (that’s not me, right?) but in my opinion, it is vital to track your progress, with any nutrition or fitness plan. It seems almost bizarre to me, that people wouldn’t consider it an important part of any plan. If you don’t track your progress, how do you know where you’re going, where you’ve been, how you’re progressing?

Tracking your progress is important, because progression is important. If you’re doing the same thing over and over, or worse, you’ve taken a step back without realising it, your progress is going to falter. And that can be so mentally damaging. Think about whenever you’ve been on some diet or fitness routine, and how much of a boost it is, how proud you are, how inspiring it is, to see improvement, to see your weight go down, to see the weight you’re lifting go up. Whatever it is, it really gives you that shot of encouragement. Conversely, think about when you’re moving in the wrong direction, and how demoralising that is. And when you’re moving in the wrong direction, and you have no explanation for it, because really, you have no idea what you’ve been doing.

Aside from the mental impact, there’s the all important physical impact. If I continue eating the same amount, my weight loss or gain will eventually stabilise. Calories in will match calories out. If I keep lifting or training the same amount, my strength won’t improve, my stamina won’t improve, and my muscles won’t grow anymore. I’m not putting enough stress on them to force them to change. So, you need to be keeping track of these things, to know when and how to change them, when the time comes. When things start to stabilise or stagnate, you need to know what to do to get them going again.

It’s perplexing when people aren’t tracking their progress, because to me, it’s such a natural part of nutrition and fitness. And it doesn’t take much either, especially the fitness side. A pen and a piece of paper will do it. And personal trainers who aren’t tracking their client’s progress are the worst culprits. To be honest, if your personal trainer isn’t noting what you’re doing, he’s probably not worth the money. You have a much better chance of moving in the right direction, if you know what path you’ve taken to get there, and which path you have to take to move on. See you next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer