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9 Ways to measure progress at the gym and why the scale is the least accurate

Did you know your weight can fluctuate by 3 to 5 lbs in just one day? According to the scale anyway. This is why the scale isn’t the best measure of your fitness progress.

Here’s a list of 9 ways to measure progress that our clients are seeing that have nothing to do with the scale. In our latest blog, we explore how consistent exercise brings benefits you can feel and see every day, from increased strength to improved mental well-being. How many are you able to check-off?

The New Definition of Progress

As we age our bodies respond differently to fitness and nutrition. That’s why it’s important to look beyond the scale and measure markers that show the true benefits of consistent exercise. This shift in perspective can impact what you focus on and help you keep showing up consistently for yourself.

Are you Getting Stronger?

For instance, instead of fixating on losing a specific number of pounds, focus on increasing your strength. Can you lift heavier weights this week compared to last week? These tangible achievements are not only motivating but also indicative of your growing strength.

Are you Moving Better?

Remember how you felt when you first started exercising? Compare that to how you feel after consistently showing up for your sessions at the gym. Your fitness routine impacts your overall quality of life. Pay attention to how you feel each day. Are you going up and down stairs better. Do you find yourself more comfortable participating in activities with friends and family. These improvements are significant indicators of your body thanking you for the healthy choices you’re making.

Do you feel less stress and anxiety?

According to the American Psychological Association “Exercise can boost mental health: Along with mitigating the negative effects of chronic stress on the mind and body, habitual exercise can improve mental health. Many experts believe routine exercise is as powerful in treating anxiety and mood disorders as antidepressants.”

How to Know if You Are Making Progress: Our members at Northglenn Health and Fitness have shared these real-life indicators of progress that go beyond the scale. See if you can relate to these 👇

Progress Check ✔

How many can you check, and which do you want to focus on next?

  1. Feeling Better throughout the Day: Do you have an easier time carrying groceries, playing with children or pets, or engaging in household chores?
  2. Improved Posture: Do you stand taller and sit more comfortably, especially during long periods at a desk?
  3. Increased Endurance: Are you able to walk longer distances or climb more stairs without getting as winded?
  4. Better Flexibility: Do you experience less stiffness when bending down or reaching for items?
  5. Enhanced Social Participation: Do you feel more confident and energetic in social gatherings or outdoor activities?
  6. Reduced Fatigue: Do you notice less tiredness during the day, especially in the afternoons?
  7. Quicker Recovery: Do you recover faster from physical exertion or minor injuries?
  8. Improved Balance and Coordination: Are you less clumsy and moving with better stability?
  9. Increase in weights you are moving at the gym: Are you lifting heavier weights, with the same movements, week over week?

These indicators, shared by our own clients, highlight the meaningful ways in which fitness can impact your life. They remind us that progress has nothing to do with how the scale makes you feel, but how fitness makes you feel (or lack of fitness makes you feel) all day, every day.

Sticking with a fitness routine and being consistent over time will give you the benefits above.

The next time you go to step on the scale, make a list of all of the non scale victories you have and don’t let the scale take any of those away. Or better yet, throw out the scale!

If you need help getting started with fitness, schedule a 10 minute chat with me!

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