Is Your Workout Working? 3 Ways to Know!

It seems simple right? You workout, eat right and follow a clear fitness regimen. But how do you know whether your regimen is working? Here are 3 ways to track your progress (you won’t find the scale on this list!):

1. Body Measurements

080320 - measuring tape

Using a tape measure to track your progress is probably my #1 tip  for anyone trying to figure out if their workout is effective. The basic places to measure progress are: bust, chest, waist and hips. I’d also add in the low waist (this is just below your waist where “love handles” reside lol) and thighs to the list. For more info on how to measure yourself click here.

2. Keeping a Gym Log / Using Mobile Apps

Notebook Rings (for June 1, 2010) [75/365]

There are a TON of new applications you can add to your mobile device to track your workouts (and even to create new workouts for you!). MyFitnessPal is a great one but there are many others. If you don’t have a mobile device, a good old notebook and pencil are more than enough. Be sure to document how much weight you’re lifting, how many reps and ease/difficulty. If you’re tracking cardio, focus on your pacing and length of your cardio sessions. Over time, you’ll be able to see the increase in the weight you’re lifting / toughness of your cardio workouts!

3. Take Photos of Yourself

Taking photos of your body is another great way to track your fitness progress. While it’s not nearly as exact as measurements, it helps give you an idea of how much your body has changed. If you go this route, consider taking the pictures in form-fitting clothing or, if you’re feeling brave, in your undies! Having those pictures will also be a great motivator to stay on the fitness wagon!

How do YOU track your workout progress?


(Photo credits (in order of appearance): janGlas, Brenderous,, Green Heat and


About ChicFitChef

My "deserted island" checklist: a BCBG dress, a healthy & diabetic-friendly meal and a few workout DVDs. ;-)
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6 Responses to Is Your Workout Working? 3 Ways to Know!

  1. heatheresq says:

    Definitely agree on the photos!

    • ChicFitChef says:

      I know that photos have also helped me stay motivated! When I did the 60-day Insanity DVD set I took pics at Day 1, Day 30 and Day 60 in the same sports bra and biker shorts. HUGE changes! Pictures and measurements really keep me motivated!

  2. These are all great ways to track your progress. I’m glad that you didn’t include a scale. If you gain muscle and loose fat, you may still gain weight, or not loose as much weight as you want, but if you keep track of how much stronger you are, and how you look, you can still see if your workout is working.

    • ChicFitChef says:

      Thanks Spencer! Welcome to the site! Just checked out your site and kudos to you for being gluten-free! I think people focus on the scale FAR too much. I have a scale, but I really only look at it in combination with my measurements and photos. I know when I did Insanity I lost only 2lbs, but in terms of inches lost 7 off of my body! So just from that experience I learned to not really take the scale too seriously!

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