Why do you need to take measurements?
Many people judge training progress and muscle growth only by changes in body weight – unfortunately, this approach has many disadvantages. Let’s start with the fact that it is impossible to say due to what the weight increased or decreased, it is muscle or fat.
Measuring body volume is a much more accurate way to measure the effectiveness of your workouts. If you are exercising, and for several months you do not record changes in the numbers, then this suggests that the training program must be urgently changed as useless.
How often should measurements be taken?
In fact, it is enough to carry out a full measurement of body girths only once every 4-6 weeks – with a shorter interval, you simply will not notice a significant difference. Also, remember to make the measurements in the same way as possible.
First, always do this in the morning after using the bathroom. It is not recommended to measure immediately after exercise, when the muscles become larger due to blood flow, or at the end of the day, when slight swelling (especially in the legs) may occur.
What exactly needs to be measured?
Biceps – at the thickest point when the arm is bent; chest – at the level of the nipples when inhaling; forearm – with a clenched fist; wrist – along the knuckles; the neck is in the middle; waist – along the navel with normal breathing; leg – in the center; shin – standing on toes.
It is also necessary to measure the circumference of the hips and shoulders – in the latter case, you will need help, since it is difficult to do it yourself. It is also important to record your body weight at the time of measurement and your height (measure it once a year is enough).
How to take measurements correctly?
It has already been mentioned that measurements must be taken before training. In addition, try not to tense the muscles during measurements and do not inhale and exhale too much when measuring the chest and waist.
For measurements, you can use both a measuring tape and a paper tape without divisions – in this case, you first fix the girth, then take the measurement with a ruler (there is no temptation to deceive yourself by straining your muscles or breathing in).
How do you measure your body fat?
To measure the level of body fat, you can use simple mechanical devices (plastic clip – caliper), electronic scales or other devices with the function of determining the body composition analyzer.
In addition, many fitness clubs or specialist centers have professional equipment that determines the level of fat much more accurately than home appliances or measuring with a ruler.