How to measure success?

Why do you need to take measurements?

Many assess the progress of training and muscle growth only by changing body weight - unfortunately, this approach has many shortcomings. To begin with, it can not be said, due to which the weight increased or decreased, muscle or fat.

Measuring body volume is a much more accurate way to evaluate the effectiveness of your workouts. If you are engaged, and do not fix the changes of numbers for several months, it means that the training program should be changed urgently as useless.

How often should I take measurements?

In fact, it is enough to measure the body girths only once every 4-6 weeks - with a smaller gap, you simply will not notice a significant difference. In addition, remember that the measurements should be carried out as much as possible.

First, always do this in the morning, after going to the toilet. It is not recommended to perform a measurement immediately after training, when the muscles become larger due to blood flow, and also at the end of the day, when there may be slight swelling( especially of the legs).

What exactly should I measure?

Biceps - in the thickest place with the fold of the hand;breast - at the level of the nipples when inhaled;forearm - with a clenched fist;wrist - over knuckles;neck - in the middle;Waist - along the navel line with normal breathing;leg - in the center;shin - standing on toes.

You also need to measure the girth of the hips and shoulders - in the latter case you will need help, since doing it yourself is difficult. It is also important to record the body weight at the time of measurement and your height( measure it enough once a year).

How to measure correctly?

It has already been mentioned that measurements should be taken before training. In addition, try not to strain the muscles during the measurements and do not make too much breaths and exhalations when measuring the chest and waist circumference.

For measuring, 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 to measure fat levels?

To measure the body fat level, you can use simple mechanical devices( plastic clip-caliper), electronic scales or other instruments with the function of determining the body composition analyzer.

In addition, many fitness clubs or specialized centers offer professional equipment that determines the level of fat much more accurately than home appliances or measuring instruments with a ruler.


Monthly measurements of the main body parameters are an important step for fixing the progress of training. In addition, an additional measurement of the level of subcutaneous fat will unequivocally show you whether you are gaining muscle or fat.

Publication date:

  • February 14, 2011