12 Jun Tracking Your Fitness Progress
How are those health and fitness goals going that you set at the start of the year? When embarking on an active health journey it’s relatively easy to track your progress. You can weigh yourself, compare pictures of yourself between months, and assess the way your clothes fit. When it comes to tracking fitness progress, however, this can sometimes be a little more complicated with different activities requiring different measurement approaches. Here are a few of my favourite, free fitness tracking apps:
Keeping track of the amount of weight you have lifted is the simplest and most effective way to know if you’re getting stronger. The body adapts to exercise quite easily so it is important to keep your muscles challenged through changing up the exercises you are performing and increasing the amount of weight you lift.
HeavySet is a workout tracker for strength training. It allows you to enter the exercises you complete in your workout with the number of reps, sets, and weight for each exercise. The App automatically produces user-friendly progress charts, which show you your volume, reps, sets and weight progression over time.
FitBod, similarly to HeavySet, allows you to enter information pertaining to your workout to track your progress over time. In addition, it has the functionally to capture basic information on any muscle fatigue you may be experiencing and based on this, recommends a workout for the day. FitBod aims to be both a logbook and a trainer.
Development of the GPS has made tracking outdoor endurance exercise an App developers dream, and to date, there are multiple Android and iOS compatible Apps to track your endurance activity.
Runtastic uses GPS to track your running, walking, and cycling routes. Using this information, it creates detailed graphs of your progress. An advantage to this App is that it also has the ability to track indoor treadmill and stationary cycling activity. The goal-setting feature on this App is what makes it my favourite. It allows you to set a running or cycling goal and tracks your progress towards achieving it.
MapMyFitness provides you with feedback on your workouts to assist you in progressing and improving. The App allows you to track both endurance and strength-based workouts and allows you to save routes and workouts to refer back to later. This feature makes it very efficient to use and enables you to directly compare your progress when completing an identical workout.
TEST YOURSELF ONCE A MONTH
Testing yourself once a month is a good way to assess how much you have progressed in that month. If endurance exercise is your main focus, complete a specific route or predetermined distance once a month aiming to go as fast as possible. Your improvement in fitness can be measured by how much faster you complete the route. If strength exercise is your main focus, complete the exact same set of exercises at a specific time point each month aiming to lift as heavy as you can safely lift with good form. Compare the weight you are able to lift to the previous month.