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Importance of tracking your progress; Weekly stats.

Sunday, January 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time to take my tape measurements and body fat reading, and evaluate my my progress over the past week.

Before I get to my personal weekly progress report, I’d like to mention to those of you who are just starting out just how important it is to track your progress along your fitness journey. There are a few inexpensive tools that I feel are indispensable to everyone who is working towards body recomposition goals: a digital camera (or even a camera phone), a bathroom scale, a quality soft tape (the MyoTape is fantastic) and a set of body fat calipers (I use the Fat Track PRO Digital Body Fat Calipers). These simple instruments will provide you with valuable information by alerting you to changes that are too small to notice in a bathroom mirror. Information is critical when it comes to making intelligent choices as you work towards your goals. All it takes is a few minutes once every week to measure your body fat level, take soft tape measurements, weigh yourself and snap a couple of progress photographs. Keep track your progress in a simple spreadsheet, or even a regular old notebook. I can’t stress the importance of these things enough!

OK, let’s see what kind of progress I’ve made this past week…

My scale weight this morning is 215.8 pounds, which is a 1.4 pound gain over the past week.

My total scale weight gain on this bulk (after 14 of 17 weeks) is 20.8 pounds. That’s an average weekly gain of 1.49 pounds, so this week’s weight gain was pretty much spot-on. By comparison, fourteen weeks into my 2006 bulk I’d gained a total of 31.1 pounds, which is an average weight gain of 2.22 pounds per week. I’m putting on more muscle and far less fat on this years bulk, and that’s something I’m very happy about.

My body fat reading this morning is 13.3% (as measured by the Fat Track PRO Digital Body Fat Calipers). That’s a .2% rise over last week’s measurement. So, my 1.4 pound gain over the past week breaks down into .8 pounds of lean mass and .6 pounds of fat. It looks like I got through the holidays relatively unscathed!

This week’s tape measurements (as measured by the MyoTape) show that I’ve added another quarter inch to my arms, hips and chest. My quads and calves were just shy of the next quarter inch mark; I always round down so the “official” measurements remain unchanged for those two muscle groups. My waist size did not change (yay!)

As of this morning my arms have reached 18 inches (cold/unpumped). That’s just a quarter inch shy of the biggest they’ve ever been. Of course when my arms were 18.25 inches I was at 19% body fat, so I think from a pure muscle standpoint my arms are at their peak right now. I’ve been working my arms hard, of course, but they’ve not been a focus of this year’s bulk. I think my arms just have very good genetics when it comes to hypertrophy; they really respond well to training. So do my legs. Traps? Not so much.

So, total measurement progress fourteen weeks into my bulk is as follows: I’ve added over an inch to my forearms, 2 inches to my arms, over 2.25 inches to my quads, over an inch to my calves and 2.5 inches to my chest. My waist size has increased just 1.25 inches over the past fourteen weeks.

All my stats, past and present, can always be found on the stats page.

I shot some video footage after my workout Friday evening, and decided to edit it into a sort of JSF promotional video by adding text, photographs and music. I posted the video in my media journal here. I hope you enjoy it! The video is also on my Youtube channel, so please feel free to post it around and spread the word – let’s help as many people as we can reach their fitness goals in 2009!

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