These days, it seems like we track everything. I bet right now many of you could tell me the exact number of steps you’ve taken and ounces of water you’ve chugged today. I don’t necessarily track either of those things, but that is mostly because I become a slave to the numbers. That crazy person walking laps around the house at 10pm to hit 10,000 steps? Yeah, that would be me.
I like to track my current fitness levels in a much more general way. Can I run around the neighborhood without wanting to crawl in a hole afterward? Can I carry my two-year-old around the mall when he’s fussy without wanting to saw my arm off immediately after the fact? I’m only half kidding, you guys.
One of the ways I track my progress is by completing benchmark workouts. They range from super simple to more complex, but the idea is to see how much faster I can do them or how much I can increase the weight over time. Below is one of my favorite benchmark workouts for tracking my “can I walk up a flight of stairs comfortably” health, because it focuses on cardio-based moves that I can complete any time, any place.
I’m definitely not the only person who tracks progress through workouts, though. Check out other bloggers’ ways below:
“I go by race times and feel. Such as running faster but feeling better during the race or maybe the same time but not feeling like death the whole race. In Crossfit we use 1 rep maxes for lifts and also times to complete workouts I’ve done before. Generally lifting heavier, running faster but having shorter recovery times is a great sign of progress to me!” Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile
“When I started to get serious about trail running, I found a 2 mile out and back (4 total) with a wide variety of terrain. I call it my ‘test piece’, because I use it to help gauge my fitness. Did I run it faster? Was I less fatigued on the hills? Can I jump that stream? Am I more confident on the downhills? That kinda thing.” Gene from BigZig Fitness.
“If I’m able to run the same distance in the same time at a lower heart rate.” Carmy from carmyy.com
“For running I go by my 5k race time. Is it improving? Does it feel easier? How are my splits? For strength training I mostly do Body Pump and I go by the weights I use for each set. Am I able to increase my weight? Does it feel easier? How am I recovering?” Julie from girlonthemoveblog.com
“I judge my progress in fitness by how my pace for an “easy run” varies. Obviously there are other factors that go into every run, but over the past 2 years my easy run pace has gotten faster, indicating to me that my fitness level is improving!” Cecilia from http://www.mommiesrun.com
“I calculate my average pace for each month and try to improve it every month.” Janice from http://www.fitnesscheerleader.com
“Increases in strength are really important to me. It’s been my goal for a while to be able to do crow pose in yoga. I want to do it because it’s a beautiful pose that symbolizes strength and fitness, not a type or shape of body. I’m still working on it but every time I do an exercise that strengthens my shoulders, arms or chest, I think about reaching my goal of holding that pose one day. This gets me through some hard workouts I’m not as motivated to do. One day I will reach my goal of being able to do this pose and then I will work towards another pose that challenges a different part of my body.” Jenna from http://jennabraddock.com
“I like to be able to do 20 push-ups, 20 squat jumps, 20 tricep dips, 3 unassisted pull-ups x 3, hold a two-minute plank, and then run for 3 miles without stopping. That’s when I feel my best!” Kasey from http://vevahealth.com
Now it’s your turn! How do you measure progress?