You can probably relate to all the days when I looked in the mirror, anxiously looking for a change --- more definition in my abs, more "pop" to my delts, bigger glutes.... So silly, yet I couldn't seem to help myself.
It's so easy to get caught up in the mundane day-to-day routine of the training and diet. There are so many moving parts that it threatens to overwhelm even the staunchest of people. Stress is a constant companion. Am I doing enough? Is this the best way? What about that? (What's that sound? It's just me beating my head against the wall.) ;-)
When you look at your own body day after day, you're bound to miss a lot of subtle changes that are occurring, or even if you do notice them, the tendency is to take them for granted.
No matter how fast our progress, it's never quite fast enough, right? This can leave anyone frustrated and disappointed and kill motivation.
We're also our own worst critic. There's always something we feel we could improve, whether it's firming up your arms or adding 10 more pounds to your deadlift or cutting one more minute off your best 10k time. A little of this drive to improve is good, but too much will do nothing but drive you crazy.
That's why I have my clients take progress photos and measurements at the beginning of their program and at regular intervals so we can compare and assess their progress in a more objective way. Believe me, there's nothing more motivating than seeing those changes in living color.
Besides photos, there are many other ways to gauge progress that are just as important:
- able to do more reps and lift heavier weights
- able to go longer and/or increase intensity during cardio
- clothes feel looser
- able to better resist treats at the office/parties/home
- tracking food more consistently
- able to perform a more advanced exercise
- getting more activity during the day
I wanna hear from you! What improvement are you most proud of?