The first step in the road to success in any endeavour is a goal. Numerous studies have shown that individuals who set goals have a far better chance of achieving them than those who do not (Locke, 1985). Even the simplest daily tasks revolve around setting goals. For example, the weekend is coming up and you are having family over for dinner, so you write a list of all the things you need to do before they arrive. These are your goals. The list reminds you of them and helps you map out how you will achieve them. Crossing items off the list gives a sense of accomplishment. What if you were to apply this to your fitness training? It should come as no surprise that when you define your fitness goals, you have a greater chance of achieving them, just like your “to-do list”.
There are many reasons why people begin training including to: lose bodyweight, decrease body fat, or improve strength, flexibility, and energy. However, some individuals struggle to see the payoff of their time and dedication. From experience, this is usually due to one of two things:
- You’re not tracking your progress.
- You’re not tracking the correct measures of progress.
This is one of the main reasons why at Movement Performance Centre we make all new and current clients undergo initial and quarterly assessments. We track your progress, so you don’t have to. Not tracking your progress can lead to:
- Not noticing the true impact of long-term losses/gains as they occurred slowly over time
- Failing to recognize when a training program is not effective and adjust accordingly
- Loss of motivation due to lack of ‘small milestone’ recognition and celebration
Of course, tracking your progress is not just about weighing yourself or taking before and after photos. At MPC our assessments all begin with measuring health markers including blood pressure and resting heart rate. We also take skin fold measurements which can be a very accurate measure of how your body fat is increasing or decreasing over time, and in conjunction with other measures of progress can tell you a lot about your overall body composition (CSEP, 2003). Additionally we asses your metabolic capability, functional movement, strength and power. Tracking this array of values can be a very helpful tool for you on your health and fitness journey, especially if some of these markers are on your fitness “to-do list”.
Finally, we help you stay accountable by tracking your consistency. Below is a photo of our progress report where we keep track of the number of days you trained, and those you missed. Again, this helps you keep accountable to staying on track towards your goals. Here at Movement Performance Centre we aspire to help you craft, track, assess, and reach your goals. As such, we recommend regular quarterly assessments. Rethink your fitness ‘to-do’ list and call or e-mail us to book an assessment or quarterly re-assessment. Your goals will thank you!
Author: Megan Cook
CSEP. (2003). The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness & Lifestyle Approach. Ottawa : Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.
Edwin A. Locke, G. P. (1985). The Application of Goal Setting in Sport. Human Kinetics , 205-222.