Your Body Assessments

Published: 23rd January 2009
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Copyright (c) 2009 Athleticbodysystem

If you want to make progress at anything youn must ahve a starting point! There has to be an origin for there to be a destination. You must record where you started in order to accurately determine your fat loss efforts are working.

Any body transformation DOES NOT just happen before your eyes and as a result many trainees become disheartened because they cannot 'SEE' any changes. Okay maybe there are no apparent changes other that a pound or two less on the scales. But wait. . if you had a picture or a measurement of the old you it would enable you to REALLY see the changes no matter how small.

In Order for 'Before and After' photos to be successful and accurate tools they must be repeatable! By that I mean don't compare yourself when you were wearing a coat and you were up a tree or something. Take some DELIBERATE photos. Initial/Progress pictures must be taken in the same place, same room, same day, same time and of course wearing the same clothes. You must ensure you ate and drank similar amounts too! EVERYTHING must be the same! I know it may seem like a chore but mark my words these photos will be an invaluable resource later on for measuring your progress and they are also a great motivational tool!

Take the following pictures:

1) From the front, arms by your side not some stupid most muscular pose!

2) From the side, arms scissored i.e. one in front one behind.

3) From the back, again no double bicep back pose, nobody cares.

Wear something revealing! (yes it must show off all the unsightly bits BE RUTHLESS)

Make sure:

1) The lighting is the same and repeatable.

2) The same camera is used.

3) The clothes are sitting in the same place! (waist of shorts/bikini same distance from bellybutton on both occasions)

Another practical and motivating tool is girth measurements. i.e. measuring the circumference of a limb/waist/hips/chest. They are great because they give the user number that they can use and work on! Weight is your entire body; girth measurements get a little more personal and will inspire people to strive for more desirable measurements.

'But won't I get larger measurements if I'm lifting weights and I put on muscle?'

No, contrary to popular belief muscle does not just appear in a matter of days or even weeks! And trust me if you are training hard you will lose fat A LOT faster than you will gain muscle.

Girth measurements will measure the entire limb and associated increases or decreases in mass can be easily seen! For people above around 15% they are probably a lot better but they are useful for everybody.

Skin Folds can also be a very good tool and are my preferred measurement tool with any of my clients that are of suitably low bodyfat percentages. Skinfolds are reasonably accurate for calculating your percentage bodyfat but the folds themselves are actually the most valuable readings. The tell you a lot about the specific area without calculating the actual percentage. Skinfolds measure the skin plus the underlying fat tissue of 7 sites and then through calculations that consider age and sex, reveal your bodyfat %. This reading is not entirely accurate but it is repeatable! The main hang up i have about skinfolds is that you can't take your own measurments, you need a calipers and the same person has to take the readings each time to ensure repeatability. Skinfold measurement is a skill and requires 1000's of practice runs to become fluent with the callipers. If you have access to an experienced trainer that will do a skinfold on you. GO FOR IT! If not, use the above tools and you'll do fine.


Bryan Kavanagh
For more information on assesments and fat loss click on the link below!

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