Home Fitness Training 4 Ways to Measure Your Client’s Fitness Progress without a Scale 

4 Ways to Measure Your Client’s Fitness Progress without a Scale 

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Craft individualized exercise program, examine. Walk your shopper by each motion to ensure proper lifting form and technique; examine.

Provide nutrition suggestions, dispense motivation and encouragement, and depend their each rep – examine, examine and examine. Think you’ve coated all grounds when it comes to teaching a shopper? Not fairly.

You’re lacking one thing: progress opinions.

Tracking your shopper’s progress boosts your shopper’s motivation in staying the course. In addition, it helps you establish if any changes to their training program (e.g. training quantity) are wanted for higher outcomes.

Now, whereas the size could also be an apparent alternative of progress-tracking instrument, the reality is that sure shoppers – research shows women, in particular – will discover themselves obsessing over the numbers.

This, in flip, probably leads to a extra detrimental body picture, decrease vanity, and a greater chance of depression. Fortunately, non-scale methods to measure progress exist. This article walks you thru 4 nice examples.    


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Track Body Fat Percentage

Chances are, many consumers of yours come to you wanting to look “toned” and “just better in general”.

Generally, that’d contain you serving to them to do 2 issues: 1) construct extra muscle, and 2) lose fats. Accordingly, monitoring your shopper’s body fats proportion is a wonderful means to decide in the event that they’re on monitor.

But wait. ‘Track body fat percentage’? How might you probably do this in your shopper without a scale?

As it seems, scientists have give you considerably correct mathematical equations – aka circumference measurements formulation – that assist estimate a person’s body fats proportion primarily based on easy variables (e.g. age, gender, waist circumference).

A widely known components you may use is one thing referred to as the Navy-Seal formula. To use this components, you’ll have to get your shopper’s:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Neck circumference
  • Waist circumference
  • Hip circumference (relevant solely to feminine shoppers)

There are 2 ‘variants’ of the Navy-Seal components; there’s one for women and one for males. Be certain to use the proper one when estimating your shopper’s body fats proportion:

  • Men: 86.010 x log10 (stomach – neck) – 70.041 x log10 (height) + 36.76
  • Women: 163.205 x log10 (waist + hip – neck) – 97.684 x log10 (height) – 78.387

While there aren’t any requirements or pointers on simply how briskly a person needs to be dropping body fats, most consultants consider that anywhere between 1 to 3% monthly is secure.

That stated, apply warning with shoppers who’re already lean (roughly 23% for women and 14% for males). Being too aggressive with their fat loss plan can find yourself impacting their lean mass as an alternative – and, finally, hinder their efficiency within the gymnasium.

Log Muscle Circumferences

Great. You now have a non-scale technique that’ll assist decide in case your shopper is dropping fats – and by how a lot, weekly. But what about muscle acquire?

You can merely monitor the measurements of your shopper’s muscle groups over time. In normal, you’d need to take measurements in 3 areas: biceps, glutes, and quads. This provides you with a good sense of how your shopper’s body is altering in response to their prescribed training program.

Here are a few tips that’ll make it easier to get probably the most correct measurements:

  • Take the measurements in the identical situations each time: If your shopper flexes their biceps the primary time you are taking their measurements, make sure that they flex for each single subsequent check-in. Of course, that applies to all different muscle teams (e.g. glutes and quads) you measure as properly.
  • Always measure across the largest space: Taking measurements from the mid-glute area one session – then the decrease glutes session the following – is a sure-fire means of deceptive you and your shopper about their progress.
  • Average out 3 measurements: This comes down to the statistics principle that the common worth turns into more and more exact because the variety of measurements will increase (thanks to a corresponding lower in uncertainty – or, in different phrases, how far your measurement is to the precise worth).

That stated, it’s plain that this technique of monitoring your shopper’s progress suffers from a obtrusive shortfall. What in case your shopper’s going by a ‘body recomp’ the place they’re building muscle and shedding fats on the identical time?

You would not give you the chance to decide this up by merely measuring your shopper’s muscle circumferences. This is the place the next non-scale technique is available in.

Take Progress Pictures

Asking your shopper to take progress photos is, hands-down, among the best methods to make it easier to – and your shopper – see the adjustments of their body from sooner or later, month, and even yr, to the following.

Bonus: seeing seen progress could be a large morale and motivation booster in your shopper, too.

As with all progress-tracking strategies, although, there are a few issues to be aware:

  • Take photos on the identical time of the day: Where attainable, have your shopper take their progress photos within the morning – earlier than they’ve eaten something. This will assist decrease any meal-related bloating that’ll disguise their progress.
  • Strive for a similar lighting situations: Lighting is all the pieces. Your shopper’s body in a image taken underneath the gymnasium’s fluorescent lights goes to look wildly completely different from in the event that they took it at their dwelling, in pure lighting – even when it’s simply minutes aside. So, regardless of which lighting situation your shopper chooses, make sure that they stick to it.
  • Wear form-fitting activewear: You’re not going to see something in case your shopper is carrying saggy garments of their photos. So ideally (and relying in your shopper’s consolation stage), you must have your feminine shoppers put on a sports activities bra and biker shorts – and your male shoppers put on shorts.
  • Capture 3 angles of the body: To perceive the complete scope of how your shopper’s body is altering, it is essential for them to seize their entrance, aspect, and again. For consistency, ask your shopper at all times to select the identical aspect every time (e.g. proper aspect).
  • Get your shopper to take progress photos each 2 to 3 weeks: In most instances, you (and your shopper) ought to give you the chance to see the variations in a few months. Bonus tip: right here’s a list of the top apps that’ll make protecting monitor of all of your shoppers’ progress photos a breeze.

Re-assess Fitness Capabilities

All that stated, it’s value remembering that generally, your shopper isn’t looking for aesthetic improvements. Instead, they simply need to elevate heavier, run sooner, bounce greater, and many others.

And the reality is that your shopper can do all these without a corresponding change in body composition. So, how would you already know – for certain – that your shopper is making progress on this case?

It’s fairly easy.

Just put them by the same assessment you did once they first started working with you, then examine the outcomes.

Be certain to check their cardiovascular fitness (with the Step Test and/or One-Mile Walk Test), flexibility (i.e. vary of movement on numerous actions), and their strength (with one thing just like the 5-rep max for numerous exercises).

If your shopper’s efficiency has improved, you’ll be able to make certain that they’re making progress – and heading in the right direction to attaining their fitness targets.


As you’re most likely conscious by now, you shouldn’t solely rely solely on 1 particular non-scale technique to monitor your shopper’s progress.

Each instrument, when used individually, will inevitably fail to present a complete image of what’s happening in your shopper’s body. For instance, how their body fats proportion adjustments tells you nothing about what’s happening with muscle mass – is it rising, reducing, or the identical?

Unfortunately, there’s no means to inform.

You’re going to have to use the above-mentioned strategies collectively for a extra correct evaluation. And bear in mind: it’s essential to assist your shopper work in direction of a happier, healthier relationship with fitness.

Fitness is a life-long pursuit, and fixating on short-term aesthetic targets shouldn’t be your shopper’s (or your) precedence. 


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