When it comes to fitness, progress is the name of the game. For most, the goal is to get either fitter, faster, stronger, healthier, or like many, all of the above. But how do you know you are progressing if you don't know where you started and how far you have come?
How you look is one way, yes. If you are getting fitter, stronger, and healthier, you will definitely start to see that difference in the mirror, or how you are performing in your sport, or even how you are fitting into your clothes.
But, to really see how you are progressing day in and day out, knowing your numbers is a great way to do it! Numbers are proof that what you are doing is working.
Now, when we say numbers, we are not talking about the number of calories you burn from a workout. Calories are cool, but they are not the end all be all. For instance, if you are wearing a heart-rate monitor during a long run or cardio workout where your heart-rate is at a constant high rate, your monitor is going to show a ton of calories.
On the flip side, if you are wearing a heart-rate monitor during more of a strength workout where your heart-rate is going up and down, your monitor might not show as many calories during the workout, but your body will continue burn a ton of calories after as your muscles recover, strengthen, and tone. So don't worry about the calories so much.
The numbers we are talking about are the numbers on the dumbbells you are using, the number of pushup-ups you can do, or number of meters or speed you reach during a run, or even your heart-rate during and after a workout. This list goes on, but I think you get the drift.
Knowing these types of numbers is a great way to see actual progress of how you are getting fitter, stronger, and better in your fitness. Some athletes like to log their numbers either in a notebook, or in a fitness tracking app such as TrainHeroic or TrueCoach, but it is not necessary if you can just remember or have an idea of your numbers.
For instance, if you know that your top speed on a runner is around 15km/hr, and then after 2 weeks of training, you are all of a sudden running at a 16km/hr, you know you just got fitter without having to write it down. This goes the same with the dumbbells you grab for an exercise, or the plates you put on the barbell for an exercise.
Knowing these numbers will not only show proof that you just got fitter, but more importantly, it can help keep you on track and motivated during your fitness journey. If you are continuing to just do random workouts throughout the week, it can sometimes be tough to stay with it if you are not seeing or noticing any progress. But if you can track or be aware of what you are doing, you will know when you grab a 25lb dumbbell instead of a 20lb dumbbell, or that you ran a little farther than you did last week. And for many, this can be the motivating factor in their fitness.
So if you are looking for a new way to stay motivated or just spice up your workouts, try by either tracking or at least becoming aware of your numbers. Then, when next week comes around, and you pick up a dumbbell that is a little heavier, or run a little faster or farther on that treadmill, you will know that you just got fitter!
Keep getting after it and keep earning that rest!
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