An accurate way to test your fitness progress is by taking tape #measurements. Weighing yourself on a scale is a harder way to tell if you are actually making progress and can easily become discouraging. The weight on the scale will fluctuate if you have more muscle or even if you had a big lunch.
Taking measurements and testing body fat every 3 months is the best way to see if you are getting closer to your goals. There is no denying that a smaller measurement and less body fat means you have lost weight. Or a bigger #measurement and less body fat means you put on muscle!
How To Take Your Own Measurements
Neck- #Measure around the middle or Adams apple (men)
Shoulders- Can be taken from one shoulder across in a straight line to the next from largest to largest point or as a girth #measurement, all the way around.
Chest- Measure around the nipple line (this one can also be called bust with chest being under the breasts. Personally, I do one measurement for men and women around the nipple line)
Waist- Smallest part of the waist. Usually around the bellybutton or an inch or two above. Relax when you do this measurement. Don't suck it in, but don't stick it way out.
Hips- Biggest part of your hips. This measurement goes from the bottom on the hip bone, around the top of your butt.
Midway- Measure from the top of your hip bones.
Thighs- The biggest part. Usually neat the top.
Knees- Measure right above the knee.
Calves- The biggest part of your calves. Usually right in the middle.
Upper Arm (bicep and triceps)- Measure the biggest part. Usually just above the elbow. If you are trying to put on muscle you can also do a flexed measurement. Do either arm out, arm bent, arm bent flexed or all three. Just make sure it's before a workout so you don't measure yourself with "the pump." In 3 months your results might not seem as good. Especially if you didn't workout before the next set of measurements.
Forearm- Measure the largest part. Usually under the elbow.
You can also get a friend to help you. Especially if you are prone to cheating yourself, by sucking in your stomach and taking a few inches off here and there.
Pick and choose which measurements to do for yourself. Some people don't care about their neck and some people don't want to know their hip measurements. It's up to you to decide what is important.
Taking measurements is a great way to track progress. At the end of 3 months you will definitely know if you are on the right track.