Tracking Progress


Let’s say you are 6 weeks into your health and fitness journey. You have been working out consistently in the gym 3-4 times per week and have been carrying your water bottle with you everywhere you go. You have even said “no” the office donuts more often than you said “yes”. 

Today is the day you get to see all of your hard work validated. It is time for your 6-week check-in.

After arriving at the gym, you are welcomed into the office and your Coach starts asking you questions like…

“Is your energy level improving?”

 “Are your clothes fitting better?”

 “Are you feeling stronger?”

 “More confident?”

 You respond enthusiastically with, “Yes. Yes. Yes. and YES!”

 Finally, your Coach says, “Awesome. Let’s hop on the InBody and see what has changed.”

 You quickly disinfect your hands and feet, stand on the scale, grab the handles and wait…

 But something is wrong. 

The numbers are telling you that you haven’t lost any body fat, your weight is roughly the same, and your muscle hasn’t budged. The first thought that comes to your mind is that you have completely failed.

Time out

You are working out consistently and beginning to make choices around nutrition that support your goals. And, most importantly, you are feeling strong and confident.

As a Coach, I am thinking “Wow! Great things are happening for you.”

At South Landing, we track biometrics such as body fat, lean muscle mass, bodyweight, etc. These are important metrics to track because they can be indicators of someone’s progress.

BUT, these metrics are only one piece of the puzzle.  As complex humans, our bodies are not as simple as Input is X and the Output is Y. 

If you’re basing your value as an individual solely from your body composition numbers, then we have some work to do. Your numbers on a scale do NOT dictate your value as an individual, nor do they provide a complete picture of your health and fitness journey.

Progress, not perfection

Fitness and health (especially weight loss) is almost NEVER a linear path.  You will experience months of progress, months that feel slow and stagnant, and even months where you seem to regress. The goal is to look at your overall trendline while keeping other measures of progress in focus. Below is an example of someone who is on a weight loss journey.

 Total Weight Lost: 20lbs

Number of Months Where Weight was Gained: 4 Months

Number of Months Where 2lbs or Less Was Lost: 3 Months

Looking at the graph, 3 pounds was gained from month 6-7. It’s possible these were pounds of muscle gained instead of fat. Or, maybe life was really stressful and nutrition took a back seat. Maybe without continuing to exercise, 8lbs would have been gained instead of 3. Regardless, the important factor to note is that one data point does not define the overall journey. This individual kept moving forward towards their goals without allowing a number to stop their progress.

SUCCESS IS more than a number

At South Landing we love seeing our clients set, work towards, and accomplish their specific goals. However, our coaching mindset is to plan beyond the 1-2 month fitness goal and set clients up for success 1-year…5-years…10-years down the road.

As an industry we must begin to help individuals focus on ALL of the different progress metrics that extend well beyond just the scale.

Enjoy the journey. Expect delays and road blocks. Measure progress (ALL progress) and CELEBRATE SUCCESS!