Hey! Great job getting to this point! The fact that you are thinking about the effectiveness of your workout program means you are steps ahead of those taking no action towards their desired health and fitness goals. In order to know if your workout routine is working, you must have goals to keep track of. If you don’t have goals, then it's hard to determine if you're getting results from your fitness routine. For example, it's easy to see how far I've come by hopping on the scale and basing the effectiveness of my program on the number I see. If I'm just trying to be more healthy or feel better, it might be harder to tell if I'm making strides towards my goals. That's why these fitness evaluations are so important for those with numerical goals who need help gauging their progress. If you're not having difficulty finding workouts to do that can help you meet your goals, then we recommend reviewing our guide on how to evaluate your health and fitness. If you are having a hard time meeting those goals, or are not sure how to measure the effectiveness of your workout program, read on.
1. To lose/ gain weight
Weight loss shouldn't happen at a cost to your well-being. Keeping track of both body-fat and lean body-weight helps you monitor how your well you're doing in the process. A classic result from a poorly designed fitness routine, is someone training for a several weeks, and finding they lost 10 pounds (the goal), but instead of losing fat weight (the target), they lost both muscle mass and fat mass! While you may be happy with the number on the scale (goal achieved), you might not be as happy with sacrificing measurable results from your well-being (target). This is why I recommend measuring the success of your exercise routine on the amount of weight lost and not just the number on the scale. Every 4 weeks measure your body fat percentage again. If it doesn't go down, by 1-2%, change to a different workout plan.
2. To be healthier
Healthy is a very vague term and can mean different things to different people. To determine what being healthy means for you, first you should weight a few important factors. Are you within a healthy body fat percentage range? For men, if you are between 8 and 24 percent body fat, you would be considered healthy. For women, a range of 21 – 35 percent could be considered healthy. Blood pressure is also another important measure of health. If your blood pressure is too high or too low you could be at risk of developing a heart related health problem.
3. To feel better
It's hard to measure whether your fitness routine is helping you feel better long term. Although, you can immediately increase the way you feel every time you engage in physical activity or exercise. Exercise has been well studied to improve your mood, give you more focus, and boost your energy levels. If you are dealing with pain, visit your doctor before jumping into any regular fitness routine. Once your doctor has cleared you to engage in an exercise program, make sure to get some professional help from an qualified fitness professional so they can prescribe you exercises and workouts to help you potentially overcome or reduce your muscle or joint pain.
4. To be stronger
Strength increases can be measured easily. Let’s say you started your workout program and couldn’t do any push-ups. After 4 weeks of training, you completed five push-ups. You got stronger! You can measure many kinds of strength exercises, from the number of crunches you perform to the weight you lift when you work out. If a workout program hasn’t helped you increase the weight or number of reps you lift, then it hasn’t helped you get stronger.