Top Tips For Measuring Your Weight Loss Progress

As you go about your weight loss program, the one thing that everyone always wants to know is how they’re progressing along.  Obviously the whole point of you putting so much effort into your workout routine and diet plan is so that you can reach that ideal weight you have set for yourself.

Or, in some cases perhaps you want to add more muscle tone and definition or possibly be able to lift a certain amount of weight.  Whatever your goal, you want to see that you are progressing onwards.

This said, it’s important that you take into account a number of progress evaluation techniques so you can get a complete picture of how you’re doing.  Far too often people place all the emphasis on the scale and whether or not it’s moving downwards and forget to take into consider other important elements.

If the scale isn’t moving in the direction you had hoped, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re failing on your plan.  By using all of the strategies discussed below, you can get a much better idea of how you’re doing.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Your Body Fat Percentage

Before you go jumping on the scale each morning, it’s important to know the difference between body weight and body fat.  Body weight is actually a very poor indicator of progress because all this is telling you is whether you gained or lost weight.  It doesn’t indicate whether the change has been because of fat loss or muscle gain.

So theoretically, it’s really quite possible for someone just starting out to notice the scale goes up, which could very well indicate that they’ve gained muscle while losing body fat.

But, they just see that higher number and think they haven’t made progress.  Really, they’ve made fantastic progress and are exactly where they want to be.

By using a body fat measurement instead, you’ll get a much more accurate picture of what’s going on.

Your Total Workout Volume

Second, also assess your overall workout volume.  A quick tip to use for this is to simply multiply how many sets you’re doing each workout by how many reps by how much weight you’re lifting.  This is going to tell you how much total weight you actually lifted over the entire workout session.

Try and do this once a week.  Then, over time compare your results.  If you notice that there is an overall trend upwards, this means your body is now able to tolerate a higher amount of overall volume meaning you’ve become stronger and fitter.

Another sign you’re moving in the right direction.

Your Recovery Rates

Taking a look at your recovery rates is another good indicator of how well you’re doing.  Those who are showing faster recovery rates, that is, it takes them far less time to heal from a previous workout session and they feel fine again in the gym shortly after will be much more fit than those who take days after a workout to feel up to exercise again.

The more fit you become, the shorter your recovery typically is.  It is important to take into account the overall program however as sometimes those who are changing their program will notice declines in recovery if the program itself is much more intense.

Your Endurance Capacity

Along with your strength level, it’s also important to assess your endurance capacity.  Are you able to run faster than you were before?  Perhaps you can now bike for 40 minutes straight whereas before you could only go for 20 minutes.

Despite what the scale might be telling you, if this is the case it’s a clear illustration that you’re moving forwards in at least some aspect of your workout program.

Your Measurements

Finally, the last factor to look at is your measurements.  If you are unable to get a body fat test taken, a great alternative is instead assessing the measurements you show.  Have you lost inches off your waist, thighs, hips, or arms?

If so, you’ve made progress.  Again, since muscle is much denser than fat tissue, if you’ve actually gained muscle and lost fat you’ll notice the scale go up but the measurements should get smaller.  That will be key in illustrating that you’ve made progress.

So make sure you keep these assessment tips in mind.  If you do really want to get the most complete picture of how you’re doing with your workouts, it’s important to take them into account.

Kickboxing to Lose Weight

We know for a fact that to get into shape, an important thing to do is to get up, work out, and keep moving. But aside from weight loss, exercise has also been shown to help improve prevent certain diseases and improve the overall condition of the body. Many are the methods of exercising. And just recently, another sport has emerged to become the newest weight loss craze in town–kickboxing.

Kickboxing may be a form of leisure, sport, or part of a weight loss program. But it seems that the latter should be the most common reason of engaging in this field for kickboxing necessitates a total body workout which is a great fat-burning and muscle-building technique. A more popular form that is practiced by many people around the world is cardio or aerobic kickboxing.

What is Cardio Kickboxing?

Kickboxing has gone through many changes since it dawned in America in the 1970s. The sport was basically born due to the banning of full contact kicks and punches on martial art competitions. Eventually, it was combined with aerobics to produce cardio kickboxing, an overall cardiovascular workout minus the physical contact among participants that aims to promote fitness and physical conditioning.

This intense, aerobic workout usually lasts for an average of 1 hour and begins with a 10-minute warm up exercises that may include stretching, crunches, and push ups. This phase is crucial before a person begins with the punching proper as warming up helps stretch and relaxes muscles making them more flexible, especially large muscle groups of the thighs, legs, shoulder, back, and neck to prevent injury. Stretching also increases the body’s range of movement as well as preventing muscle stiffness saving you from post-exercise body pains.

Following this is a 45-minute kickboxing session. This may include a series of full-intensity kicks, punching, hand strikes, knee strikes, and other defense moves. Punching bags and gloves may sometimes be used depending on the instructor or the program. After this, the person or participant should cool down to help the body adjust from the workout. The entire workout burns an average of 350 to 450 calories, but depending on the effort you are exerting during a session this may rise up to 800 to 1000 calories per hour.

Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing

Like any exercise programs, the primary objective of cardio kickboxing is to achieve a healthy physique. It improves fitness in three areas: stamina, muscle fitness, and flexibility.

Stamina or the ability of the heart to deliver oxygen efficiently to the body’s cells is enhanced by any regular aerobic exercise. Because the muscles need more oxygen and glucose for energy, the heart rate also increases to pump more blood to the muscles. This improves the efficiency of the heart, lungs, and muscles. Kicks and punches will also improve muscle strength and endurance, as well as precision and muscle coordination. Weight loss comes as a “side effect” from the overall activity that requires the burning of calories for the energy needs of the muscles being used.

Cardio kickboxing may also have an impact on releasing stress. Psychologically speaking, the act of throwing punches and kicks is said to help alleviate a person’s stress level and fatigue. A stunt taught in kickboxing is also one way of learning martial arts that can be used as a defense method that can be translated in real situations.

Tips

1. Before starting a cardio kickboxing program, see to it that you have consulted your physician regarding this. Certain medical conditions may not be allowed to practice such as it may do more harm than good for the body.

2. Look for a properly-trained and certified kickboxing instructor. When done properly, kickboxing should yield health benefits instead of harm. A qualified instructor or coach should teach you the proper techniques to prevent injury to the muscles especially for beginners.

3. A warm up forms an important part of an exercise routine. Hence, this should always be taken seriously. Stretching in the form of jumping jacks is one good way of warming up.

4. Beginners should begin with the fundamental moves. Proper execution and body alignment is always the key to a successful program. For starters, avoid premature high kicks especially when you have little or no experience at all. Do not overstretch and extend your muscles only as high as you can without getting hurt. If you are using fitness DVDs or tapes, pay special attention to the instructions given all through out the episode.

5. Remember to breathe properly, exhaling as you kick and inhaling as you retract your muscles. Keep breathing or take shallow breaths. Do not hold your breath as you run the risk of spiking your blood pressure and you’ll become dizzy and may suffer serious consequences.

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