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How to Track Your Fitness Progress Without Relying on the Scales

Dec 15, 2023Dec 15, 2023

Your weight on the scale isn't necessarily an accurate reflection of your health, and you can track your progress in numerous other way

When it comes to fitness, one of the biggest misconceptions is that weight or fat loss is the only indicator of progress and success. Despite this popular opinion, there are many ways that you can measure your physical health and fitness progress without relying on aesthetics. Your overall weight includes muscle mass, too, so you can actually be fitter despite the scale saying that your weight has increase.

If checking the scales or measuring your body fat harms your mental health, you have a choice of alternative ways to track your fitness progress instead. From hitting new personal bests to increasing your strength, stamina, or speed, here are some positive ways to track your fitness progress without relying on weight scales.

One way of tracking your fitness is to notice how your strength increases along with your training. If you’re training efficiently, you should see progress in your strength capabilities over time.

To track your fitness by monitoring your strength, it's a good idea to follow a strength training program that offers tracking features. Alive by Whitney Simmons is a straightforward weight-training app you can use either at home or in the gym.

To track your fitness progress without relying on scales, use the Journal feature of Alive to record how much weight you can lift or how many reps you can complete each session. Keep track of your very first workout and watch your strength increase as you follow your chosen fitness program.

If you don't have a gym membership or access to weights, you could use a calisthenics app for bodyweight training instead. Track your fitness progress by how many reps you’re able to complete for each bodyweight movement. There are also various smart weight training devices you can use to increase your strength at home, which can help aid your progress.

Download: Alive by Whitney Simmons for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)

A sign that your fitness is improving is that you’re experiencing better overall performance in your exercises or sport. Increased strength—as explained above—is one performance metric you can track to measure your fitness progress.

Here are a few other performance parameters you can use to track your progress:

One of the easiest ways to determine your performance is to use a dedicated fitness-tracking app or smartwatch. Native apps on your smartphone—such as Apple Health—automatically collect, curate, and analyze your fitness data for you. Alternatively, there are plenty of activity tracker apps that will help you reach your fitness goals.

Using a wearable can act as a personal fitness coach, but it can also provide performance insights and improvements. Most fitness wearables can track and analyze a range of performance metrics, including heart rate and activity levels.

If you want to track your fitness without stepping on the scales, you can measure your progress by setting and meeting other goals.

A personal best (PB) is a term used to describe your best effort when completing a particular exercise or activity. It's often used by race runners, weightlifters, and swimmers, among many other fitness sports.

Personal Best - Record Tracker is a free app you can use to record all of your personal bests—whether that's in weight training, running, swimming, or other activities.

To track your personal bests, create an account within the app and follow these simple steps:

You can view all your personal bests in the My PBs tab (Indicated by the Star icon) to see how your fitness is progressing without using scales.

Download: Personal Best - Record Tracker for Android | iOS (Free, offers in-app purchases)

Physical results aren't the only determiner of your fitness progress—you can also identify progress by your improved energy, confidence, and mood.

To track your energy, confidence, mood, and more to determine your fitness progress, you can use a wellness app such as Bearable. It's a highly customizable one-stop-shop app for all your health tracking needs—making it ideal to log and journal how you feel alongside your fitness journey.

You can use the Insights tab to look for patterns and correlations between your movement and moods. You’ll also be able to identify any lifestyle factors that might be impeding your fitness progress. Read our comprehensive beginner's guide on how to use the Bearable app to learn how to make the most of Bearable and track your fitness progress.

Download: Bearable for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)

According to John Hopkins Medicine, how you exercise can help you sleep. Picking an exercise you enjoy and engaging with it regularly might help you see a difference in your sleep quality.

It's important, however, to not over-exercise or overtrain. PubMed highlights how sleep disturbances are frequently reported as one of the many symptoms of overtraining.

To help monitor your fitness progress, take a look at your sleep quality. Using a sleep tracker app can help you see whether your sleep quality has increased or decreased alongside your training. From this, you can determine how effective your current fitness program is, or what might need adjusting.

Sleep Cycle is a popular sleep tracker app that can help you track and improve your sleep. Alongside its tracking features, you can set sleep goals to ensure you gain enough rest time, which is crucial for exercise recovery.

Download: Sleep Cycle for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)

One of the simplest ways to track your fitness progress without relying on the scales is to keep an exercise journal.

Keeping an exercise journal allows you to customize what fitness metrics you want to track to assess your progress. You can include all of the above factors (strength, performance, personal bests, mood, and sleep), or add your own metrics that determine your fitness progress.

Notion is a productivity and note-taking web app that you can use to track your fitness goals and progress. You can either use a Habit Tracker Template (found under the Personal category) to get started or create a Table database to fully customize a fitness tracker. Check out our beginner's guide to using Notion to get the full run-down of how to use the platform to efficiently track your fitness progress.

Forget the scales—the best way for you to track your fitness progress is to look at other factors. Using fitness apps can help you track your strength, performance, personal bests, and improved mood.

We hope that the above suggestions have inspired you to find more valuable and accurate determiners of your fitness progress.

Charlotte is a freelance features writer, specializing in wellness, travel, and lifestyle. She has been writing professionally since 2014, with experience in journalism, PR, proofreading, editing, content writing, and copywriting.

MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT Journal Download: Endurance. Speed. Power. fire Activities Running Search bar 5k Run Choose a Variation Unit Duration Note box Save My PBs Star Download: Insights Download: Download: Personal Table database