Best way to track progress?

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    Best way to track progress?

    I used to lift 3 days a week on a split schedule push/pull/legs and it was really easy to tell when I was getting stronger because I was doing more reps/moving up weights. I really enjoy the bodyweight aspect of the site, and the fact I can do it at home. But, I do miss the progressive nature of lifting weights.

    How do you track getting stronger/success of your workouts?

    #2
    TheCookie49 If you mean body weight exercises; I believe you can track progress through the workout being easier? Or you can do more reps of an exercise, I.e, 50 push-ups now 60. Or you can do an extra set. At least that’s how I do it.

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      #3
      Personally for me, the success of fitness is how well I live my life outside of the exercises. I have had a few moments in my fitness journey, but for instance, the first time I ran up the stairs without losing my breath, or the first someone at the gym asked me for advice on a workout.

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        #4
        Body weight seems a much more simple style of exercise to see progression and improvement. "Hey, I could only do four pull-ups two weeks ago and I'm getting to the bar that seventh time now!" "Hey, push-ups are easier!"

        I think tracking weights and reps and how you do lifting can be fun because numbers move up. Once your body gets used to a deadlift or jerks or cleats, you can quickly add weights. But body-weight is just pure numbers. 20 is better than 10, 50 is better than 20.

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          #5
          If you want a tracking like amount of weight/reps, you can do the same with weightless exercises. Just count your reps to failure or how many you can do in a specific amount of time. For example: Before programm = 20 Pushups and after a programm = 30 Pushups. Insteat of programms you can use weeks of course.

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            #6
            The ways to track progress inn body weight and in lifting weights are not very different. Notably if you do weighted body weight (e.g. weighted pull up, weighted pistol) you can track using the maximal weight that you are able to pull/push.

            Another way, as described from other darebees, is the max numbers of repetition that you can do for a specific exercise. Consider that this is not the same concept and the same measure, since if the number is "high" what you are testing does not regard only strength but also resistance is involved.

            A third methods concerns (mainly) the resistance. For example, how many pull ups can you perform in a hour?

            There is also another concept that is used for bodyweight training (and not for lifting weight) is the concept of progression. the exercise that regards the same muscle groups and the same king of movement can be put in a ordered scale of difficult on the basis of strength required. Thus, you can track your strength, considering the exercise that you can execute in a progression. For example. Steve Low in his book propose a chart for a set of exercises (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...qrCz2YnVg/edit)




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              #7
              I also use my Apple watch to track my heart beat during cardio programs and see how much effort I am putting in or how long it takes me to return to a baseline. For instance, between cardio sets I let my heart rate come down to 115-120 or so before starting into the next set. Over time I'm seeing my recovery time speed up (which also means maybe doing one more set to get more work out of the program).

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                #8
                thepresident The progressions I think is what I am looking for. I think it's just been weird (for lack of a better term) just doing lots and lots of reps. It doesn't feel (totally subjective) like I am making progress just doing more reps for some reason mentally to me. I am not saying this is logical just saying how it feels, you know?

                Salishsea That is exactly what I do for cardio, and I feel like it is super helpful for tracking progress cardiovascularly. That's how I was originally taught to do cardio, and it has made the transition easier since moving to bodyweight.

                SimonB That is my current plan; I did one after my first program and plan on doing another one after. Maybe seeing that will be motivating not sure right now.

                Warmaker PETERMORRIS966 similar to what I said for the first one

                CaptainCanuck I feel like at this point minus some cardio stuff, I can mostly do what I want physically with out too many hindrances. I totally couldn't have said that 50 lbs ago, and I agree that has been super motivating! At the moment tho none of my friends really work out/play sports so that aspect of training has gotten a little dry. Also, I can now keep up with my kid (2 year old) and play with him as much as I want with out getting tired. So I am trying to find my next set of goals.

                Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond! I'm gonna have to consider what I wanna do next in my fitness journey! As always thanks for being such a supportive hive!

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                  #9
                  My thought is that bodyweight training, after gaining sufficient strength for a movement, becomes an endurance thing. Just because you can squat 100 lbs it doesn't necessarily mean that you can do 100 bodyweight squat in a row. I am currently doing unassisted single-leg calf raises with some weight, but my calves still scream after I do 60 or 70 regular bodyweight calf raises. It makes sense that you will feel weird doing lots of reps if you are used to doing the 8~12 reps kind of thing. Since I am doing some weight I can understand the kind of joy you mention in progressing with lifting.

                  For me, one way of seeing progress is the ability to do advanced versions of an exercise, besides number of reps. For example, going from bridges to single-leg bridges.

                  And since bodyweight training stresses you less than heavy weight I imagine that you can do things more frequently.

                  Another way, which you won't want, is injury. By losing the abilities you realize how far you have gone without being aware of it.

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                    #10
                    kandy I think that frames it well! Yeah the idea of endurance is just less appealing. Not to say it doesn't have its place. I think I may look into doing lower reps with more 'advance' moves/look into using this as more HIIT/Cardio/Combat/Yoga and then branch out and add some more body weight strength stuff!

                    Thanks everybody!

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                      #11
                      You are welcome! Just want to add that going for an advanced version sometimes requires more than greater strength of the targeted muscles. I am mostly thinking about single-leg movements, which requires balance, core strength, etc., besides 2x strength of, say, your quads, not to mention things like L-sit and planche, so bodyweight training can get pretty complicated. In that sense of complexity you might even find lifting weight easier.

                      Typing this reminds me of the Strength Protocol program, which I recommend if you want to go for that kind of progression.

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                        #12
                        I started a beginner 30-day program on this site, so a measure of my success is the check marks in the tracker, and no skipping any days (i.e. get the mindset and the routine going successfully!). This would truly be super motivational before moving on to actual "measurements" of strength, like being able to do a REAL push-up (chest to floor and back up) in my case.

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