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Fitness Testing Newsletter: 26 May 2006

WELCOME to another fitness testing newsletter.

In this newsletter:
- Changes to the fitness testing site
- Article: Monitoring Your Fitness Progress

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CHANGES TO THE SITE
As always the Fitness testing website is evolving. Latest additions  are Fitness Testing Equipment Page, Balance Stork Test and  Coordination test.

http://www.topendsports.com/testing/

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Feature Article

Monitoring Your Fitness Progress: Don't Guess- Measure!
by: Anthony Ellis 

Mass Gaining program is incomplete without the timely measurements  to monitor Your Progress. The only way to know if your mass or fat  loss program is successful is by monitoring your measurements,  weight and body fat levels. 

'One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.' -  Admiral Grace Hopper, U.S. Navy 

Depending on the program, I recommend that everyone take their body  fat levels every 1-2 weeks. 

There's a lot that these readings reveal to a trained eye! For  example, I was recently on a fat loss diet, and I did not lose any  weight for three weeks. At first I thought that I needed to drop my  calories further because the current levels were not working for me.  I did not want to do this because as a hard-gainer, dropping my  calories too low can result in too much muscle loss. So, before I  committed to a more drastic diet, I checked my body fat records.  Was I in for a shock! According to my body fat calculations I was  actually getting leaner. Even though my weight did not change during  that three-week period, my body fat levels went down 3%! Since I did  not lose any weight during that time, the fat must have been  replaced by muscle (an added benefit, but this does not happen most  of the time). I would have never known this by simply looking in the  mirror. 

Another example is last year when I was on a mass cycle. I was  eating a tremendous amount of calories and gaining weight like  crazy. I stopped the diet once I began to notice that my fat gains  were larger than my muscle gains. I would never have noticed this if  I had not closely monitored my body fat levels. 

I expect to gain some fat on a mass diet, but I always want to gain  more muscle than fat. If I had not kept track of my body fat levels,  I would have gained too much fat. 

TRACKING RESULTS 

There are many methods of measuring your body fat and some are quite  expensive. While many consider underwater weighing to be the most  accurate, no method is 100% precise -- they all have some margin of  error. It's not important to know the exact number -- what's  important is to use the same method each time you take your  measurements so you can have a consistent record of your progress. I  just use an inexpensive skinfold caliper. They cost anywhere from  $29-$80 and are simple to use. 

A good caliper is essential. Without it, you won't know how exactly  your body is responding to your diet and training routine. You may  also want to consider using a tracking software like The Composition  Tracker at http://www.comptracker.com ... It will help you analyze  your data and tell you if you are actually building more muscle and  losing more fat! 

Just looking in the mirror and guessing is not acceptable!  If you want to start getting great results, you must develop the  habit of accurately tracking your progress. If you don't, you will  continue to go in circles. This may seem like a 'hassle', but  nothing worth having is ever easy to attain. 

About The Author

Former "skinny guy" Anthony Ellis is the author of Gaining Mass! The  most widely used weight gain program in the world. This unique  program designed to help people gain weight and build muscle, is  currently being used in over 90 countries.


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Thank you for your support of my site.

Rob Wood

Rob's Home of Fitness Testing

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