The Fit 5: Tracking Progress

For all of our followers who shoot us questions on our Twitter and Facebook Page, this one is for you. Each week, we are going to faucet into our pool of editors and specialists to assist with any questions or challenges you’re having along with your health routine. This week, Dan Trink, C.S.C.S, Director of Personal Training Operations at Peak Performance NYC and founding father of TrinkFitness, solutions your questions on monitoring your exercise progress.

1) Effective Chest Workouts— requested by Ronald Parham: What’s a great way to construction my chest exercises so I can progressively enhance my barbell bench press?

“If you are looking to improve your one repetition maximum (1RM) on the bench press, it’s best to follow a tried and true powerlifting-style program as trainees from that world are truly experienced in improving that lift. There are many to choose from but I am a big fan of the simplicity of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. In a nutshell, Wendler provides a template for using percentages of your 1RM for different rep ranges each workout and ways to progress that from week to week.

In addition, I urge you to include military presses, external shoulder rotation, pull-ups and core work into your program as training those synergistic muscles will have carry-over to improving your bench press. Because, at the end of the day, you can only spend so much time on the bench each week, incorporate these lifts into the remainder of your program to aid in progress.”

2) When to Weigh In — requested by Chris Mezey.: How typically (and when) ought to I weigh myself to know if I’m losing a few pounds?

“Your most accurate weight will be first thing in the morning after you urinate. This is the best way to standardize as the number will be less influenced by what you ate and how much you trained on that day, giving you a more ‘apples to apples’ comparison every time you step on the scale. I like to have weight loss/fat loss clients weigh themselves twice per week. This gives me enough data to monitor progress while not driving them crazy with slight day-to-day variations that inevitably occur with body weight. I usually go with Sunday and Thursday mornings.”

3) Healthy Weekly Weight Loss — requested by Thomas Michael Anderson: I’m making an attempt to shed fats as quick as attainable, however what’s a secure quantity to lose every week or every month?

“You can safely lose fat rather rapidly. However there is a difference between body weight and fat. Body weight includes muscle, water, organs and every other non-fat tissue in the body. When losing body weight quickly due to muscle loss or dehydration you are setting yourself up for a slower metabolism, compromised performance in the gym and health risks. A good rule of thumb for safe weight loss that you can maintain over the long run is one to two pounds per week. That number can easily be doubled in the first week or two of a new nutrition plan.”

4) When to Switch Routines — requested by Travis Hill: If I’m making an attempt to get larger and I’m slowly growing the quantity of meals I eat, how a lot time do I give a coaching routine an opportunity earlier than switching to a different?

“That can depend on several factors including your starting point, your training age (how many months or years of experience you have training), your recovery techniques and even the training program itself. Generally, I keep very experienced trainees on a program for as little as three weeks. Beginner and intermediate trainees usually stay on a program for 4-6 weeks. This gives them enough time to gain some neurological and muscular adaptation to the program (a good thing!) without hitting a plateau (a bad thing).”

5) Benchmark Goals— requested by Bryan Livingston: What are some energy and endurance benchmarks I ought to be capable to hit as at 23 years outdated, 5’10”, 160 lbs.?

“That all really depends on your goals. But shooting for a 1x body weight bench press (in your case, 160 lbs.), a 1.5x body weight squat (240 lbs.) and a 2x body weight deadlift (320 lbs.) are good numbers to shoot for when developing strength. A mile run in under 6 minutes is a good accomplishment. Even better if you can maintain that pace for 3 miles. Just keep in mind in the old “jack of all trades, master of none” saying. The greater the variety of strength and endurance qualities your train, the less likely you are to become excellent at any single one of them.”

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