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See the progress before your eyes.

Whether you are working out and dieting in order to get the most massive and shredded physiques in the world, or just try to get in better shape, there’s no doubt that if you stick with it you’ll see progress, also known as gains. So there’s got to be no better feeling than measuring your body and seeing that size change more towards your intended goals.

But don’t let the number on the measuring tape fool you. This video above shows the proper way to measure your muscle gain. Don’t fall victim to a false measurement, watch the video and watch the gains unfold right in front of your eyes. Then check out the rest of this article and see what else you should be doing.

What are Gains?

Well, gains are typically referred to as how much muscle you are putting on through hitting the gym. However, gains can be progress overall. What does this mean?

For starters, if you are dieting down and trying to get shredded, you measure your progress. When you measure that progress you don’t call it “losses”, you still probably call that progress “gains.”

The same goes with tracking weights. For example, when your 1 rep maxes increase on your squat, bench, and deadlift, you call it “gains.”

The point is, gains are like a universal term for gym progress. So let’s explore some more ways to see that.

Importance of Measuring Gains

Measuring gains is something that many people often overlook. This can cause them to either lose track of progress, or even give up. This can be due to not seeing enough progress to the naked eye, and people feel defeated.

Measuring your gains shows how far you have come and how much progress you have made. Measuring gains shows how hard the work you put in paid off. Whether it be your diet, workouts, or whatever else you are doing to make progress, always measure it.

Measuring your gains can also help with things like clothing sizes. The worst scenario possible is when you have been bulking or cutting, then you go to try on your clothes for the new season and nothing fits. Tracking that steady gym progress through measurements can definitely help give you an idea of what clothes you can fit into or not. This actually leads us right into the next point.

More Ways to Measure Gains

Yes the tape measure is a great way to measure gains. However, there are more ways that coincide with the tape measure. Let’s take a look at some other ways to check out how far you’ve made it.

Keeping Old Clothes

As stated before, there is nothing worse than spending some serious time hitting the gym, then you go to get dressed for the new season and your clothes do not fit. This can be used to your advantage however. Don’t throw out those old t-shirts or jeans just yet.

If you are trying to lose weight, using old clothes is a good telltale sign of measuring progress. For example, if your waist size is a 38 or your t-shirt is an XXL and you are looking to downsize, keep those old clothes to see how far you are coming. Throw them on every now and then to see how loose they are getting because you are doing that good.

The same goes for when you are trying to pack on size. There is no better feeling than finally filling out the sleeves of that one t-shirt that has always been a little baggy because you’ve been taking some advice from our arm day posts. Or going to put on a pair of pants and your quads don’t fit because you’ve been hitting legs by taking on some of our leg workouts.

The bottom line is, using old clothes is great to see how far you’ve come. No matter the goal you have in mind, your clothes will always show progress.

Progress Pictures

Another thing besides the tape measure, is progress pictures. These are vital to measuring gains alongside the tape measure. Sure, the tape measure is great for measuring gains, but at the end of the day it is just a number on a strip of paper. The real progress unfolds before you, in the mirror, in the pictures.

Take your progress pictures weekly, biweekly, monthly, whatever you want. Just make sure to keep taking them. Then at the end of a certain time period, whether it be 3, 6, or 12 months, you can really look back and see how far you’ve come. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing that progress happen. Bigger arms, more defined legs, a wider back, no matter what your end goal is, the pictures will not lie.

Tracking Weights

While tracking gains is usually referred to as something rather visual and physical, tracking your numbers is also a way to see your progress. Gains are not just muscle gains, but also PRs and increasing weights on your lifts.

For example, if your 1 rep max on bench press is 225 lbs, and after 3 months you can do 275 lbs, it is good to document this. It is also good to document other lifts, like your accessories so you know what is contributing to your strength and size gains. Progressive overload is important for gaining and making progress, so do not be afraid to track everything you do.

The Scale

The old fashioned way: the scale. Some people may dread stepping on it in the morning, some people look forward to it. However, the scale is a good way to measure weight loss or gain.

While you should definitely track progress visually through things like keeping old clothes or taking pictures, the scale can also be just as important, especially if you are going through a body re-composition phase. You can be 170lbs then completely change your diet and training for 6 months and be 170lbs still, but look completely different.

Pictured: Dylan Wolfinger at 170lbs in April 2022 and 170lbs in July of 2022 after a re-comp phase

The bottom line, stepping on the scale goes hand in hand with looking in the mirror. Maybe even put a scale in front of your bathroom mirror!

Wrap-Up

The video above shows how to properly measure your gains with a tape measure, but there are indeed other ways to measure gains that coincide with the tape strip. Tracking your gains is a great way to see how far you’ve come, and remind you to keep going.

Whether it be using the tape measure, looking at old clothes, stepping on the scale, recording your weights, or progress pictures, always track your gains.

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I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.