Body part measurements should be taken, at least, before each and every weight lifting cycle.
Every weightlifting cycle should last anywhere from 8 to 15 weeks.
So you should at least be measuring overall progress every few months.
You should measure your body weight, waist circumference, and body fat percentage on a weekly basis so you know whether or not you're making progress.
If you're not making progress each week, then you need to make some small changes so you're making progress.
If you don't know what the WLC System is please take the time to read all about it — you can download a copy of the WLC System Manual today.
BIG Changes in Body Measurements Will Take Several Weeks
This page will describe what body parts you need to measure and how to measure them. I don't recommend taking ALL of these measurements during each and every weekly weigh-in and assessment.
This may only keep you frustrated because big changes take time. These body measurements will only take a few more minutes out of your day, and you'll be able to do them yourself.
If you understand that BIG CHANGES in body part measurements don't happen on a weekly basis, then you can go ahead and take all of the measurements EACH WEEK. It gives you more practice and helps you get better at taking them.
You need to ensure that you do not skip them before or after your weight lifting cycles. You want to have a way to measure your progress and this is one of the best ways.
The best way to measure progress is by measuring body fat on a weekly basis. You'll combine both methods to give you more insight into your progress.
Too many people people take some of the simpler things in weight lifting for granted. You need to take body measurements, especially body fat measurements.
Body Measurements Versus Body Fat Measurements
Body part measurements combined with body fat measurements allow us to really look at the progress you've made. From there, you can change small parts of your program at a time to optimize your results.
That's what the WLC System is all about — it teaches you how to ALWAYS get optimal results EACH WEEK.
You need to know what works and what doesn't work for you. People are different and respond differently to small changes in weight lifting programs.
If you are an advanced weight lifter, you might take measurements more frequently because you already realize that change takes time and you will not let the measurements effect your attitude toward your program.
If you do take measurements frequently, you'll already know that measurements do fluctuate depending on many factors. Diet, sleep, and water are just a few factors that can make body part measurements fluctaute.
What Do You Need To Take These Body Measurements?
All you'll need is a flexible measuring tape. This can be a cheap plastic one that you can get in sewing sections of some stores.
This should only cost you a few dollars.
As always, you can go a little more expensive and get you a better measuring tape.
Making accurate measurements is sometimes difficult but important. Don't let measurements judge your success because you can make errors in measurements.
One way to make measuring more accurate is using a tape measure that allows you to let go of the tape and still stay in place.
This one (Myotape Body Measure) allows you to let go of the tape. The measuring tape settles on the measurement instead of you adjusting the measurement.
There's no cheating with this tape measure.
Even if you're not purposely cheating, everyone wants to see results so we can fudge our measurements to help us feel better. This tape will take cheating off the option list even if it's not done purposely.
What Body Parts Do You Measure?
We will be measuring most of the major muscle groups here. I don't measure shoulders because it's very difficult to get an accurate measurement on them. Remember to always measure at the same point.
You want these body measurements to be as accurate as possible each and every time you take them. You can and will make errors measuring, but always do the best you can.
As the number of measurements you take increase over time, you will get better at taking the measurements and the errors will decrease. Here is a list of the measurements you should be taking:
1. Left Thigh
2. Right Thigh
* Ensure you measure the largest portion of your thighs.
3. Left Calf
4. Right Calf
6. Left Arm
7. Right Arm
8. Left Forearm
9. Right Forearm
That's it. Ten body part measurements in total that should only take you a few minutes to complete.
Take your time to ensure you're taking accurate measurements. You could take 3 measurements at each site and average the measurements to increase accuracy. Again, you will get better at taking body part measurements.
Use a mirror if you need one. You might need one on your chest/back measurement to make sure the measuring tape is level around your back and chest area.
You may also need to look in the mirror for your waist measurement. I simply use the bathroom mirror to take measurements.
Make sure you always take measurements under the same conditions. Take the measurements in the morning when you weigh yourself. Always be consistent and you'll get consistent results.
There are so many other factors that come into play when taking measurements, so make it easy on yourself and take body measurements first thing in the morning after waking up.
You Will Make Progress With The WLC System
You will need these measurements to measure the progress you are making with the WLC System.
You will make progress! It always feels great to see the progress you're making so taking measurements is going to be fun for you.
Focus on following your weight lifting, diet, and cardio plan and forget about the measurements. Take them, see how much progress you've made, and then follow the WLC System guidelines.
If you take them more frequently, you may get discouraged because you may not see too many changes in the measurements.
Trust me, I've been there before. Measurement changes don't happen overnight so don't expect them to.
You do need to practice taking them, though. Just remember that body measurements won't change overnight. It takes time and consistency.
Give your body some time to make changes. You stay consistent with your weight lifting, stretching, diet, and cardio and your body will reward you.