Friday, March 12, 2010

Fitness evaluation: The good news and the bad news

This month, my gym is running a special on fitness evaluations, $35 instead of the usual $65. I guess they want to get people motivated for the whole spring break/pre-summer freak out season. I didn't need a whole lot of pushing in that direction, but it had been a while since my last fitness evaluation, and I wanted to know if I had made more progress than has shown on the scale.

There is good news and bad news.

The evaluation today was almost exactly one year since my last evaluation, not six months or so like I thought.

The good news: I have lost body fat at every "pinch" site. My cardiovascular test improved from "below average" to "above average." My flexibility went from "average" to "above average." On the modified push-up test, I went from "fair" to "excellent." My sit-up test stayed at "excellent."

The bad news: My weight is exactly the same, to the 1/2 pound, as last year at this time. I dropped 1% in body fat percentage, which means I lost just under 2 pounds of fat while putting on the same amount of muscle. Not a stunning amount of progress in a year, is it?

I will say that the other results are pretty gratifying. And, I guess I know that my body fat scale is accurate, because it gives me exactly the same results.

I didn't really care as much about the evaluation as about help formulating an action plan. I knew that my weight and body fat were not where I want them to be. It's not even that I didn't know what I needed to do (add in strength training and more cardio), but I needed help developing a weight-training program, particularly one I can do with the equipment I have at home. I used to love weight training at the gym, but my new gym is not as well-equipped as my old one and it's always crowded. I think at least for now, home strength training is the answer.

I'm going to shoot for 6 days of cardio a week, with a minimum of 5. I signed up for a Spinning class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to round out the other stuff I do. Here's my new plan:

Monday: Yoga class and Couch to 5K workout
Tuesday: Spinning
Wednesday: Yoga/Pilates class and Couch to 5K
Thursday: Spinning and Home strength training program
Friday: Couch to 5K workout
Saturday: Pilates Reformer
Sunday: Home strength training program and Master's swim class

I will be meeting with my instructor to learn my new workout next Thursday. In the meantime, I'll muddle through the best I can with my equipment on my own. I'm also going to start posting weekly updates again to keep myself honest.

Talking with my instructor today, I realized that despite my perception that I'm working really hard only to stay the same, I have really been slacking off a little. I think this new plan has a nice mix of activities and intensities. It seems a little daunting, but I'm feeling up to the challenge.


  1. It is so awesome that your overall fitness has improved! I can understand your frustration with being the same weight though. I am too, as last year, and have gone up and down, and am so sick of it.

    The new routine will be a great way to shake things up!

  2. This is very interesting and worth the money to get such a clear picture of where you are. Having done it last year, you have a solid basis of comparison. Having your new gym not have the equipment of your old one is hard, but devising an at-home program is a smart alternative. Especially with the help of a trainer designing it with you.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07