Progress pics are super helpful and losing weight can be rewarding, but fitness is much more than what meets the eye. While you’re setting some goals, we wanted to help you assess where you’re starting so you can track how much you’re achieving! Here are five ways to assess your fitness so you can get the most out of your fitness journey & Summer Shape up.
Write down where you’re starting, and figure out where you want to be at the end. Maybe you can only do 5 knee pushups now, and your goal is to do 5 full pushups by September!
Heart Rate ???
Max heart rate, resting heart rate, target heart rate, huh? This might seem like something you care about only at a doctor’s appointment, but nope! These are important things you need to know as you’re getting fit.
Your Maximum heart rate: Max HR is based on your age. Here’s how to get it:
220 – your age = maximum heart rate beats per minute (bpm)
Aka, if you’re 26, your formula is: 220 – 22 = 198 bpm
Why does this matter? It helps you calculate your target heart rate for exercise. Target heart rate for LISS is 40-60% of max HR whereas target HR for HIIT is 70% to 90% of your max heart rate.
Then there’s your resting heart rate…what your heart beats at, well, at rest. Duh. For adults, it can be anywhere between 60-100 bpm. You prob remember doing this in gym as a kid, but basically put your two fingers (pointer and middle) on your wrist or next to your windpipe. Count how many times your heart beats in 20 seconds. Then multiply it by 3. Voila! Ideally, count this first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed.
Why does resting heart rate matter? It tells how strong your cardiovascular system is! And it’s a good measure of your fitness level.
60 = good!
61-80 = average
81-100 = average, but high!
101+ = abnormally high!
The super cool thing here is that the more fit you get, the lower your resting heart rate will be! Plus, the faster your heart rate returns to normal after spiking, the better shape you’re in. Totally great way to track how fit you’re getting.
My SSU Goal: Get my heart rate up during my workouts, and improve my resting heart rate.
Have a Pushup Party! ?
How many pushups can you do in a row? Find out! It’ll not only test your strength (mentally and physically!), but also it gives a great starting point to base any future gains off of. If you know where you start — whether that’s half of a pushup or 10 in a row — you’ll know how far you’ve come!
My SSU Goal: Increase the number of full pushups I can do without stopping, from 15 to 20.
Plank it UP! ? <–bad form
How long can you hold a plank before your form fails? Get out that watch… or more likely, timer on your phone.. And make sure you time how long you last with good form!
Good forearm plank form refresh! Place your forearms on the ground with your elbows below your shoulders. Keep your arms in line with your body, and at about shoulder-width distance. (Seriously, don’t clasp your hands together, please!) Keep your hips in line with your body (don’t pull your butt up or down). Elongate your neck, pull your shoulders wide — not saggy! — and your gaze between your hands.
Why forearm plank? It’s easier on your wrists and it’s one of the most common ways to perform a plank!
My SSU Goal: Take my plank time from 3 minute to 4 minutes (with good form!!!)
Health Check-In! ?
Ok, so this isn’t as concrete and not based on stats. But no less important! Write down how you’re feeling! How do you feel when you wake up? After a workout?
Keep doing this throughout the challenge so you know how your habit changes are impacting your health. Promise it’ll be super encouraging to see how much better you’re feelin’!
My SSU Goal: Get my afternoon boost from a sweat sesh instead of caffeine!
Snap them pics! ?
Before and after pics! We knowwwwww, we can hear you groaning through the screen. Just take them. We pinky promise it’ll be worth it! Srsly, Katie gets asked alllll the time if she’s faking her weight loss because she didn’t take a real before pic. Hers is without her face, so no one believes it’s her!
Tips for the best pictures!
- Lighting is life. Find the sun and put your beautiful face in it!
- Simple background. Let you be the focus of the pic! This is your #transformation, after all!
- Work them angles. Front, right side, back, left side. It’ll feel weird but do it.
This has to be replicated for your after pics in 8 weeks for the best comparison! Same clothes, same lighting, same background, different bod!
It is going to feel awkward to take your before pics, but it’s going to feel equally as satisfying or more to take the afters! Your muscles gon’ be poppin’!
Side note: If you can get someone else to take your pics, that’s really ideal. But if that’s just not feasible, or too awkward, a selfie will do. Just make sure you’re sticking to the rules above!
My SSU Goal: More ab definition – with all the travel lately, I’ve been feeling softer than normal. I want my abs poppin ?
Now get ready to ROCK this 8-week challenge, girlfriend! Cannot wait to see your after pics + hear how amazing your resting heart rate is by the end of SSU!