4. I Tracked and Logged My Progress

4.1. I weighed myself every two weeks.

This one doesn’t need much of an explanation.

4.2. I took a photo of myself once every two weeks.

I found it very helpful and motivational to keep a visual record of my transformation.

4.3. I measured my body fat percentage using a calipers every two weeks.

Calipers were a critical tool for me. I actually even worked on improving my shoulder rotator and neck mobility specifically so that I could take my own subscapular skinfold measurement (yes, it’s possible). There are many YouTube videos about how to use calipers to measure body fat percentage, so I won’t get into that here.

Calipers and tape measure

Learning how to get ripped is a lot easier with the proper tools. Here are my calipers ($10) and tape measure ($4).

4.4. I measured my bicep, chest, waist and thigh once every two weeks.

In conjunction with the calipers and scale, using a tape measure provided me with a better idea of where I had gained muscle. But they all must be used together. For example, let’s say I only used a tape measure and took a measurement of my chest. Let’s say it was 42″ around. Two weeks pass and I take another measurement, but it’s the same. In the absence of the calipers, I’d think I hadn’t put on any muscle there, even though my bench press was continuing to improve. But now let’s say that in addition to that first measurement with the tape, I’d also used the calipers. Let’s say the chest skinfold was 3.5mm and the subscapular skinfold was 6.5mm. Ok, good. Two weeks pass and I measure my chest again. Still 42″, but the calipers tell me now that my chest skinfold is 2.5mm and my subscapular is 5mm–i.e. both measurements have decreased. This means that I lost fat in the area. For my chest tape measurement to have remained the same, I must have put muscle. The muscle gain offset the decrease in chest tape measurement that the fat loss alone would have resulted in.

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