Where to Measure – Bodybuilding
Measure Your Way to Bodybuilding Success
Now that you’ve entered the realm of bodybuilding, you can see first-hand how demanding a task it is. Putting your body through a torrent of soreness every week is testing at best. And having to forever be on top of a disciplined diet can overwhelm the mind. You’ll want to make sure the hard work is worth it. To test if your weightlifting and diet are moving you forward, instead of those goals slipping away, you’ll need to track progression—the best way is to measure up. Not only will you find out if you’re growing; measuring lets you see which muscle groups are shining, and highlights areas that need a step-up.
How to Measure Up
Luckily, measuring your body is not too challenging—you just need to learn how. You’ll require a body-friendly tape measure that’s flexible and long enough for the job. These are cheap to get hold of online or at tailor shops.
You should practice measuring various areas of your body to get a feel for it. When you wrap the tape around the target zone, it must lie level along the skin all the way around with no gaps. Make a mental note of how much tension you use while measuring as this will be crucial for accurate readings. Try to apply the same pressure each time.
To keep track of overall size, you’ll need several measurements. Some of these will require assistance. Let’s take a glimpse:
Shoulders – You have a choice to either measure around the shoulders, chest and back; or just measure from the outer edges of the shoulders in a direct path across the front of the chest. You’ll need to be standing.
Chest – Again, whilst standing, measure around the chest after exhaling. This should be done slightly above the nipples.
Neck – Use the thickest part of the neck to measure, which is usually the middle.
Biceps – Find the bulkiest area around your biceps. There are varying methods to determine bicep size. You can stand relaxed or flex the muscles—perhaps take more than one measurement.
Thigh – Measure around the broadest part of the thigh, which will be near the top. Be upright while doing this.
Calf – It’s best to do this standing—you’ll need someone’s help. If not, you can still do this alone while seated. Measure the widest area of the calf.
Waist – You’ll need to be standing. Measure around the slimmest spot or halfway between the bottom of your rib cage and the upper end of the hip bone.
Hips – Measure the widest part of the hips. This will simply be where your backside sticks out the most.
Although measuring your body like this will give a good indication of growth, you cannot tell if the growth is due to muscular development or increased fat levels—or a combination of the two. For accuracy, it’s a good idea to observe your body fat percentage alongside size measurements.
Tips for Getting It Right
Get your measuring done before exercise. Pumping blood around the body during a workout will often overstate muscle size. So, if you blast your biceps before reaching for the tape, they could be deceivingly larger than normal.
Keep a good record of all measurements. Accuracy is vital here. A well-kept journal of results will let you see where you’re thriving and highlight any shortcomings. You can then effectively plan future exercise and dietary needs.
It’s important to measure both sides of the body. This is crucial if you’re after a high level of symmetry for that classic look. If you find a muscle lacking from its opposite side, work on bringing it up to speed.
Make Measuring Your Edge
Whether you take bodybuilding as a serious career or are looking to bulk up for lifestyle reasons, measuring is a fantastic way to keep track of progress; and it’s something you can truly use to stride towards those all-important goals. Learning how to keep consistent, accurate results is key to staying on course and achieving the shape you’ve always dreamt of.