The scale, tape measure and mirror are all helpful, but alone they're not enough. Why not go strictly by the mirror? After all, what really counts is that you're happy with what you see when you stand naked in front of the mirror isn't it? The problem is, when you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it is often difficult to "see" the daily and weekly changes because they're taking place so slowly. This can be frustrating and discouraging - kind of like watching the grass grow.
It's also difficult for most people to judge their progress objectively. The best-known example of distorted self-image is anorexia, but it works both ways: Many bodybuilders and exercise addicts suffer from "muscle dysmorphia," a term coined by psychologists that could best be described as "reverse anorexia." These are people can never seem to get big enough or muscular enough.
Almost everyone has some small degree of distorted body image. You seldom see changes in your own physique as readily as others do. That's why you need an objective, accurate and scientific method of measuring your progress. There are at least a dozen methods of body composition testing. The various "experts" will probably debate forever over which one is the best. After weighing the pros and cons of each method, you'll undoubtedly conclude that for your purposes - tracking personal weekly progress -skinfold testing is the easiest and most practical method.
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