Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

How do you determine what to measure to build muscle? Before you measure, decide what you want to measure. It would be best if you based your measurement on your goals.

What are you trying to do? Do you want a massive chest, flat stomach, or enormous arms? Everyone is different because of genetics and lifestyle.

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There are some things that genetics give you. Some people naturally have massive arms or a round butt, and others are naturally skinny. The gifts that come from genetics do not require your attention.

Lifestyle also plays a role in your body measurements. For example, a person who stands on their feet all day will have more massive legs than someone who sits down.

I am lucky. Genetics gave me an enormous upper body. I was born with massive arms, chest, shoulders, and back. Now, where I struggle is with my legs. So, while I may measure my upper body gains, my proper focus is on my legs. I am short, and as with most short people, my legs are a concern.

I give my legs the needed attention by starting my workouts with deadlifts, squats, and lunges. Then, I measure my results in the gym by how well I perform leg exercises.

A chain is always weakest at its weakest link. And when a chain breaks, it will break at the weakest link. For me, my weak link is and always was my legs.

tomatoe healthy diet measuring tape tracking

How to use measurements to build muscle

Measuring is an ongoing process for building muscles or fat loss. We integrate it into every part of the process. There is a saying, “only what you measure grows.” I measure my food, exercise, rest, sleep, and body. I measure inputs and outputs to correlate what I am doing with what is happening.

For example, if I eat an additional 500 calories a week and gain 8 pounds in eight weeks, I know in 12 weeks, I will gain 12 pounds. Measurements allow you to plan, act, and reach goals. There are two types of measures. The first is input measures, which include diet and activity measurements. Weightlifting and sleeping are a part of your activity measurements.

The second is output measurements, which include body measurements. It would be best to build muscle and use a measuring tape and online calculator to measure body measurements.

For instance, body measurements are external, like body parts’ size, and others are internal, like your metabolism. Finally, for measurements to inform your decision-making process, you need before and after measurements. The more detailed the measurements are regarding amounts and time, the more detailed your decision-making process is.

Demographics: Age 52, Height 5-5, Weight 185 Pounds

Gym Life Workout Compound Exercise

Legs

Lifts Sets x Reps
Squats 6 x 10
Lunges 6 x 10
Deadlifts 6 x 10
Treadmill Incline 5 minutes

Chest

Lift Sets x Reps
Fly 6 x 10
Pushups 6 x 25
Bench Press 6 x 10
Shadow Boxing 5 minutes

Back

Lift Sets x Reps
Barbell Row 6 x 10
Dumbell Row One Hand 6 x 10
Dumbell Fly Rear Delt 6 x 10
Jump Rope 5 minutes

Shoulders

Lift Sets x Reps
Overhead Press 6 x 10
Dumbell Lateral Raise 6 x 10
Dumbell Front Raise 6 x 10
Treadmill 20 minutes

Arms

Lift Sets x Reps
Curls 6 x 10
Dips 6 x 10
Dumbell Tricep Extension 6 x10
Treadmill 20 minutes

Traps & Stomach

Lift Sets x Reps
Barbell Shrug 6 x 10
Lying Leg Raise 6 x 20
Side Plank 6 x 2 minutes
Treadmill 20 minutes

It is week twelve, and time to report my measurements. I used MyFitnessPal to record and track my measurements.

How to adjust measurements to build muscle

After reviewing my numbers from the beginning of March and comparing them to my numbers from the end of April, I can see how my body responds to my workout. My arms, waist, shoulders, neck, and legs are more massive. However, my legs and hips remain the same.

In the next four weeks of my muscle gain journey, I intend to address them by focusing on the Flys, squats, and lunges. It is best to make simple and settle changes that do not overwhelm you.

Therefore, I will first perform these on the flyes, squats, and lunges in my workout. By completing these exercises first, when I am the most rested, I can give more energy and attention to my form, which will cause better outcomes.

By Terry Clark

Terry Clark is a math professor, certified fitness trainer, bodybuilding coach, nutrition specialist, writer, and fitness enthusiast. Terry loves working out, playing with numbers, solving problems, writing, and teaching.