There are SO many reasons to take progress photos when you are trying to reach your fitness & health goals, but let’s start with one reason most people may not consider that has NOTHING to do with looks.
Last week we talked about glute imbalances & some of you asked “how would you even know?”. Well a lot of the questions I received came from competitors who take progress photos and they can SEE it in their photos! Now you might be thinking, how “superficial” or “so what”, consider this!
You don’t just wake up at 40, 50, 60 years old and need knee surgery or a new hip, that is not “normal”. Sometimes it can be from an old injury or something genetic, BUT more times than not they were created by structural imbalances in your body. These structural imbalances happen over years & are usually affected by lifestyle factors, or what you are doing on a day-to-day basis.
So, if you think about the idea that one of your glutes is larger than the other, that means there is a good chance it could be pulling your hip out of alignment or pulling your spine and rib-cage down because it’s the stronger muscle. This could also be placing more “pressure” aka “weight” on one side of your body over the other. Let’s say its putting 10 more pounds of pressure on one side of your body & you don’t do anything to correct it. That means for years you have 10 more pounds on one side of your body, so your joints on that side are going to wear out faster due to the extra weight on them. Therefore, at 50 when the Doctors say you need to do knee surgery, there’s a good chance if you had known about your structural imbalance years earlier & corrected it you wouldn’t have been in that situation! How can you fix a problem you can’t see? Take PROGRESS PHOTOS no matter WHO you are so you can SEE, it’s your body you are responsible for your own health!
Now outside of catching structural imbalances, they are MUCH better than the scale for “seeing” what kind of REAL progress you are actually making! Remember getting healthy & fit can have a lot more to do with changing your BODY COMPOSITION rather just hitting a number on a scale. Now changing your body composition can be very tricky, because you may not see a big change on the scale or let along ANY CHANGE for weeks, sometimes even months! This does not mean you are NOT making progress and should just give up. I actually recommend getting rid of the scale altogether and just using pictures, but if that is too drastic for you. At least just drop your scale use back to once a week, the same day every week and every time. At the EXACT same time that you should your progress photos, this way you can SEE the changes in your body when you don’t see them happening on the scale…make sense, good!
Here is what you are going to want to do, wearing either a bathing suit, underwear, a sports bra and shorts whatever you are comfortable in! Just remember the point is for you to be able to see your body, so less clothing is the most helpful! Find a place in your home with good natural lighting, that you can easily access every week. Set your phone up in front of you for the self-timer and stand straight on, take one photo from the front and one photo from the back. Keep these photos and every week, compare them to the last week or the week before, you will start to notice little things like getting leaner in certain spots or your ab muscles getting more defined etc. If you do start to notice a structural imbalance you may want to follow up with a chiropractor or physical therapist etc.
Here are a couple examples of my own from when I was getting ready for an IFBB Bikini competition, I would always take my photos in the same spot using the self-timer. This way I could really see what was happening with my body, when things weren’t changing on the scale!
Now it’s the way I track my progress and health, if you have any questions please ask!