Matt Z wrote:
I've always measured muscle gain by how much I can lift and what I look like in the mirror. This may not be the most scientific method, but it does work.
Measuring muscle mass increases by how much you can be deceptive.
While increasing muscle mass will increase strength levels, the primary reason is neural adaptation.
Research show any who gains weight will add muscle. In one study, couch potatos who did nothing added muscle mass. Thirteen percent of their weight gain was muscle.
That bad news was the eighty seven percent of the weight they gained was fat. That a bad trade off.
By adding resistnace training, more muscle mass/less fat is gained. However, the majority of those who gain weight will add some body fat, as well.
As Matt menitoned, the mirror can be an effective tool. But I would also suggest one use a tepe measure.
On a personal note, I put fat on in my waist. I find my pants don't lie. When I find buttoning my pants get harder, I know that I am putting on more body fat.
When my pants get lose in the waist, I am decreaseing my body fat levels.
A good technician who had peformed hundrend of body fat measurements can provide you with some idea of how you are doing.
The problem is the majority of personal trainers don't have the experience or education.
A personal trainer who use a mesuring tape and then marks on that precise spot on your body to take the measurement, usually knows what they are doing.
Those taking measurements by using an approximately spot on you, don't know what they are doing.