Ectomorphs spend a lot of time agonizing over calorie counts, inches gained, added pounds, number of reps, etc. These data points are crucial for accurate fitness tracking but they are not the only essential stats an ectomorph needs to track! There’s more to massive gains than calories and sweat. This quick guide will cover three of the most useful but underappreciated stats hardgainers can benefit from knowing.
Ectomorphs know they have to eat – packing on calories is the difference between staying lean and building mass. There is a lot more to nutrition than just calories alone, though. You need to make sure that you’re getting enough protein, carbs, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, everything.
Tracking what you eat can help to diagnose all sorts of common dietary issues. Are you suffering from nighttime heartburn? Check to see if you’ve added anything new to your diet. Always low on energy? Re-calculate your micronutrients and macronutrients to make sure that your body is getting everything it needs. Appetite too small? See if you can cut any of the more filling ingredients in favor of something more nutrient-dense.
Many bodybuilders even use their logs for recipes they from fellow bodybuilders at the gym. Others include nutrition labels for their favorite meals and ingredients. If you need ideas, click here for the 7 best foods to gain weight fast.
Low energy is bad news for an ectomorph. Building mass requires boundless energy for those hardcore training sessions. There’s just no way around it! Unfortunately, nobody feels 100% all the time. Note your energy level every day right around the time that you tend to feel the least amount of energy.
Tracking energy levels will help you to determine the cause of low energy days. Maybe you’re always tired on Mondays because you party too hard on the weekends, or maybe you end up low on energy because you need a break from your everyday school-work-gym routine. Maybe it is a nutrition issue. You’ll never be able to see these revealing patterns until you have the data points to support them!
Pain is a bodybuilder’s best friend. Workouts are supposed to be tough. They’re supposed to hurt. On the other hand, any bodybuilder who has dealt with an injury knows that pain isn’t always a sign of good gains. The problem is that serious injuries can start with a small normal-feeling ache before progressing to something far worse.
If you are feeling any pain before or after a workout, make sure to write it down. If you ever catch yourself practicing bad form, write it down. If you try anything new that day, write it down. In the event that an ordinary post-workout ache turns out to be something more serious, you’ll be able to look at your log to determine when and how the injury occurred.
Okay, the overview isn’t technically a stat – but it’s still an important part of a fitness log! You should go through your log at least once every month to try to identify any trends or changes from the previous month. This will help you to see the “big picture” much more clearly.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re making progress, but a months-end overview is sure to reveal some encouraging results. It can also give you a chance to go through years of tracking at a glance just by looking at all the monthly overviews. You’ll love it.
Do you want to make your monthly overview even more effective? Snap a few pictures to include so you can see those physique changes in action. For even more motivation, try to persuade your friends to do a monthly overview as well so you can compare.
One of the most fundamental rules of weightlifting is to listen to your body. But the body says and does lots of things, and it’s hard to tell what those muscles are groaning about without accurate fitness tracking. Nutrition, energy, and soreness are data points that definitely come in handy. Learn to love your fitness log and take your tracking skills to the next level!