Recordkeeping is one of the most important but most often neglected parts of a weight gain plan. Ectomorphs tend to push themselves to the limit, leaving very little room for error. You can get to know your body so much better by tracking how it responds to changes in your routine.
This in-depth knowledge can help you tailor your workout for maximum effectiveness while indicating potential plateaus before they hit.
This quick guide will cover three of the most neglected but infinitely enlightening bodybuilding stats. If you are not tracking these three stats, you could be overlooking the real causes of your slow gains. There are symptoms and there are root causes and we want to help you build a better routine from the ground up.
Table of Contents
Bodybuilding as well as ab toning is a willpower-driven sport. Motivation is your most valuable asset – but it is a limited resource, just like anything else. The problem is that when motivation begins to slip, it can take time and effort to rebound. Your level of motivation and enthusiasm should definitely become part of your weightlifting recordkeeping efforts because reduced motivation is the biggest indicator of problems to come.
Motivation is even more important for people with an ectomorphic body type. Ectomorphs have to work hard for every ounce of mass they gain in a healthy way. Because hardgainers are so prone to plateaus, motivation becomes the cornerstone of success. Pushing through those plateaus is never easy and takes a significant amount of optimism and willpower.
So make it a priority. Chart your motivation levels in the morning, take note of how you feel before a workout, after a workout, and before you go to bed at the end of the day. You can watch your motivation levels rise and fall with different events in your life: from family problems, to a complicated work schedule, a poor diet, or after changing up your workout routine.
2. Energy Level
Motivation and energy level are tough to distinguish sometimes – but there are some important distinctions to consider. There is a big difference between skipping a workout due to low motivation and skipping a workout because you are just too exhausted to complete your reps. Diagnosing problems with energy level depends on how well you are tracking your secondary stats: your workout schedule, your ordinary schedule, your diet, etc.
Ectomorphs tend to push themselves. This is a good thing! On the other hand, there is nothing productive about working yourself ragged. Working on an energy deficit is the quickest way to burn out, not to mention that low energy could be a sign of more serious troubles. Low-energy days are certain to be low-motivation days, but sometimes the lack of motivation is just a symptom and not a cause.
Maybe you are waking up with low energy due to eating something that gave you heartburn the night before (check your diet log) or maybe you just spent a little too much time at the club the night before. Maybe you are eating the right high calorie foods to gain weight, but haven’t been getting enough macronutrients like protein or healthy fats.
Your body needs rest – even ectomorphs need time to recover. So many people forget to keep track of what they do and eat on their days off but those are the most important days to track. Know how you spend your off days to troubleshoot problems on your workout days. Keep track of how much you are sleeping, how much physical activity you are getting, how much you are eating (and what you are eating) and of course, make note of your motivation and energy levels on those days.
What you do during your rest days can have a definite impact on every other part of your physique. You might be doing too much or too little. You might be engaging in activities that stress you out and drain your energy instead of providing much-needed reinvigoration. You might find that one of your off days would make a good workout day, and might change your schedule accordingly.
Get excited! Tracking your progress is a great way to see the bigger picture, to see how every action has a reaction. Your body is an infinitely complicated machine and these three stats can help you understand it on the most basic level of cause-and-effect. Make some space in your workout journal and start penciling in these details today.