11289261_sKeeping track of gains is one thing, but ectomorphs and so-called “skinny guys” have to take the fitness log ideal to the next level. Gaining weight is difficult if your body doesn’t want to retain the bulk, but a comprehensive and organized progress chart is a great way to diagnose problems that are standing in the way of your success.

Customize Your Log Sheets

The beginning of each log sheet should start with your dailies – the date, your weight, and your measurements. It doesn’t matter whether you fill these in at the end or beginning of the day as long as you stay consistent.

Next, we suggest dividing your fitness log into three categories. You will want to document your daily workouts, your daily nutrition habits, and leave an extra section for notes and personal observations. All three categories are necessary to provide a “full picture” of your habits and the progress/setbacks they create.

1. Workouts

If you undertake more than one workout session every day, make your workout section extra large so you can catalogue each session. Keep your data simple: start time, end time, estimated time spent on each exercise, number of reps per exercise, intensity or weights used in each exercise. Make a column for each data point to keep the information organized.

Start simple and add more columns as needed. We’ll cover the Personal Observations section later, which will serve as a great place for miscellaneous notes in the meantime.

2. Nutrition

Bodybuilders emphasizing on weight gain often fall into the ectomorph or “hard gainer” category – this makes charting diet and nutrition more important than ever. Building muscle and making fast recoveries requires providing your body with not only the right amount of calories, you need the right macronutrients too. If you need ideas, click here for an awesome weight gain diet.

Many people find it difficult to balance bulking fast with bulking effectively. We suggest taking down detailed information about your staple meals and making the information easily accessible in your record book. Put a little folder in the back to hold labels from your favorite supplements and recipes of your favorite snacks so always have a quick reference guide to consult in the future.

3. Personal Observations

Use this section for relevant information that doesn’t fit anywhere else. If you decided to do your cardio before lifting when you usually do the cardio afterward, make sure to write that down. Write down how much energy you have after each workout, and include information about your daily stress level.

Comprehensive observations can help you diagnose the causes of plateaus and declines when the numbers just aren’t adding up. You might be doing everything right with your workout, but stress from an upcoming test at school might be dragging down that productivity. You might feel like your workouts are making you too tired, until you look at the nutrition log and realize that the energy decline only started once you stopped eating your favorite snack.

Building a fitness log only take a few minutes of work each day but will result in years and years of insight into the intricacies of your own body. Get to know yourself better than ever before, and discover the keys to unlock that frame and physique you have been working to achieve.

Natalie Sage is an online freelance writer that contributes your work to countless health and medical related websites and blogs. She is a self-proclaimed health nut that loves sharing her knowledge to readers maintain a healthy lifestyle.