Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tracking Your Muscle Gains

Over the last few posts I outlined some realistic long term goals that you can strive to achieve when it comes to gaining muscular bodyweight, size, and strength. Now I'm sure you understand the importance behind setting goals and working hard to achieve them, but you may not always take the time to continually track and monitor your progress to ensure you are on the right track for achieving those goals.

The reason I'm brining this up is because I've been guilty of neglecting this myself on occasion. Even though I go through the actions of working out, eating consistently, and all that "stuff". I sometimes get lazy and don't always chart and keep track of my progress as often as I should to ensure that those action steps are moving me closer towards my goals.

But the real key to maximizing your results in the gym, or in any other area of your life for that matter, is tracking and monitoring your progress. What you measure and focus on gets improved.

Progress happens at such a gradual pace that if you don't have an accurate system in place for monitoring it then it's hard to know if you are moving forward or not. And very often it only takes a slight tweak here and there to keep you moving in the right direction towards your goals.

A prime example of this is with competitive bodybuilders when they are preparing for a contest. During the months leading up the show they will make some incredible "before and after" physique transformations.

A big part of those transformations is due to the fact that they are meticulous when it comes to measuring and monitoring their progress. They know what their bodyweight, bodyfat percentage, and body measurements are at all times. They know how much food they are eating day in and day out. They keep a training log with how much cardio they are doing, what they are doing in the gym with regards to their weight training, etc. Nothing is left to chance.

If you watch a pre-contest bodybuilder in the gym working out they will be focused and serious about their training, but then so are a lot of the other gym regulars that you see on a regular basis. In fact from an outsider's point of view, the regular gym goers may appear just as committed, and working just as hard as the competitive bodybuilders.

So why are the average gym goers not getting the same results? The reason is because the average gym goers are not keeping track and monitoring their progress at the same level as the bodybuilders.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that just because you are taking action that you will automatically get the results you want.

When all the stars are aligned with your workout and nutrition program, you will make small, but noticeable changes on a weekly basis. If you go a couple weeks with no changes at all, then you need to re-evaluate your approach and find out what areas of your program needs adjustment.

It may be something as simple as changing up a few exercises in your routine, it may be that you have to increase your cardio, and sometimes it maybe that you actually need to back off and do less so that you give your body more recovery time.

With your diet you may need to eat more, eat less, change up the foods you eat, or change the frequency of your meals. The actual changes themselves will depend on the individual and his/her training goals. Monitoring progress and adjusting things accordingly is something that I specialize in with my Customized Diet & Training Programs at:

In my next post I'll share the exact things you need to do and the specific tools you'll need to monitor your progress and keep yourself on track for muscle building success.


  1. Thank you, Lee. It is really informative.

    I would like to know, though, how frequent should those monitor be? Every day? Every week or Every month? ( I did tape measure every month, personally.)

    And how much time should I give a training program to see whether it is working for me or not before changing?

  2. Every couple of weeks would be ok for the tape measurements. But you can measure your bodyweight every week.

    With your workouts if you go 2 weeks with no noticeable improvements then you need to re-evaluate and see what’s wrong.