Which bodybuilding metrics do you track? And why those?

Which things should I measure to know my bodybuilding progress? And why?

These are my notes on what I plan to do so far:

How to track progress

Progress photos

  • Keep things constant
    • Clothing
    • Lighting
    • Time of day
    • Relaxing or flexing?

Measure (Training)

  • Bodybuilding duration (Daily strenght app)
  • Reps and kg. for each exercise (Daily strenght app)
  • Cardio duration and distance (Strava app)

Measure (Body)

  • Body fat (U.S. Navy method)
  • Body parts
    • Forearms?
    • Stomach
    • Chest
    • Hips
    • Waist
    • Thighs
    • Biceps
    • Shoulders
    • Calves

Measure (Diet)

  • I’m not sure about whether to do this, because counting calories, macros is so cumbersome…

What do you track? And why?


I track so many metrics! I’m trying to avoid overtraining. Also trying to decide if I can use blood glucose data to optimize meal timing. Watching my SpO2 and respiration rate for lung function. So many things.

I guess if you asked I’d recommend you think about what you’re trying to progress - why are you doing bodybuilding? Are you trying ultimately to change your body shape or your strength or something else? That’s what tells you what to track I guess …

Also, remember whatever you track has to be sustainable - it’s not super useful to start up tracking a ton of things then give up quickly, better to track only a few things but keep on doing it.


I’m curious about what these metrics are for:

TEan/ae: Training Effect measured (by Garmin) from 0-5 and tells how a specific activity has impacted overall training Aerobic/Anaerobic.

T-status: Here again a Garmin metric that I use as a guide to understanding my overall training and how it impacts my fitness.

Form: Yesterday’s fitness minus yesterday’s fatigue as measured by Training Peaks data collected from Garmin.

T-Load: Garmin’s numeric score indicating the degree of its impact on the body. Based on estimated EPOC.

H/O/L: If the Training Load is considered High/Optimal/Low

BB+/-: A Garmin feature that uses a combination of HRV, Stress and Activity to estimate energy reserves throughout the day.

Can a Garmin watch measure HRV?

Only with help of an external heart rate monitor.