To start off my blog posts which will eventually become a series of posts covering many different topics within the realm of fitness, strength, health, and diet. I think it is necessary to first cover the basic health, recovery, and diet markers that I keep track of.
As some basic background, I'm a recent MSc Thesis graduate from the University of Waterloo in Chemistry, and I also completed my undergraduate degree in Chemistry, with some focus on Inorganic, and physical chemistry for my MSc, and undergrad I also focused on organic, and analytical chemistry. I've also been competing in sports since early high school when I started downhill mountain bike racing. When I started University I also started taking weight training more seriously, and now it is a larger part of my life. Some other sports I've taken an interest in but never competed in are powerlifting and rock climbing. Currently, I'm a competitive arm wrestler. All this to say; athletic performance is a key component that I focus on.
Over the last 5 years, my weight has been ranging between 155 and 170 lbs, depending on what my goal was at the time. I would estimate my bodyfat to have ranged between 12 and 15 %, (based on visual appearance, and various electrical impedance body fat scales). My heigh is 170 cm or 5' 7" measured in the morning.
Since mid-2021, I've been tracking my diet in the Cronometer app, by weighing my food. On the occasion when I cannot weigh my food, I will estimate the amount and enter it as well. I chose this app because it also keeps track of all the key micronutrients in addition to the usual macros. To date I have 680 days of cronometer data. Some other metrics that I use are the Fitbit health metrics, such as resting heart rate, HRV, breathing rate, skin temperature, steps, sleep, and sleep rating. In addition, I also weigh myself most mornings before breakfast, and since mid-2022, I've used the Renpho scale which also gives an estimated body fat percentage. I'm well aware these metrics are not necessarily accurate when compared between people, however, the trends that are determined will be more accurate when compared on an individual. For example; the bodyfat percentage from the scale may say 8%, however in reality it is actually 15% (this is quite a common issue), showing an inaccuracy in the measurement. However if two months later the average bodyfat reading for the same person on the same scale is now 12%, you can be quite confident that the bodyfat percentage increased significantly, and in reality, from this example, the actual bodyfat might be 20%.
Some other metrics I've been tracking more recently include subjective "intensity" on a scale of 1-10, which is a subjective rating I assign to each day based on the level of physical exertion, for example, a completely sedentary day would be a 1, while a day with over 10K steps, and a maximum intensity workout, plus some high-intensity activity would be a 10. I've also started to track being sick, with a normal day being zero, and a day which I'm sick is a 1. More recently I've also been experimenting with mouth taping while sleeping (0 for no-tape, 1 for taped while sleeping), suntanning (0-no sun exposure, 1 >15mins full body sun exposure), and screen-time from the iPhone. Just this week I'm also experimenting with mouth based temperature throughout the day.
I enter all of this data into Excel for tracking purposes, where it is organized by date.
For fitness-related tracking, I also keep track of my max lifts, grip strength, and circumference of various body parts such as the waist, bicep, leg, etc, I had bloodwork done In October and I plan on doing it yearly to gauge the effects of diet and aging.
The next blog post will consist of an overview of my weight tracking, an overview of my average macro and micro-nutrient consumption throughout the last 2 years, and some cool-looking graphs.