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4 Essential Metrics to Track for Optimal Health and Fitness [2023]

Do you ever get tired of tracking all of your stats? It's now the hot ticket to literally track everything.

We track our calories, our spending, how many hours of REM sleep, our step count, Etc...

It can be daunting but I've got good news and bad news.

The good news:

You do not have to track every single metric in order to improve your health and well-being.

The bad news:

There are a few key metrics you SHOULD be tracking in order to see results and optimize your fitness.

Take heart, however, I LOVE simple. Let's simplify and make this easier for ourselves. I think we can all rap our minds around tracking just 4 things.

I hate when articles make you read forever before getting to the meat and potatoes, so enough rambling. Here are the 4 metrics I believe you should track in order to become an absolute unit:

1: How much weight you're lifting at the gym

It blows my mind when people don't know how much they can lift. In order to see progress in the gym you must track how much you are lifting. In doing so, we get "base numbers" and can gradually increase the weights we lift.

Progressive overload is a type of training with which all gym goers should become acquainted. By gradually increasing intensity over time one can avoid plateaus in gaining muscle mass and strength.

Not everyone has to do 1 rep maxes but are a great way to gauge strength and can then be used for percentages, so you know how much to lift on each set.

I can hear someone in the comments on social media, "one rep maxes are dangerous." No they are not. Not if you have proper technique and use common sense.

Also... I'll just leave this quote here:

"It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable" - Socrates

You will never regret getting stronger.

Get a free 7-day trial of my daily gym plan to get started with strength training. A new 4-week phase of my workout program starts on Monday 5/22.

2: Your sleep

This point is basically for me. It was "cool" to hustle 24/7 and barely sleep for a while. But let me tell you, that is not sustainable.

Aim for 7+ hours of sleep per night. Sleep is when our muscle repair, reduces stress, helps maintain a healthy weight, and improves immunity.

I struggle with sleep. Taking zma before bed, wearing blue light glasses when the sun goes down, and a consistent sleep schedule has really helped me improve my game.

On a few episodes of my podcast, I have had several guests recommend the Oura Ring for tracking sleep. I have yet to try it but it is on my radar.

3: Hydration

This should be easy; if you know me, you know I am BIG on proper hydration. Just drink your water, people!

The easiest place to start is by purchasing a 1-liter water bottle. One, because it makes tracking easier, and two, because let's save the planet.

Aim for a minimum of 3 liters of water per day. Get started first thing in the morning by chugging 8 oz of water. Then be that weird person who takes their water bottle with them everywhere.

My wife gets embarrassed because I'll take my water bottle to restaurants. Old habits die hard.

4: Protein Intake

I'm not sure if I talk about hydration or protein intake more. But either way, they are both incredibly important.

Protein helps keep us feeling fuller longer, builds muscle, and may even increase our metabolism. Food has what is called the thermic effect. It takes more energy for the body to digest protein than carbs or fat.

Meaning that just eating more protein can help you lose body fat.

When you focus on eating 1g of protein per pound of body weight each day, it doesn't leave much time or appetite for eating garbage.

Use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your protein intake. Eventually, you will be able to track without using the app each day, I can basically just eyeball it now.

Easy ways to get more protein in your diet: Whey Protein post-workout, greek yogurt, tuna pouches, eggs for breakfast, and a large serving of protein at lunch and dinner.

I use Pure Whey Protein and/ or Recover from SFH. You can get 10% off by using "BENBARKER10."

Get a little scientific and track some of your fitness metrics. There are so many facets of health you can track. So, don't overwhelm yourself.

Just like anything else, start small. Tracking your gym weights, sleep, protein intake, and hydration will serve you really well.

Get to tracking and start crushing workouts!



Read more about me on my "About Me" page and for further reading my "5 Tips to Ditch the Dad Bod."

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