How can you know how far you’ve come when you don’t know where you started? It’s pretty hard to measure your progress if you don’t record it. If you want to be successful in your training and not get stuck going nowhere then you need to write thing down.
Firstly, recording your workouts helps you develop a plan. When you workout, do you know exactly what you are going to do and how long it will take you? Or do you just aimlessly move from one exercise to the next, doing whatever it is that grabs your attention? I can’t stress how important it is to have a plan. Know where you are and where you want to go. Know what exercises you are going to do each day. Know what weight you are going to lift and how many sets and reps you are going to do.
Secondly, tracking your workouts automatically creates a training history. You can see where you came from, how you progressed (or didn’t progress), how long it took you. Having a training history allows you to pinpoint where you went wrong, or where you went right.
Thirdly, physically writing things down helps you to learn. Writing things down forces you to take some additional time to process and reflect on what you have been doing.
Additionally, it helps trainers help you. The more information your trainer has on your training history the easier it is for them to help you effectively. It makes it easier for your trainer to gauge your abilities and decide what approach to take next to help advance your training.
What do you need to record?
- Date: Day, month, year.
- Times: Start time, finish time and total workout time
- Warm up and cool down: What you did, how long it took you. Did you practice any skills? Etc.
- Exercises: write them down in the order you did them.
- Sets, reps and weight: next to each exercise. What your planned sets, reps and weights were and what your actual sets, reps and weights were
- Addition comments: Eg. Mood, rest between sets, rest between exercises, what did/didn’t work and why?