Archive for August, 2013
How balanced is your training program?
Why keep a journal?
- Motivation. Looking back at where you come from is inspiring.
- Awareness. You get an understanding of what works for you.
- Experience. You learn from your errors: injuries, etc.
- Confidence. You’ve got a plan when you go to the gym.
The process of writing down your loads, sets, reps, etc. helps you to better remember the workout. It’s nice to be able to flip back and see what weight you used and how many sets and reps you did. The process of keeping a log enables seasoned lifters to critically analyze their programs and see if they’re truly delivering results.
Also, use your log to jot down important notes such as machine settings, how the set felt; (light, heavy), how you felt that day (energized, fatigued, hungry, sore).
Keeping a journal accelerates the learning process.
By writing down your workouts you are taking an additional few minutes to process what you have learned, repeat the concepts and terminology to yourself, and ingrain it into your brain.
If you are a beginner it is likely you will be able to beat previous efforst every week for several months. As you establish new routines, it is helpful to know what you did your previous workout and to have a specific goal for each training session. Logging workouts helps you remember the appropriate weights to use. Beginners struggle most with remembering not only which exercises to do, but in which order, how many sets, reps, etc. because everything is new to them. They’re not yet familiar with the names of exercises, the loads they used, etc. so training logs for beginners are essential. I have been journaling for several years now and still write notes in the margins to remind me of proper set-up and/or form on certain exercises.
Tracking results and being able to check your progress lets you know if what you’re doing is or isn’t working. If you make notes about your workout, you are also less likely to spend time chatting between sets or resting too long. Seeing your gains on paper will reaffirm that you are progressing, and as a result motivation will likely increase or stay high.
The basic benefits of journaling
- Faster learning
- Remembering weights
- Having information to analyze
- Tracking progress