One of the most effective tools in achieving results in any type of exercise program is the technique of keeping a journal to track and record your results. Despite their effectiveness, I rarely see journals in the gym. Hopefully after reading this list, you will learn to benefit from this new habit of keeping a training journal.
1. Track your results/progress
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to memory, I can barely remember what I ate this morning, let alone remember how much I was able to squat a month ago. This is where the journal comes in.
Hopefully you are able to track your results simply by looking in the mirror, but here’s a better way. Keeping a training journal will allow you to look back to a certain date and compare that with your present performance. Here’s an example:
Johnny Lifter is looking to increase his bench press. He want’s to know whether he has been progressing in weight and how fast. Luckily, Johnny has been keeping a journal and is easily able to check his progress. He simply flips back in his journal to a month ago, and he will be able to see that he was benching 135 for 8 reps and now he’s putting up 155 easily. That was a whole lot easier than trying to go by memory!
2. Program planning
Regardless of who makes up your exercise program (personal trainer, coach, or yourself), the training journal is a priceless tool in designing your training regimen. It is extremely hard to put together a program for someone who has exercised regularly, but has no record of what exercise has been performed in the past. It’s kind of like trying to get to a destination, with no map.
Having a journal will allow you to analyze your past to develop a plan of attack for the future. This will result in reaching your goals and achieving results in a shorter amount of time.
Think of your exercise program like a scientific experiment. If a scientist doesn’t write down everything that was done to the experiment, the results are worthless because they can’t be explained or duplicated. Therefore, no progress can be made based on the past work. What a waste!
3. Build self-confidence
Having a journal (or journals, depending on how long you have been at it) will do great things for your confidence. You will be surprised at how good you will feel when you flip back through your journal and see how much you have actually done. You will be able to grasp exactly how much work you have done to achieve the body and health that you have. You will also feel much more confident towards the future work you will continue to do to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
4. Hold yourself accountable
Tracking your results and completed workouts will also allow you to keep track of the days you missed. It is much easier to hold yourself accountable when you have proof of the missed days. This will minimize the amount of excuses to skip out on workouts, and maximize the consistency of your program.
5. Confirm your GOALS
We all know how important goals are. Well, how the heck do you plan on achieving goals without keeping track of your results!?
Having a journal will allow you to not only keep track of your progress toward specific goals, it will allow you to keep a record of past goals that were achieved, as well as goals for the future. You will be able to see how far you’ve come, how many goals you’ve achieved, and you be able push yourself that much further with new goals.
So what are you waiting for? Start keeping track of your workouts TODAY!