Tracking your workouts could be the difference between success and failure when it comes to your health and fitness goals. All too often people start off incredibly well, get some great results and then stop seeing progress, causing them to give up on their training for a number of reasons. Don’t feel like the workout is doing anything, can’t see results or no muscle soreness post workout. All of these can be a result of you not tracking your workouts.
If you keep a log of what you achieved in your last workout then you know how heavy you lifted, how many reps you did, what tempo you worked at and you can create a plan to help constantly improve your training. You can give yourself a new testing plan every month while ensuring that you are constantly working towards your end goal.
Just be sure that you log how you are feeling on each day along with the time of the workout, if you only have a 30-minute session compared to a 60-minute one you will not be providing the muscles with the same stimulation, leading to a difference in results. If you are ill, tired or stressed these can have an influence on your training too, so make sure you keep a note of how you are feeling each time.
How to get started?
Buy yourself a little notepad or use a note tracking app on your phone, in between your sets make a note of what you lifted and how many reps you achieved. Once you have written it down you should be getting yourself ready for your next set as you are only really going to be wanted 60 seconds max rest between sets. Do not start creeping on to Facebook between sets. Write it down and move on to the next one.
Reasons why you should start
Discover what works for you – if you tried tricep dips, and you got fantastic gains in those but when it comes to tricep kickbacks you don’t get the same gains then you know you need more dips in your training and you can eliminate what doesn’t work for your body. Certain moves and exercises will get you better results.
Accountability – If you don’t have a personal trainer, then you need someone to keep you accountable to the number of reps and sets you need to achieve, it’s all to easy to drop the weights on the 8th rep in the 3rd set but knowing you need to log it helps you push out those last couple of reps. This will give you a little bit more motivation not to fail and give up early.
Feedback – If there is no data for you to track and measure against, how do you know if you are progressing? You need to keep on top of the numbers and ensure that you are moving forward in your training otherwise you will just turn up, do the same weight and the same reps leading to no change in your physical condition.
Set realistic goals – it allows you to see how you are progressing so for example if one of your goals is to squat your body weight, you can see how much you are progressing month on month and then you can figure out how long it is going to take you. Rather than thinking it will happen in 4 weeks, it may take you 4 months. This will help you stay motivated on those tough days.