If you want to get the best returns on your efforts in the gym, one of the surest ways is to journal your workouts.
Recording your sessions either in written word or via logging aspects of your workout on your social media keeps you focused and allows you to get a clearer overview of your training and helps you set better goals moving forward.
Here are 7 reasons why you should consider journaling your fitness journey.
1. IT WILL KEEP YOU CONSISTENT.
Have you noticed that once you miss one workout, it becomes easier to miss another? And another? And soon enough you've missed a full week at the gym, and the last thing on earth you want to do is put on your gym gear.
Hitting the gym on a regular basis is easier when you're riding a hot streak of consecutive sessions. The more you make in a row, the harder it becomes to miss a session. Marking down your workouts helps you build momentum for the next session to keep the streak alive. Conversely, noting when you go on a streak of misses can nudge you back on track.
2. YOU’LL BE MORE FOCUSSED DURING YOUR WORKOUTS.
How often have you gone into the gym to pound out a workout without a plan for your session? Did you find yourself more easily distracted, prone to getting lost in idle chit-chat with friends instead of dialing in on your workout? Keeping a workout log is more than just recording what you do, It provides a plan before you even walk into the gym, ensuring that you are focused on what needs to be done, so you spend less time aimlessly walking the gym floor skipping through tracks on Spotify.
3. IT WILL SERVE AS A BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR GOALS.
Whatever your goals, recording your workouts will help you get there. You will be able to track your progress more accurately, and this will help you plan your long- and short-term goals. Having clear objectives for each session gives you an escalating set of targets to reach so you are continually progressing and getting stronger, faster and better. Just focus on getting better 1 day at a time, 1% better each workout and over the course of a week, a month, a year... That’s some solid progress!
4. SEE THE WHOLE PICTURE.
Include information on rest, diet, stress levels and mood. You know that what you do the rest of the day influences how you perform in the gym. There will be days when you have "off" workouts; and by tracking things such as how you ate the previous couple of days and how much rest you had, did you have a few too many at the weekend, you can get a comprehensive overview of your workload leading up to the not-so-great workout—which will give you the background you need not only to predict bad workouts, but ideally to limit them by making the necessary adjustments in rest and nutrition.
5. YOUR WORKOUT LOG WILL KEEP YOU HONEST.
How many times have you walked up to the bar and tried to remember how much you lifted previously? And for how many reps? With the countless number of exercises, sets and reps you perform over the course of a week of workouts, it can be easy to lose track. Having the previous week's results scrawled out in front of you leaves no doubt as to what you did last time, and more important, what you should aim for this time around. Stop going over old ground from session to session. Make sure you’re looking to progress every single workout.
6. YOU’LL SET BETTER GOALS.
Writing out your performance during and after your workouts provides you with objective proof for how quickly (or slowly) you are progressing. Knowing this information allows you to create goals that reflect the speed with which you adjust to increased training. Not understanding your rate of progression leads to unrealistic goals and sets you up to be discouraged when you don't achieve them. It can also help you decide when maybe the time is right to look for help, join a new gym, try a new class, hire a personal trainer.
7. YOU’LL GET HYPED LOOKING AT HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME.
Seeing what you have achieved in the previous days, weeks and months of workouts should instill a strong sense of pride. Seeing where you started, how far you have progressed, and all the things in the gym you have accomplished will get you fired up to pursue even greater workout goals. Knowing that the program / the process / the plan is working, makes it sooooo much easier to stick to it, when you know all the effort and sacrifice is bringing you the results you desire.
So there you have it. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t need to be legible by anybody else. Try it for a couple of weeks for yourself. I will be amazed if a workout log doesn’t ramp up your progress and gains to a whole new level.