In order to make sustained progress, it’s vital to have goals and a road map on how you’ll achieve those goals. This applies for fitness, where a training log can provide you with a clear picture of your current fitness as well as the progress toward your specific goals. Keeping a training log is also a great way to keep yourself motivated since you can easily see the improvements that you make over time.
What are training logs?
Whether you’re new to training or you’ve been a fitness fanatic for years, a training journal should be an essential part of your training. A training log should be the record of any training you’ve done, and the more complete and thorough it is, the better. Don’t be tempted to simply log good workouts and ignore the bad ones, record everything that you did during a training session, from warm ups all the way to the cool downs. If you stretch before a session, log that too. If you want to, you can even record how you felt on the day of the training and any special thoughts that you had during the session.
Why is it important to keep a training log?
Workout logs do a number of things and have plenty of benefits, from keeping you accountable to providing a measurable way to track your progress and plan your next workouts.
If you consistently log what you’ve done, you’ll get a nagging urge to keep logging, even on days when you don’t feel like working out. (Do you really want to have a big gap in your log?) It may be the motivator to get you out of the house and into the gym. And when you’re at the gym, it’s a motivator to complete the full workout instead of just doing the easy stuff and then going home.tutorial android
Measure your progress
Having a workout log provides you with a measurable set of numbers by which to track your progress. There’s nothing more satisfying than looking back at a workout you did months ago and seeing how much stronger or faster you are now. It provides great motivation to reach even greater heights and push yourself even further. It also helps you identify plateaus before they happen and help you avoid them by adapting your routine.
Planning your workouts
In addition to showing you where you’ve been, a log is a great way to plan where you’re going. If you see that you’re consistently adding 5 pounds to your bench, then you can plan that on your next bench day you can add another 5 pounds. It gives you a reminder of what you did during your last workout and gives you a good idea on how you can improve or at least maintain the same level during your next workout.
It’s easy to start a session and just do whatever you feel like doing. When you keep a workout log you’ve got your session already planned out before you go in, meaning that you’re more focused on doing what needs to be done instead of wasting on getting sidetracked. Knowing what your goals are provides a clear path from your current state to where you want to go.
What about logging online?
While some people prefer keeping a pen and paper workout log, having an online-based log can be much more useful. Not only can you log your workout, you can use the data and do a number of analyses, from figuring out your one-rep max on a lift to working out how far your next run should be. An app is ideal, since it allows you to log your activity during your training and can provide plenty of information about your workout after the session.
Regardless of how you keep track of your workouts, the process of keeping a log will provide invaluable insights that will help you progress and meet your long-term fitness goals.