Keeping a Workout Journal
A workout journal is an easy tool that can help you stay motivated, tell you if you are on the right track, and make corrections to get the most out of your workout routine. So it’s a wonder that so many trainers go week after week just assuming they are getting the best results from their exercises.
If you want to know you are eating the right foods and doing the right workouts, you have to keep track of your progress.
To start a workout journal, begin recording every exercise you did on every day your workout, including vital information like running times, amount of weight lifted, etc. Also include how you feel after every workout. Over time you should notice a marked improvement in every area. For example, your might discover that your 400 meter time is getting faster, you are able to handle more weight during strength training, and you have more energy once you leave the gym. This can serve as a fantastic confidence booster if you have start feel your desire to workout wane. If the numbers show that you have hit a wall, such a failure to make any notable improvements over a significant amount of time, you know it’s time to consult with a personal trainer to see what you can do to improve.
Glancing at your workout journal is a great way to maintain focus and motivation. Any time you don’t feel like going to the gym, you can just glance at the numbers in your book and see how far you’ve come since you first started. Knowing that skipping your exercise for the day might result in losing the momentum you have spend so much time and energy acquiring is a big wake up call.
Journals can also be a great way to avoid injury. Let’s assume one day you discover a persistent pain in your arms. You can look back at your workout journal to see which arm exercises you have been doing in the past few weeks. Pain might be a signal you are not using proper technique for those exercises, or you might consider switching to a different upper body exercise altogether. Just knowing what exercise you did on what can save you from a lot of pain and frustration.
Your journal is also a vital resource for knowing what diet works best for you.
If after a few weeks, you aren’t happy with your fat loss and changes in your routine aren’t helping, try to change to a different diet. Over time, you can experiment and see what combination of food and exercise give you the best results.
As you record in your journal after every exercise, try not to get bogged down too much with little details. You don’t need to write down the average outside temperature, the number of millimeters of sweat you produced or the movement in the stock market that day. Just stick what’s relevant and what will help you out in the long run.
Chris McCombs has a successful business specializing in Orange County fitness training with focus on fat loss and muscle toning. On his website, he shares his valuable tips on fitness and "how to" style exercise videos.
For more information on keeping a workout journal, click here.