One of the practices that can help is keeping your own workout log. It is a simple tool that will keep you on the right track and help you reach your goals faster. Just grab a notebook and start jotting down. Customize the log so you can keep a record of the things and aspects of training that you find useful. Here are my suggestions about what to include in the log:
1. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
In order for the workout log to be of any use to you, first you must remember to bring it with you every day. Be as consistent in recording your workouts and times as you are in working out. If you forget to bring it, make sure you put in any useful information when you get back home. After you have been writing down your numbers and figures for some time, go back to the first entry and compare your stats. Can you see how far you have come?
There is nothing more motivating than watching and realising how much you have progressed. Here are a few milestones you should always record, and be proud of when you up them, even by only one or two reps:
- WODs such as the Girls (Fran, Annie etc)
- Number of Unbroken Double Unders
- Max number of Pull Ups
- The date of your first Muscle Up (bar and ring)
2. RECORD YOUR STRENGTH NUMBERS
Dedicate a section in your log to your strength numbers. Whether you want to build muscle mass, get stronger, or get slimmer, you will need to lift progressively heavier weights over time. How are you going to ensure this happens if not by carefully tracking how much weight you lifted every time? Many people rely on how they feel while lifting. But 1-2 extra kg are easily overlooked this way, since you will not feel that much of a difference, but believe me – every kg counts. Be as detailed as possible.
The following lifts are especially important to record when monitoring your strength numbers:
- 1 Rep Max Snatch
- 1 Rep Max Clean & Jerk
- 1 Rep Max Clean
- 1 Rep Max Squat (Front & Back)
- 1 Rep Max Overhead Press
3. COMPARE WITH YOUR PREVIOUS TIMES
Do not forget to include the dates. This is important when you are looking back at the progress you have made. It also comes in handy when you are setting your goals. They will be more realistic if you know how fast you are progressing and what you can expect to achieve in the next month or so.
4. REMEMBER YOUR GOALS
Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions from January 1st? Did they go something like this: ‘This year I am going to get in shape!’ We tend to quickly forget what we promised to ourselves and use every excuse possible to avoid responsibilities. Writing down your goals and revisiting them often will hold you accountable for them. It always helps to include some motivational messages to yourself.
Write down how you felt after reaching a certain threshold. This is all going to give you that extra push when you do not feel like getting up from your couch and going to the gym.
5. USE THE RIGHT GEAR FOR EFFECTIVENESS
Add a note in your log about the sportswear you wore, how comfortable it was, and whether it made a difference. Having the right equipment contributes to your results, and is also a part of the motivation we mentioned earlier. Proper shoes are particularly important in Crossfit training and especially the Olympic lifts, since they provide stability and support.
On the other hand, don’t let the gear dictate your efforts. At the highest professional levels, a competition Clean & Jerk 1RM WILL be affected if the athlete doesn’t have the specific footwear. However, if your favourite shorts are in the wash, or you forget your colour coordinated wrist straps, then those are not excuses to skip your lifts!
10×3 power snatch from blocks working on speed through the middle, efficiency and punishing my arm to catch thight!!! Those are 3 of the most common mistake I see people doing including me especially not finishing the lift by punching the arm ( bar crash on them or catch with soft elbows) @roguefitness #workhard #beproud #trainforthegames
Have you been keeping your workout log? Do you find it useful?
All photographs © Nero RX’d photography
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet Instagram © Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
Annie Thorisdottir Instagram © Annie Thorisdottir