1. Know what you did/are doing
Documenting your workouts can do a lot for your fitness journey and can give you a sense of organization. When you start going to the gym, having a plan is CRUCIAL to your progress. Every great achievement is accomplished with a plan so when you know what you are doing when you walk in-you are already that much closer to your goals then if you just “showed up”.
2. Track Progress
Tracking workouts are a great way to show how far you’ve developed in your workout regiment. If you’re feeling fatigued it’s good to check previous attempts at lifts to give an idea how much you should let off the gas if you need the rest.
It’s also good for planning when to test “max out days” or any other kind of testing day. I’ll be writing about the significance of these kinds of days in a separate post but for now, writing your workouts can give you an idea of when it’s ok to rest up if days seem tough and a great way to schedule when it’s time to have a big test day.
3. Mental Health & Context
If you’re anything like me, you want to push yourself every day in the gym. I like the feeling of getting after it and leave knowing that I crushed that workout. The only problem? Those days are far and few in between.
There’s going to be days where you feel on top of the world. Good. Write about it.
There’s going to be days where you feel like a flaming bag of $#*!. Good. Write about it.
Whenever you feel down about your effort or you feel like you’re just fatigued, it’s good to look back at previous workouts. There was a day in college where I had the worst track meet of my life and I didn’t know why. My legs were stiff, my grip was shot, and I just did not feel ok and did not know why. Well, all it took was a quick look at my training log to find out that I did a max deadlift of 435 lbs. the day before for an assignment. Yup that’ll do it.
It’s good to look back at previous workouts to pat yourself on the back when you’re feeling down. When I used to just workout without writing anything down I always wondered why my progress was inconsistent. After learning about seeing the bigger picture when it comes to working out I felt a lot better on days where I didn’t feel the best because I knew it was just one bad day. One bad day does not erase an entire training block of progress.