What’s a workout journal?
Workout journal, workout diary or workout log is an app, website or notebook in which you input what you did during your workout.
What’s the reason of the workout journal?
- Keeping track of your progress.
- Having details of what you were and what you will become.
- Motivate you to keep going in those hard days when excuses pop up in your mind.
- Becoming more organised with your workout goals, strength goals, muscle gain and/or weight loss.
What does it mean to keep track of your progress?
For example you want to start working on your Front lever.
You write down how many sets you did today, write down for how many seconds you hold straddle front lever.
And after each workout you can go back at the previous workouts to see how you did before.
If you did better today…
Let’s say you were able to hold the straddle front lever for 5 seconds more than 2 weeks ago.
Be proud of yourself man.
Those small wins are what will get you closer and closer to full front lever or whatever your goal is.
This progress check gives you the opportunity to build that conviction that what you are doing is working.
Keeping track of what you were and what you will become
Everyone has one of those moments when they thought for a second how much they accomplished.
This may be graduating high school and looking back at your first day of school when you were first grade.
Or you are practicing guitar playing and you are practicing for 2 years now. You look back and you realize how much you’ve accomplished, how much you’ve learned through that time.
You realize that by comparing yourself of what you are currently to what you were.
It’s all the same.
When you start out with your new workout goals.
Write down what is relevant to your goal.
Let’s say you want to gain muscle mass.
Tape measure your arms, thighs, waist and chest.
Check the exact weight of your body and write everything down.
Taking a picture is one thing that works wonders for me. I look at the picture or video and my reaction is “Wow, I’m so fucking skinny”.
And here is why you write all this down…
How can this motivate you?
Let’s say it’s one of those days…
The days when you don’t have desire for anything.
We all had them from time to time and will probably have them forever(remember Ying and Yang or there is no darkness without light). They are part of life.
Let’s say you are training for a year now and you are having one of those days.
But looking back at where you were and what you were a year ago.
Will help you get out of this mindstate.
Looking back at all the workouts that led you to the results that you have today will help you realize that all this was made with a lot of effort.
And to have the same improvement after a year you have to put in more effort.
But make no mistake we all need rest from time to time.
To become more organised with the goals that you have
Having a clear goal and writing down every small step towards that goal will help you build up that confidence that this goal is attainable.
If there is no progress towards that goal your workout journal will help you see what you are doing wrong, what you have to stop doing or/and what you have start doing.
Sometimes you have to correct something such as your diet, sleep time or even putting more effort in.
In what to write down
You can buy a fancy journal to write down everything that you do.
For me personally phone apps don’t fit me, because I have to unlock my phone, to minimize my music player, write down the results and get back to the player.
That’s too much stuff to do, I just did 20 pull ups, my forearms are pumped my fingers are kinda numb from squeezing the bar.
I’m trying to catch my breath and at the same time I have to unlock my phone using a pattern…
Yeah with those fingers it always take more than one try(that’s what she said).
A notebook makes my life easier.
Even if my fingers are numb I can still grab the pen and write down one ugly ass doodle that slightly resembles a number.
Find what is comfortable for you and stick with it.
What to write in it
Always write down the progress that brings you closer to your goals.
This brings more confidence in you that help you believe that your goals are attainable.
For example you want to be able to do 50 pull ups and currently you are at the 10 rep mark.
At every workout write down how many reps you did even the half reps and even the negative reps(the lowering) that you did.
Those small steps/wins help you believe more and more that this goal will be yours sooner or later.
Always find something in your workout that help you reaffirm that you are getting closer to this goal.
My personal example
I’m working on my front lever again and I do Full Front Lever hold with a rubber band under my ass.
And I count how many seconds I hold it and I write it down.
You can see on the second page FL
straddle hold full band 7s,6s,4s.
If this is the first time I do this move/hold I try to keep my mind completely open to see how many reps or seconds I can do.
When it is time to do the same move again in my next workout I do something extra.
I know that last time I held the Full Front Lever(with a band) for 5 seconds last time.
And this time I expect to do a bit more or I expect that my hold will be firmer or better in some way.
If I do the hold for the same duration I will add a straddle hold right after the full so I can tell myself there is progress.
And I write down exactly what I did.
Full Front Lever band hold 5s + straddle 1s.
Next time I will do my best to improve the results from my last workout… somehow.
The workout journal will help you big time.
The main benefit for you will be that it will increase your conviction that you are getting closer to your goal.
And if you are not getting closer this will be the journal will tell you why you are not getting closer.