The Workout Log
I keep a workout log. I didn't always, but I didn't always have a specific purpose for each workout. I would go in with a plan of what I was doing and a vague idea of how much I had lifted previously and how many reps I'd completed. No wonder I got bored with workouts, stayed at a strength plateau for a very long time, and didn't see a whole lot of physical changes.
Why keep a workout log?
- Track progress. Duh. Ok, this is kind of a no-brainer, but for a long time I thought, "only real athletes write all the details down. I'm just a mom trying to get/stay fit." But as I mentioned above, not keeping track of how many weeks (months?) I had been squatting the same weight led me to boredom and no visible results.
- Measure your body by weight lifted. We tend to be so hard on ourselves (see my last post). We have to stop living and dying, loving and hating our bodies by the number on the bathroom scale. Are you bench pressing more than you were two weeks ago? Are you cleaning more than you did a month ago? Can you now do 15 double unders unbroken? Did you finally get that unassisted pull up? How much faster is your mile today than it was 6 months ago? These are the numbers that matter.
- Add variety. Sometimes it takes seeing the workout on paper for you to notice that you are doing too many of the same exercises. Our bodies grow through variety-- in intensity, in power, in speed, in number of reps, etc.
- Motivation. Your log provides a tangible way to track how close you have come to your goal. And actually by doing all of the above, it should help you stay motivated to continue on. You are more likely to see not just changes in the amount of weights lifted, but in the shape of your body.