Getting in the gym consistently is the first step to making any workout program successful. But there's more you can do to make sure you are getting the most out of the time you spend in the gym...and the good news is, it hardly takes any extra effort! One of the most useful tools in the gym is your workout log. Your workout log will keep you focused and on track. It will help you reach your goals and will hold you accountable for them.
Your workout log can be as simple as a spiral notebook. And you can customize it and record whatever makes it useful to you. Here are some things that your workout log can do for you:
- See your progress. Go back and look at the first workouts you did. It's powerful motivation knowing how far you have come!
- Track your strength numbers. Dedicate a page, or include a separate sheet of your strength numbers. This will come in handy when you are figuring out what weights to use for your workouts. Here is the tracking sheet we use: Download Max Lifts PDF.
- Keep track of your benchmark times. Again, dedicate a page to "Angie", "Barbara", "Cindy", and the rest. That way you know how you scaled it previously, and what time you're trying to beat.
- Compare to your previous times. For our programming at CrossFit Rockwall, we post a "compare to" date for any repeated workouts. You can flip back in your log and see how you did last time. This will give you a goal to shoot for when you re-do the workout.
- Remember your goals. Write down your goals and revisit them often. Having your goals written down will hold you accountable for them!
If you don't have a workout log, start one today! If you work out at CrossFit Rockwall, you have a workout log that you started during your Elements training. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your workout log:
- Bring it every day! The first step is consistently recording your workouts. If you forget your log, be sure and write down on a piece of paper and put it in there when you get home.
- Write down the date. This comes in handy when you're looking back at a "compare to" date for a workout.
- Remember to write down your time and weights! This sounds obvious, but when you are tired at the end of your workout, sometimes it's forgotten.
- Be specific. Make sure you write down what weight you used for each exercise and any modifications you used. What band did you use on pull-ups? What kettlebell did you use? How did you scale handstand push-ups? This information will all help you the next time you do those movements.
- Include how you felt. If you felt really great on something, write it down. If you really struggled with something, write it down. Could you have gone harder? Or did you burn out in the middle of the workout? If there is something you want to watch out for next time, write it down.
- Make it useful. Write down anything that may help you in the future. Did one of the coaches tell you something that really stuck and made your movement better/easier? Did you finally figure out how to get a double under? Write down what helped you get it!
There are many other ways you can use your workout log. From tracking what you eat, to how much sleep you get each night, track the metrics that will help you reach your goals!