At the start of the January each year, you can find my husband, a marathon runner, diligently sitting with his laptop creating his calendar of races for the coming year and developing a running plan for each of the races, usually 13.1 to 26.2 miles. He will spend hours coming up with the best plan so that he can achieve his goals. Then daily he will record his workout, noting anything of significance in regards to his pace, the weather or just general feelings about where his is in his plan. Of course through out the year his plan might have some flex, say he was supposed to do a 10 mile run but it is 25 degrees and even higher wind. Well, he might just put that run ff for another day. He scheduled a long run the day after a concert we have tickets to see, another shift. But for the next year, he has a road map (pun intended) to help him reach his goals.
Looking for a boost to your fitness routine?
It may surprise you just how much journaling your workouts can motivate you and inspire you to achieve your goals. Keeping track of the past, present and future can not only keep you on track but it can also give you boost with the progress you’ve made. Keeping an exercise log can lead to a more intentional and more successful approach to your fitness goals.
How can a fitness journal improve your journey?
After just a few weeks you can look back and see all the progress or entries you have made, your fitness journal will be a big motivation booster. Seeing your progress laid out in front of you keeps you focused—seeing what is working and is a positive boost to make you want to do more!
Tracking your improvements
It might sound obvious that you need to push yourself harder to see gains either in strength or in cardio output, but can you remember day to day what weight you used on your chest and which for shoulder press? If you aren’t tracking where you left off, it becomes more difficult to know where to start. Also, many of us find ourselves repeating the same workouts over and over. Keeping a log is the best way to track it all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it!
Hold Yourself Accountable
When you’re honest with yourself about your habits — whether food or fitness-related — you can hold yourself accountable and make real change. Track what workouts you like and what you don’t. Reading back on entries can be a look into what works for you and what doesn’t
Be honest in your journal. Don’t hold back and it can help asses where you are in your fitness journey
Remember What You Love
There’s nothing worse than doing a great workout, but then forgetting your favorite moves. A workout journal is a historical look at what you did that you can always refer back to for inspiration. Planning your future workouts just got a whole lot easier!
How Do you Start a Fitness Journal?
There are no rules as to what might work for you…Your fitness journal can come in any form that gets you motivated! Grab a beautiful notebook, a premade fitness journal or use an app such as MyFitnessPal.
Decide what you want to track. This will mainly depend on your fitness goads. Do you want to lose weight, get stronger, get faster or just be more consistent.
You can choose to track things like:
- Weight you lifted or number of Sets/Reps
- Body weight
- Mile times
- Sprint times
- Wattage output
- Technogym Moves
- Rating of perceived exertion
- Any pain or issues
- Daily calorie intake
- General perceptions-How something felt on any given day
Once you begin tracking the factors that matter to you, it’ll be far easier to plan your workouts and maintain focus! Your journal doesn’t have to be all stats and numbers, however. You can also record helpful alignment tips for the future, or even quotes that inspire you. Here’s just a few to add to your journal:
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” Proverb
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. — Henry David
When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe
If you get tired, learn to rest and not to quit-Banksy
So whether you are a seasoned athlete, a gym rat or occasional gym goer, you might just find a new perspective and new motivation by starting a workout journal.
Greta Wilson, Group Exercise Instructor
Hancock Wellness Center – McCordsville