Tired of not seeing the results you want at the gym? Looking to get more motivated and more consistent with your gym sessions? One of the easiest ways to bust through the plateaus and monotonous life of the gym is by using an exercise log.
But wait, I can hear you asking. How can just writing down my workouts get me into better shape? Well, there are lots of reasons, actually, but below I will share with you 5 of the most powerful reasons for doing so —
1. Ultimate Accountability. Excuses to not go to the gym are not difficult to come by. Whether you don’t have the energy, you don’t feel like it, or your favorite workout shorts are still in the wash, your brain is exceptionally gifted at finding reasons to avoid working out. Keeping track of your workouts can help remedy this, as knowing precisely what you have to do that day written out on paper takes away the mental back-and-forth we are all guilty of playing.
2. Gives you a Battle Plan. Knowing precisely what you have to do at the gym that day removes any doubt or desire to meander between machines while exercising. Having your checklist of sets and reps means that you go in, beat up on the weights like they owe you money, and peel out. How many times have you gone into the gym without a clear idea of what you wanted to do or accomplish that day? Was your workout as awesome as it could have been? Or did you find yourself floating around the gym, making small talk with other gym members, and basically doing everything but work out? Having your workout listed for you keeps you focused and on task.
3. Your log book will motivate you. Big time. Every couple weeks or so you’ll flip through it and be in awe of yourself at all of the work you have done to date. That surge of pride will motivate you to get back into the gym so that you can continue to put in work.
4. It Will Make You Workout Harder. Seriously. One of the most under-rated aspects of keeping a record of your workouts is the natural tendency we all have to want to continually fill it with workouts where we have done great. There will be times where your desire to finish your session at the gym will waiver; the thought that you will need to write it out later will come along to give your motivation a little bump. The fear of writing out a crappy workout will supersede your short-term desire to duck out early.
5. Provides You a Realistic Foundation for Goal Setting. We all have goals for our fitness; for some it is losing a couple pounds, while for others it is lifting astronomical amounts of weight. No matter what they are, the key in setting successful goals is being realistic about what we are capable of given what we have. Nowhere can we learn more about how fast we can expect progress than by pouring over your exercise log.
Using an Exercise Log for Peak Benefit
Now that you know some of the benefits of writing out your workouts, here are 3 tips for making the most of this tool:
1. Write down your results as soon as you can. Accuracy is paramount when it comes to recording your workouts. Do it as soon as you realistically can after your workout.
2. Set goals. Having an escalating sets of goals and targets will give you something to work towards and will also keep you motivated.
3. Notice patterns. There will be days when you don’t feel the best; do some reverse engineering with your diet, rest and stress levels and connect the dots so that you can limit those less-than-optimal days in the future.