So you want to gain muscle and lose fat. Youâ€™ve nailed your workout plan and organised your daily macronutrient profiles. Youâ€™ve spent your hard earned cash on dri-fit performance enhancing workout gear and youâ€™re paying through the pocket for your expensive gym membership.
Everything is in place for you to burst through plateaus and exceed your physique goals. You hit the gym hard, six days a week, working hard, varying your exercises and getting your pre and post-workout nutrition exactly right. Problem is, youâ€™re not getting anywhere, results have stalled, your strength has plateaued and youâ€™re losing motivation. If this descries you there may be a vital part of the puzzle missing â€“ workout records.
You might see others at the gym with notebooks and judge them, the perception is that these people are â€˜geeky,â€™ pedantic or overly obsessed with their training. This may very well be the case, but the fact is these types of trainers, more than any others are likely to get results. By recording exactly what you did in each workout, you know precisely how much weight you lifted, how many sets and reps you performed and how much rest you took in every single session.
This data is invaluable when it comes to progressing because you can use it as a benchmark in subsequent sessions. Even if you perform one extra rep, or up the weight by a couple of pounds in the following session, thatâ€™s an improvement, and miniscule incremental improvements over time will lead to stunning results.
So how should you record your progress? The truth is you donâ€™t need anything more complicated than a pen and paper, in fact Iâ€™d recommend this above any other recording device as itâ€™s durable and cheap, so misplacing your pen or even having it crushed under a 90lb dumbbell wonâ€™t matter. I see many people using their phones and even tablet computers to record their workouts using fancy apps. If this works for you, great but donâ€™t come crying to me when your iPad succumbs to said dumbbell!
One innovative solution to this problem that I recently noted at the gym was a trainer using a voice recorder to log his workout. Iâ€™d never thought of using such a device before but it seemed to be a quick easy way of recoding the data, the only disadvantage being that he would have had transfer that data to a more visual medium at some point. However you chose to do it, recording your workouts will put you one step ahead of the competition and give you the edge you need to lift heavier, run faster and reach your goals more quickly and efficiently.
So, the question remains… Â Do you presently keep a log of your efforts in the form of a workout journal?