Want To Reach Your Fitness Goals Faster? Keep on Your Fitness Track with an Exercise Log
By Suzie Cooney, CPT Suzie Trains Maui
I know making progress toward your health, diet and fitness goals isn’t easy … especially if you aren’t keeping track of that progress. People hire me to hold them accountable. But once you are on your own, you will have longer lasting results and continue to see your body changing if you keep track of your progress. I always try to impress upon that you will see a change more quickly in your body if you keep track. Just like keeping a food journal will more than like double your weight loss!
Here are some great tips to ensure you the success you desire!
Measure your success and progress:
One of the basic principles of weight training is progression. During each additional workout you need to challenge yourself to stress and overload the muscle a little more than the last workout. I love to help clients with this. First set we may go easy, but the second set, get ready! Depending on your goals, this progressive overload will continuously strengthen the muscle, increase endurance, size or a combination of the three.
However, if you don’t know how much weight you used, the number of repetitions or how many sets of a given exercise you performed, it becomes very difficult to consistently overload the muscle and make progress.
If you keep detailed notes of your exercises, the order in which they were performed in, the weight used, repetitions, sets and rest periods, you’ll always know exactly what you did in your previous workout. This will help you make sure that your next workout is slightly different and slightly more challenging than the last.
Exercise Logs Help You Identify “dull points and plataues” in Your Workout
Here’s an example of a real training log of one of my clients. He trains 3 times a week and by the end of the week we made great strength gains which is one of his goals.
Ever have a workout where you felt weaker than normal during a particular exercise?
This can be the result of many factors, including over training, the order in which you performed your exercises, the intensity or volume of the exercises you did before the current one, or even whether you did cardio before your weight training.
Training logs provide a quick way to look at all of the different variables in a given workout and identify factors that could be impacting your performance. A variable can be either, speed of the repetition, if you are on 1 leg or 2, or by simply increasing the weight or by decreasing your rest period in between sets.