There are many people who exercise intensely, day after day, in hopes of transforming their bodies. There are many athletes who spend countless hours practicing with dreams of reaching the pinnacle of their sport. Though their intentions are noble, not everyone achieves success. The deciding factor between excellence and average is attention to detail. I wanted to write a blog series on improving your rate of success by focusing on the details that drastically effect your training and performance, but are often overlooked. The second topic I’m going to address is utilization of a training log.
Maintain A Thorough Training Log: Have you ever been lost and kept circling back to the same place? You scratch your head, wonder where you went wrong, start off again in hopes of finding your intended destination, only to end up right back where you started. That is essentially what happens when you do not track your training. Each time you exercise, you ask yourself, what did I do last time? Not fully remembering, you do what you’re comfortable with and repeat the same mediocre training session over and over in hopes of improving.
The only way to improve health, fitness, and/or performance is for the body’s systems to adapt to a training stimulus through progressive overload. Simply put, the resistance needs to gradually get heavier, the pace needs to be getting faster, the distance needs to be increasing, etc. This is why it is so important to keep a detailed training log! So you can look back over days, weeks, months, and years of data and notes to understand what you have already accomplished, and to then map out a plan to improve.
There are multiple ways to keep a training log. The simplest way to track your training is to write everything down in a notebook. There are several software programs and apps that do a similar function. Fitness trackers (Garmin, Whoop, Fitbit, etc.) are a great way to keep up with your training, because they can sync with a computer or smart device to download all of your training data. Also, they can be worn 24 hours a day, gathering information on resting heartrate, sleep quality, total caloric expenditure, and total physical activity.
So what should be included in a training log? Track as much information as you can gather! Each resistance training session log should include: type of resistance, how much resistance, sets and reps, rep tempo, the time it took you to complete the session, how you felt, how much sleep you had the night before, your stress level, and notes to yourself about what went well and what didn’t. Your cardiovascular training log needs to include: distance covered, time to complete, type of training, equipment used, weather conditions, where you trained, heartrate, sleep, and notes about how you felt. Make sure to include warm-up and cooldown activities, stretches, body composition measurements, goals, competition results, and any other information or activities related to your training.
You can’t know where you are going until you understand where you’ve been. Start tracking your training and you’ll see a huge impact on your progress!
Stay tuned for the next installment coming soon! Remember, you get One Body, you get One Life, Care For It!