A Training Diary is a Vital Tool For Your Fitness Success
I know you've heard this before and it seems "basic". But it is an important key to success. And apparently, it isn't heard enough because I'd say less than 1% of people I see in gym keep track of their workout.
An essential part of organization needed to get each workout day right is a training diary. At its most basic minimum this is a written record of reps and poundage for every work set you do and an evaluation of each workout so that you can stay alert to warning signs of overtraining.
After each workout reflect on your evaluation and, when necessary, make adjustments to avoid falling foul of overtraining.
A training diary or journal is indispensable for keeping you on track for training success. No matter where you are now — 180-pound squat or 500, 13-inch arms or 17, 135-pound bench press or 350 — systematic organization and focus on achieving goals that a training journal enforces will help you to get bigger, stronger, and leaner.
As simple as it is to use a training log, do not underestimate its vital role in helping you achieve your fitness goals. Most trainees are aware that they should record their workouts in a permanent way, but few actually do it.
And even those trainees who keep some sort of training log usually fail to exploit its full potential benefits. This is one of major reasons why most trainees get minimal results from their training.
Your training journal is extremely important and should be more than just a list of weights, sets and rep.
When used properly, a training journal enforces organization needed to get each work-out right, week after week, month after month and year after year. By recording your poundages and reps, you log your entire training program and week-by-week breakdown of how you work through routine (s) in each training cycle in journal.
A training log eliminates reliance upon memory. There will be no, "Did I squat eight reps with 330 pounds at my last squat workout, or was it seven?" Refer to your journal and you will see precisely what you did last time—i.e., what you need to improve on if you are to make your next workout a step forward.
With a well-kept and detailed journal, you'll know with absolute certainty what is working in your program and what doesn't. Are you stagnating? Not making progress you want? Go back and consult your journal at a time that you were making fantastic progress? What were you doing then that you are not doing now?
You must be 100 percent honest when entering data. Record quality of your reps. If you did five good ones but sixth needed a tad of help from a training partner, do not record all six as if they were done under your own steam. Record ones you did alone, but note assisted rep as only a half rep.