How To Keep A Training Journal

 This is another one of those blog posts I never thought I’d have to write. Something that is so second nature to dudes who are in the iron game long term that we sometimes forget not everyone is privy to such a simple piece of information.

The information is this – without a map and a compass, you’re going to get lost.

The map is your training program. And the compass is your journal.

Using a training journal to stay on course is one of the simplest things you can do right now to make sure you make progress tomorrow.

Think about it – if you don’t know what you lifted last week, where do you start this week?! Do you just waste a good portion of your workout figuring it out, or do you go and get stuck with the right weights and immediately get to work??

The answers simple. Consult your journal. Find out.

confused arnie

THE PROGRAM
Your training program should be progressive, predictable and linear in nature. What I mean by that is that each week it should logically build on the previous stages, getting slightly more difficult week after week to eventually lead you to some new epic strength and fitness levels.

If you don’t have something like that already, you need a coach.

WHAT TO RECORD IN A TRAINING JOURNAL
Date:

Workout:

Food (outta 10):

Sleep (hours):

General Mood / Comments:

I’ll be brief on this one because it’s straight forwards.

Record the date of your workout, what you did (example video below), your food for the day on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is “perfect”.

Take note of how much you slept the night before, and your general mood and comments on the training session with regards to how the weights felt, what the workout was like overall, and some thoughts on the weights to use next week (go up, stay, go back etc etc).

They’re all important metrics to have because if one of them is off (food / rest / mood) the workout can be negatively effected. And while a bad workout sucks, a bad workout with explanation is at least understandable.

HOW TO RECORD YOUR WORKOUTS
Here’s a quick video on how to note everything down

 

So like I said at the start, this is all pretty simple and straight forwards. So simple that you MUST do it.

If upon reading some of this you thought “woah… why did I never think of that before”, it’s a pretty clear sign you’re doing yourself a disservice in the gym and not getting the results you deserve.

 

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James Hanley

Strength Coach. Performance Specialist. Dog Lover. Powerlifter. And the guy behind the scenes in RevFit that keeps the plates spinning.