Having a good strength training log is essential to success on for any training program you‘ve selected. Many people make the mistake of completely overlooking what a training log has to offer and never make use of this invaluable tool.
So what should you be writing in your strength training log and how will it help guarantee that you see success? Let‘s take a closer peak at the main things that you need to know.
The very first thing that we need to teach you is what you should be writing in your log book. Ideally, you will want to write the date of the workout and then list each exercise you performed along with the number of reps performed, sets completed, rest taken, and the weight lifted.
It‘s important to have all of these variables of your strength training exercises mentioned in the log as this will help you later on when it comes to progression tracking.
In addition to writing down these variables, you may also want to list out things such as how much sleep you had the night before the workout, the pre-workout meal you consumed, and any additional stressors that you might be facing.
All of these can influence your performance on your workout program, so having a record of any underlying reasons why your performance may not be up to par can help you take note of this down the road.
Everyone has their off days and these influencing factors could be what‘s causing that. Listing the pre-workout meal is also particularly helpful as this way you can learn which foods tend to produce the most energy without causing you to feel weighed down during your workout.
Food tends to be a highly variable element for many people and what will work great for one person could work miserably for another, so by listing what you‘re eating beforehand and then noting which produces the best workouts, you may be able to spot a trend and then start using the better pre-workout meals on a more regular basis.
Moving along, the next thing that you need to learn how to do is use your strength log for progression purposes. Basically, what you‘ll be doing here is whenever you go into the gym, you‘ll want to use your log to look back at what you did in the previous session and then do everything that you can to beat your previous results.
It could be something as simple as using 10 pounds more on the leg press or taking 10 seconds less rest between sets of bicep curls.
Just do something that creates change in the program and helps to up the intensity of the overall workout program.
It‘s this constant change - no matter how minor it may be, that will get you to your end goal of creating a strong, powerful, and lean body.
Moving along, it‘s also important that you use your training log for motivational purposes. Having some motivation building techniques at your disposal is a very good thing because every single one of us is going to become discouraged and unmotivated from time to time.
To maximize the use of your strength training log book for motivation, you‘ll want to include some progress pictures into the book.
Remember, changes do occur rather slowly. If you wake up tomorrow and look at yourself in the mirror, then proceed to compare the image staring back at you with how you looked yesterday, chances are you won‘t see much of a difference at all.
This can cause you to feel frustrated that change isn‘t happening quickly.
But, if you have a picture of yourself from a month ago and look at that and the image staring back at you right now, then you will see some significant changes.
This can put things into perspective and help you see that you are definitely moving forward and the hard work you‘re putting in at the gym is paying off.
Finally, the last thing that you can use your strength training log for is program design purposes. With this, you‘re essentially going to be looking back over the strength training log once you have a good six months or more of time tracked and noting which techniques seemed to work the best and which you may want to forgo in the future.
Remember, each and every person is going to respond slightly differently to a given workout protocol. It‘s your job to learn how your body is reacting and then match the best protocol to what leads you to optimal results.
For those who are struggling to even remember what techniques brought what results, this will be next to impossible.
But, if you have a thorough record of it right there in your log book, it just became that much easier.
So there you have some of the main things that you should remember as you use a strength training log book. You don‘t have to purchase anything expensive to get started - even simple loose leaf paper in a binder will do the trick.
As long as it‘s something that you feel comfortable bringing to the gym with you, it‘ll work just fine. Additionally, some people may even consider building a strength training log book on their phone as well as that tends to be highly convenient, however again, do what‘s going to serve you best overall.