If you really want to crush your goals in the New Year you need to keep a training log. Training logs are cheap and they are the most cost effective piece of gym equipment you’ll ever buy. A training log can be any copy book or diary and it is used to keep track of how each of your workouts went. The level of detail is dependent on the trainee but the core elements of a training log are:
This is important for placing the workout in context and keeping things in order
Weight, Sets & Reps
This is the most important part, these are the clearest representation of the work performed in any given work out. You will continually be using these numbers to project what you will be capable of during the next training session.
These allow you to keep track of other factors which impact on your training sessions. This may include but is not limited to bodyweight, body composition, health/injury status, form issues, equipment limitations and adjustments.
Training logs allow you to maintain a higher level of accountability. It helps to reduce the impact of biases like the self-serving bias or over confidence bias. Allowing you to be more honest with yourself. It allows you to compare the efficacy of various workout regimes and diets on you personally. It also provides you with a broad overview and additional insight into which programs work best for you, allowing you to make better choices when setting goals in future.
It is especially important for anyone looking to work with a personal trainer these training logs are incredibly important, they help to give an accurate and concise overview of the training you have been doing. This allows them to prescribe a more appropriate program for your level of training and more accurately identify areas which may need additional focus. Maintaining a training log allows you to make best use of your time and the trainer’s time with you. Essentially anyone who is training should keep track of their progress for best results.
Some of the benefits of it are:
As a point of reference to remind yourself of the name of an exercise.
To draw confidence from before competitions, by looking back on all the hundreds and thousands of reps you have done to get to the level you are at now.
Track their highs and lows and keep them all in an easily accessible manner to allow them to make progress.
The training log should be viewed as your training equivalent of a resume. Tracking progress and writing notes on how your training is going will prove invaluable when it comes to evaluating your goals throughout the year.