To a lot of people, logging their training seems like unnecessary effort, after all, logging your training doesn't change what you've done, or make it any more effective. This of course is true, but I for one believe that logging your training is not only sensible, but vital!
I don't mean for elite or competitive athletes, I mean for everyone, for you! I know it seems like a lot of hassle, but I can assure you it is more than worth it. So how exactly do you log your workouts? What should you log? Is there anything you should avoid? To simplify the answers to these questions, take a look at my list of recommendations below:
What should I record?
2. Distances you swim, bike, run, ski, row and walk including times.
6x400m Run 1:1 1:26, 1:28, 1:27, 1:30, 1:30, 1:28
4. Gymnastic movements you do, including reps and sets
4x6 Strict Pull-Ups 6, 6, 5, 4 (Last 2 of 3rd set, last 1 of 4th set as negatives)
4x6 Strict HSPU 4, 4, 3, 3 (Last 1 of sets 3 & 4 as negatives)
6. Food eaten
The 'out of 5' scoring system is a simpler way of tracking the quality of what you eat, rather than weighing and recording every detail. Of course for some people, detail will be required, and for others it will be highly beneficial.
8. Areas of note
Pull-ups felt good, linked 10's consistently
Squat cleans felt awkward, timing was off, missed 2 lifts
6 Hours, one toilet break
8 Hours, restless
1. All weights that you lift, including reps and sets
5x5 Bench Press 65, 65, 70, 70, 72.5kg
3x15 DB Strict Press 10, 10, 12.5kg
3. Heights, lengths you jump
34" Box Jump
32" Box Jump From Seated
46" Broad Jump (Standing start)
5. Times or rounds/repetitions for timed workouts
Fran: 3:47 35kg Thrusters, Jumping pull-ups
For Time: Run 600m, 30-20-10 Wallballs, Sit-Ups, Run 600m. 7kg WB, 9:26
7. How you felt
Pre-WOD felt great, felt good during
Felt tired beforehand, got better during
9. Personal Records, Max Lifts, Benchmark WODs or tests
400m Run, 1:26
500m Row 1:33
Max Double Unders 87
Clean & Jerk 84kg (Squat Clean & Split Jerk)
Jackie: 8:04 Rx
11. Rest day activities
Walked the dogs for 45 minutes, 3km
Bike ride, challenging terrain, 2 hours, 22km
Where should I record it?
1. A notebook
Good - Small, easy to carry around, can write as you want without filling in fields
Bad -Easy to lose, finding records or previous times can be hard
2. A workout diary
Good - Has space for PRs and other important information
Bad - Sometimes won't have headings you'd like
3. An app such as Beyond the Whiteboard
Good - Extremely accurate tracking, easy to retrieve PRs, can track food and weight
Bad - Cost a little money
4. Notes in your phone
Good - Free and you can write whatever suits you
Bad - Sometimes involves long searches for PRs
What should I avoid?
1. Any method of recording that you find annoying or forget to bring with you
2. Waiting until you get home to log your results
You'll forget important points
You'll forget how you felt
3. Lying to yourself
This usually happens with food, be completely honest, regardless!
Be honest about reps, if they didn't count, don't count them. Next time you test, you'll forget that you fibbed, and then be upset that you didn't beat your previous (fabricated) score!
What will keeping a log help me with?
3. Identifying patterns
Always train poorly after pizza night
Struggle with heavy days after lack of sleep
Gymnastics after running is a weakness
Can still hit 95% of lifts under fatigue
4. Selecting additional skill work
Areas to focus on in open gym, or when training elsewhere
Constructive additions to warm-ups or cool-downs
1. Tracking Records
Easy too view progress, especially in benchmark tests
Helps motivation when plateaus are perceived but may not be real
2. Working out scales
Fast checking of maxes to calculate percentages
Referencing scales used for similar workouts