A workout journal seems to be optional for a lot of people in the fitness community. This is surprising to me since everyone has some sort of goal but they don’t really know where they are going or where they have been. A journal should not be optional and it can be a great tool to help you progress.
Types of Workout Journals:
You can use anything really from a cheap 99 cent spiral to an expensive leather bound book. I prefer….
Not trying to endorse them or anything but they are just really cool little notebooks. I like the ones that have a leatherish cover so you know it won’t get ruined if some water were to be spilled in it. However, I have been looking to move to these notebooks as my workout journal because they are even tougher.
How to Use a Workout Journal:
Seems easy enough, right. Journal your workout. I have been journaling for awhile and so I will just give you some tips that have helped me.
Tip 1: Lifting
During any workout where you are lifting write down a quick sentence or symbol that helps you remember what to lift for the next week. For instance, I have been lifting heavy recently based off the Wendler Program and I developed a short hand for how the set went. The check mark means I completed the set, but…
= The weight was good stick to the percentages of the program
– = Weight was too heavy need to go decrease the load next week
+ = Weight was to light and need to increase the load next week
Tip 2: WODs
WODs are a little bit different. But you need to keep record for yourself of what was or is going on. I normally journal about a WOD after the wod is over. For instance, if I was doing a WOD with a lot of pull-ups and I rip my palm open. I will still finish the WOD but I may be slower than normal. So I would be sure to journal what happened. This way the next time I do the workout I don’t think I am blazing through it as compared to my last time.
Tip 3: Skill Work
There are a lot of gymnastics and things that you may have never done before in crossfit. I like to keep a short sentence or two on these things as well. If I were to be attempting hand stand walks I may write how far I got and how difficult it was for me to actually walk.
This is almost not necessary at the beginning. If you can barely do hand stands then your progress will be obvious, but as time progresses and you get better it becomes necessary.
Tip 4: Lessons Learned
My friend does this and I think it is awesome, but it is a lot of work. He left the front 2 pages of his journal blank when he started logging workouts. Then he….easier this way.
- Number your pages
- Front two pages blank
- Entry on one of these pages may be “Snatch”
- Then when he has a lesson learned on the snatch he goes and puts the page number of that workout next to “Snatch”
This way he can open to the front pages and look at snatch and it may say pages 19,31, & 44. He then flips to those pages and sees what he learned that day in the gym about the snatch from or technique.
I know Crazy organized!!
The Workout Journal Benefit:
Your workout journal is your own to use however you want. I just recommend you keep one where you can look back and see how you have progressed, or declined. Maybe what you are doing now is not working as well for you as what you were doing in the past. It is a huge help and has helped me know when to stop some programming I have started or to keep going. A lot of time saved.
Do you use a journal?