Benefits Of Using A Workout Diary
Benefits Of Using A Workout Diary
You’ve finally got the motivation to start working out regularly and you really think you’re doing well. The trouble is, you don’t really see the results and you don’t really understand why. You’re exercising daily and you’re feeling great, but here and there, you may skip a workout. You then run into the problem of trying to remember did you skip your running day or your CrossFit day.
Stop playing the guessing game and start using a workout diary. A workout diary can help you in more ways then one and it’s not just for recording your workout. There are a number of benefits to using a workout diary and it won’t be long before you reap the rewards of using this important workout tool.
Be Honest With Yourself
When you just hit your various workout routines throughout the week, you can lie to everyone else and yourself about how intense the workouts really are. Even worse, how many times have you gone to the gym and just jumped from one exercise machine to the next? Keeping a diary keeps you honest with yourself. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks, but it will matter to you. Use the diary to not only keep track of what you’ve been doing, but also what you plan to do in the days and weeks ahead.
Discover What’s Holding You Back
In every workout regimen you’re bound to have your highs and lows. By keeping a workout diary, you’ll see what caused you to slump on your bad days and what motivated you on your good days. The bad days could be a result of stress at work, lack of sleep or illness. Good days could be a run with your dog. By recording your workouts and how you felt, you’ll identify anything that hinders you from doing your best and you may be able to avoid it in the future.
Helps You Set Goals
Are you training for a marathon, working out to get a beach body for summer or you just want an overall improvement of your health and fitness levels? Using a workout diary means you’ll be committing your goals to paper (or an app), you’ve set the wheels in motion. Once you do this, you’re more likely to stay focused. You can periodically check your progress against the deadline for your goals to ensure you stay on track.
Identify Your Patterns
Most professional fitness trainers will tell you that it’s important to alternate between days of rigorous training and days when you want to keep your workouts light. Record how you feel on these days as well as what you did. This way, you’ll identify patterns on how workouts of different intensities affect your body. Not only that, you’ll identify which days your energy levels are at the lowest or highest and you’ll be better equipped to adjust your workouts to suit those levels.
You’ll Work Harder
It’s hard to imagine that the simple act of recording your workouts in a diary can push you to your limits, but that’s exactly what happens when you use a workout diary. You’ll want to record some really good workouts so you’re more likely to work harder at them. This ties in with being honest with yourself. No one wants to write something lame like, “ran for 10 minutes”, so you’ll strive to do a lot more so you can write, “ran for an hour”. You’re also more likely to check last week’s workout and try to outperform yourself by doing just a little bit better each week.
Build Your Confidence
By keeping a record of your workouts and progress in a workout diary, you’re better able to see just how well you’re doing. When you see the improvements, your confidence builds. As you build your confidence, you’re not only more likely to stick with your workout plan, you’ll want to move on to more challenging workouts as well.
Release Your Frustrations
Not every workout session is going to go smoothly. Some days you may not be so motivated and other days you may encounter a machine hog at the gym that kept everyone waiting. Write down anything that happened before, during and after each workout session, including how you felt. This is a good way of releasing your frustrations so you get them off your chest without exposing your heart and your soul to people who will only see this as a weakness. This will also help you identify your triggers so you can avoid them. As an example, if the machine hog is on the Stairmaster at 14:00 every Thursday, you can switch your workout to another day and avoid a confrontation. It’s not about running from a battle, but maintaining your peace of mind.
You may or may not have a personal trainer available to you every day of the week and when you do workout with them, you don’t want to waste precious time going through all the details of the week’s workouts that passed. By using a workout diary, you can bring it along with you when you are working with your personal trainer and they can have a look through the details while you do your workout with them. They can also then see what seems to be challenging you and what isn’t and modify your workout to help you improve even more.
It’s Great For Reflection
When you reach your fitness goals, it’s easy to forget how bad things used to be. By keeping a workout diary, you can see just how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked. You’ll also be able to reflect on the positives and negatives of your fitness journey and use this information to help others. Sharing is caring, after all.
Keeping a workout diary doesn’t need to included pages and pages of written information and you don’t even need to use a notebook and paper. If you prefer using an app on your smartphone, do so. Anything that works for you and keeps you motivated is worth the effort.