When the new year comes around most people make a resolution or two and abandon them within a week. That’s not me and I hope not you either.
I find the new year is always a time for reflection as well as forward planning. And I spend significant time doing those things. Seriously, right now there’s a list of several plans on a wide variety of topics (life, business, fitness and more) that I need to get done in the next couple weeks.
Why do this?
Well, as the saying goes “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That’s enough reason for me to do the planning.
But today I want to talk about reflection. And I ain’t talking about looking at yourself in the mirror.
The very first lesson in my Keys to Successful Training Course is to keep a workout journal. Without this key tool you will not get very far. The primary use of this is to know what you did in your last workout and what you need to do to beat it, and thus make progress.
But another use is going back over the year (or whatever time period you want). You can look at what your most productive periods of training were. You can find where your weak points lie.
Training is a continually adapting creature. One workout is never exactly the same as another. Because there are so many factors involved you will have times of great progress and others where you’re not gaining (or even sliding back!).
By consulting your workout training journal you can see what the patterns where. Every single person is different and you’ll find what works best for you. Which exercises, which set and rep schemes, different methods of strength and conditioning and more.
When you have this knowledge you are better prepared to move forward in the future.
Your homework is to do just what I’ve said. Post your comments below on what you find.
And if you aren’t keeping a workout journal START NOW! You can thank me later.
P.S. Another important aspect of success is to get coaching from those who can do what you want to do. On that note I’ll be interviewing one of my mentors, as far as doing insane feats of strength goes, tomorrow night. Want to listen in and even ask your own questions? Go to Register for the Dennis Rogers call here.
I have kept a journal and have written in a workout since Oct. 3rd. After looking them over Im amazed at the progress I have made and the continuing improvement in just about every exercise. For years I have written off and on workout after workout but never written for over 2 months straight. It is a big habit and it makes you more goal oriented then if you didn’t write anything at all. I was never big on writing a workout journal up until 2-3 months ago and now I love writing in my workouts. Anybody who wants to gain anything in fitness their first assignment should be to have a workout journal.
Great e-mail and right on the mark Logan! If there is one thing any lifter should do, it’s having a journal handy to record all activities.
I look mine over a few times each year and try to adjust things as I deem necessary. There is NO WAY I could remember PRs, sets, weights, etc if I didn’t have a journal.
Yes, it can be a pain to write down what you just did for a set. You are hurting, tired, sweating and sometimes ticked off, but doing it is a must to move forward. Who can remember how many reps they got at 155lb in the Mil Press two weeks ago… not me! But damn it if that little notebook of mine doesn’t have it listed right there along with an unwritten challenge to break it!
I like training for strength, incorporating Dinosaur training activities and just pushing myself and a journal is a must. Each session I try to improve on something (anything!) and my little Fat Notebook is really helpful.
Thanks for a great early week message, hope it convinces a few fellow lifters out there to go out and buy one!
Jason from Groton Massachusetts