You’ve printed your regular workout plan. You’ve bought your too-expensive protein bars. You’ve set your quantifiable goals. You’re more prepared to get fit than you were prepared to take the SATs, if you’re being honest with yourself.
So why aren’t you succeeding as quickly as you thought you would? If you’ve been blaming it on the gods, genetics, or those pricey protein bars, you could be right—but we think the answer is a little more obvious.
What you’re missing is a way to easily and reliably track your workouts. In fact, we think there’s a workout journal out there that’s waiting to be your secret weapon. No really, hear us out.
Sixteen Going On...Twenty?
To be honest, we can barely remember what we did yesterday, let alone how many squats we did at the gym. We may have squatted 10 reps of 225 pounds or 5 reps of 265 pounds—who knows?
Accountability is important when you’re trying your best to reach your fitness goals. When you cut edges with a program, the results simply aren’t as good. Soon, you’ll be rounding 4.75 miles to 5 miles, then when the morning of your 10k arrives, you’ll realize that you can only run a mere 5.5 miles without collapsing.
Even if your numbers don’t slide that much, it’s important to be able to remember the progress made during your last workout so you can set a goal for your next one. If you don’t remember exactly how many pull-ups you did last week, how can you set an honest goal for yourself this week?
With a journal built specifically to track your workouts, you’ll be able to hold yourself accountable, making sure you’re sticking to your program and achieving the right amount of progress each week.
The Fitness Trifecta
You’ve probably heard this before, but here’s a reminder: sleep and nutrition are incredibly important to your workouts (and your overall health, of course). These two factors can mean the difference between a successful workout program and one that leads to unimpressive gains.
Of course, a notebook isn’t going to help you sleep better or stop you from downing a second piece of apple pie. But if you have a journal that provides a place to track not only your workouts but also any notes about nutrition and sleep, you can begin to review your overall health and spot trends that you wouldn’t have noticed before.
And once you know that when you eat a banana in the morning you have more endurance during a run or that an early bedtime one night leads to more weight lifting capacity the next day, you’ll be able to optimize your workout program even more.
Foil Your Facebook Habit
It’s true: there are excellent smartphone apps that can track your workouts for you. But here’s the thing; getting on your phone is always distracting. How many times have you gotten on your phone between sets and ended up on Facebook for ten minutes?
In fact, it’s scientifically proven that texting while at the gym negatively affects your workout. And who isn’t going to quickly answer a message from last night’s date or drinking buddy if it pops up while you’re typing out the number of reps you just completed?
In order to improve your focus at the gym, you need to turn on your favorite Spotify playlist and ignore your phone’s more social features. That’s where a workout journal comes in to save the day—it’s a screen-free way to track your progress without getting distracted.
Your Pocket-Sized Cheerleader
Best of all, workout journals are an excellent source of motivation.
What’s more satisfying than flipping through dozens of pages of completed workouts?
Personally, we find the best thing to do when we’ve had a sub-par day in the middle of a workout program is to flip back to day one. There’s nothing more reassuring than seeing how far you’ve come.
Sound like a workout journal may be what your fitness program is missing? Grab one of the highest-rated options on the market today.