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Keep a Journal

Last week I explained how I had found a cure to my deadlift blues. I had a horrible deadlift workout last Monday and I needed a solution. So, I got out some of my workout journals and specifically looked for times when my deadlift was at its best.

What specifically had I been doing at times when my deadlift was at its best? The answer was found in my journals.

I have been keeping workout journals since my early teens so I have roughly 35 years of workouts written down. Even when I am not looking for a specific workout or progression I like to look back over what I’ve done. Sometimes when doing this I will run across a forgotten exercise, workout, rep sequence or other workout element that I was very successful with.

After 35 years it is very hard to remember everything I have done. In my case I train many clients throughout the week and even remember my own workout front he previous week can be difficult. This is where a workout journal comes into play.

I have always liked to chart progress. To have something concrete in front of me that I can look at to gauge progress.

You don’t need a fancy leather bound, gold leafed book to record your workouts. Any notebook will due but if you plan on keeping it long term a notebook of better quality is recommended.

I also recorded my diet, cardio, and body weight along the way. I wrote down whether I was sick or on vacation or trained at a strange gym. Maybe I used a new piece of equipment that I felt really helped my workout. Maybe I wasn’t able to bench press because there wasn’t anyone to spot me. I would make note of this. Then when I looked back I would see why I had jumped from a board press to a dumbbell press the next week.

As a personal trainer it allows me to draw from my successes and failures and to pass this knowledge on to my clients. Then they don’t have to go through all the mistakes I did as I learned to work out.

So, do yourself a favor an start keeping a workout journal. You can fill it in after your workout if you are doing a fast paced workout or in between sets if you have longer rest periods. The benefits to recording your successes and failures are numerous and continued growth in your workout endeavors will be your reward