Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Record Your Workouts for Best Results

The first gym I ever joined, members were given a workout chart listing all their exercises. Each workout, we recorded the weights used and reps completed. Or, at least I did because that's what you were supposed to do. :-)

So, when I chose a career in fitness, I was surprised at the number of people who never charted their workouts. If you are one of them, you shouldn't be because the few minutes it takes is well worth the effort. Studies have shown that those who record their workouts make better progress than those who don't.

You may think, jeez, we're talking about exercise here, not medicine or rocket science. I have my routine memorized. Why can't I just do it and get it over with? Well, you can but if you want to see better and faster results, you'll keep track.

Knowing what you accomplished last time should be a motivator to at least match it or, even better, to beat it by one or more reps. Winging it gives your mind too much power. How many times have you thought, "Boy, those 8 reps were tough!" Except that had you been keeping track, you would have known that in your previous two workouts, you did 10 reps and most likely you could have physically done that many or more today.

Tracking also helps you know when to increase your resistance. Without a workout record, you're more likely to wait far too long to up your weights- definitely an issue for many exercisers.

Regardless of your primary goal- fat loss, strength, endurance, muscle building, etc. you need to challenge your body to make substantial changes. Mindlessly going through your routine is better than doing nothing but will result in mediocre changes.

If you haven't tracked your workouts in the past, start today. Some people track all kinds of information like how they felt, etc. but make sure you at least record:

* Date

* What exercises you did

* How many sets of each

* How much weight you used

* How many reps you completed of each exercise.


No comments: