The One Thing Missing From Your Workout Plan
The best workout plan is the one that works. That statement is kind of right to the point, isn’t it? I know I’m making things pretty cut and dry, but it’s true: a training plan is all about self –improvement and if you put 6 weeks of hard work into something, you better come out with the outcome to show for it. A lot of people go to the gym, but what makes a good workout plan standout is the level of results that you get.
So how do you know if you’re getting results? Without a doubt, the most important thing that I tell people is to keep good books. You should treat your workouts like your finances: solid record keeping means that you have collected your own data to see what works and what doesn’t. I meet a lot of clients who can tell me that at one point in their life they managed to lose ten pounds or ran a marathon– but they have no idea how they heck they did it.
I recommend buying a simple notebook to write your workouts down. Yes, that’s really archaic and digital is all the rage, but the notebook will always be there come hell or high water. When you’re in a rush and you need to write your workout down in a hurry the last thing you need to deal with is a slow loading time or a low battery.
So what should you write down? I would date each entry and couple it with a count of how many days and weeks you’ve been doing this whole workout thing. The weeks can fly by, so you want to make sure that you’re not going past an 8 week window of doing the same routine over and over again.
Along with that, I say open the flood gates and write down everything: sets, reps, the weight you lifted, mileage you ran, pace time, etc etc. Call that stuff “objective data.” I would also record how you felt during the workout and immediately after: was it too easy, did you feel incredibly wiped out afterwards – things like that. If you’re in the second week of your program and you keep making the note of “threw up after workout,” it might be a good idea to modify things.
Lastly, you want to throw in exactly what you’re tracking and trying to accomplish: so those wanting to increase muscle mass should track their weight and measurements. A runner would want to track their mile time, or what their latest 5K is. You get the point: but the magic happens when you review the log every few weeks to see if you’re making progress or not. If progress is happening, you know you’re on the right road. The worse-case scenario that can happen is that you’re not getting any results but your record keeping will tell you why.
Think record keeping isn’t important? Think again – it can make a mediocre workout plan into on the of best workout plans.