So, I talked about setting goals and writing them down to make sure you see them every day. Then I wrote about making a plan and sticking to it and only adjusting it when needed. Now that all that has been said, here is the part my wife gets on to me about often. You need to keep a log of your activities. Why do this you may ask? You need to be able to look back and see what is going on from month to month.
The log does not have to be some high tech thing you bought from the internet that cost you your last month’s salary. I use one of the many free computer based programs to track my endurance training. This allows me to log my swims, bike rides and runs using all the data that can be gathered using heart rate monitors, gps, power meters, etc. It is important that when I download my information, I remember to add in notes about things like how I felt, what I ate or drank, or anything else that I think is significant on that particular day. It is important to go back periodically and take a look at the data to make sure that things are going according to plan. It can be so helpful to be able to see your progress, or to acknowledge the lack of progress and figure out what is going on. If you are having an issue, having good solid data to look at can save the day.
My wife logs her strength training workouts and while I do make note of doing strength training, I am bad about being as thorough as she is. When it comes to strength training it is important to record the date and time, exercise, reps, sets, and amount of weight. This is important so you can analyze the data over a period of time to see if you are improving or not. Logging the exercises as you go makes sure that they are in order, which is important. My wife likes to start with the shoulder press on shoulder day, but we were doing a new plan that had us doing it second, after incline bench press, and the weight she was able to put up on the shoulder press was significantly lower than usual. When you’re always striving to do more, it is important to see why you’re not. It’s easy to get discouraged, but accurate record keeping can help remind an athlete of the progress they are making, and that their perceived lack of progress is in their head! As far as the reps, sets, and weights, it can be hard to go back and try to remember, so it just makes sense to write it down as you go.