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Keeping a training diary

When people see me walking around the gym with a note pad and a pen, the reaction is almost always “what on earth is that for?” (made worse by the fact that my babe of a training partner - Kim - is sporting a matching note pad, because we’re cute like that). I can see how some people might think that writing down every workout is a lot of effort, but I swear by it. I’ve been keeping track of my workouts for just over two years (ever since I started training with Mark), here’s why.

Firstly, think of the last time you did some weight training. That may have been a few days ago or the other week, but even if it was yesterday, can you remember exactly how heavy each of your lifts were and how many reps you completed? I don’t know about you but I’d really struggle to remember if you asked me about a workout I’d completed last week, and since I do 4 different weight training sessions per week and will therefore only do each session once a week, don’t ask me to remember what weights I should be lifting. You get stronger by progressively overloading your muscles, so gradually making it harder by increasing the load or the number of reps. To make sure I continue progressing, I write everything down.

Sometimes I have days where everything just feels HEAVY (don’t we all?). So when that happens, I’ll make a note. I’ll drop the weights, get through the session, and try not to stress about it. The next time I come back to that session I’ll assess how I feel and take it from there, maybe that means flicking back a few weeks and building on those numbers.

I underline my PBs like a million times. BECAUSE THEY’RE PBS AND THEY DESERVE UNDERLINING! You could argue that you can do that in your head, but there’s just something so satisfying about doing it on paper- call me old school.

I now have two whole notepads full of past workouts, and every now and then I love to flick back and see how far I’ve come. Aside from a bit of an ego boost, it really motivates me when I’m feeling a bit weak or tired.

So I guess it is a bit of an effort, remembering to shlep it to the gym and always having a pen but I think it’s totally worth it.

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