The Benefits of Keeping a Training Diary
Most people who work out regularly do so without any type of plan. They go to the gym at the alotted time and work their way through a few exercise machines, do a few crunches, and then finish up with a run on the treadmill. Granted, this is far superior to the person sitting on their couch watching reruns of “Friends,” but the individual might not be getting the full benefits of their workout. There is no doubt that they are burning some calories and probably even building some muscle. The training diary is a simple tool that has helped many people get the most out of their workouts.
A training diary allows the person to create and follow a specific work out regimen. The reason that most people do not see the progress or the gains that they desire is because they are working out without a plan. If, for example, someone is trying lose some weight, they need to focus their workouts towards reaching that goal. The first thing that the person should do is weigh themselves, preferably in the morning before they have eaten. They would enter that weight onto the page where they are going to record their day’s workout. If the individual is a member at a gym that offers bodyfat screening, this number can be obtained and recorded as well.
For someone trying to drop a few pounds, it is very important that they work out in a way that is going to burn the maximum number of calories. An example of this type of workout might be to start with ten minutes of cardio work on a tread mill, eliptical machine, or a stationary bike. If the gym has equipment set up in a circuit, the individual would then complete one circuit. The training diary comes in as the person records the amount of weight and the number of repetitions that they perform at each machine. The reason for writing it down is that the individual will know exactly what weight to start at the next time they work out. It might take a couple of sessions to find the optimum weight to use for each machine.
After completing a circuit of the weight machines, the person would then do ten more minutes of cardio work. This would be followed by another circuit on the exercise machines. A final ten minutes of cardio work would complete the workout. Another circuit and another ten minutes of cardio could be added. This is an excellent fat burning workout. Writing down the exercises, weight lifted, repetitions, and the amount of cardio will allow the person to track their progress.
For someone who is working out to get stronger and building muscle mass, a plan is even more important. It is important that the training routine be change every six to eight weeks. A training diary allows the person to monitor their workout plan. For example, if the person is working their chest and biceps out together on the same day, their back and triceps on another, their shoulders and traps together, and then their legs on another day, they would write down which exercises they performed and the amount of weight that they used.
After six to eight weeks, this routine could be changed to where chest and shoulders were worked together, back and traps, shoulders and bicps, and legs. Writing it down will help the person remember how much weight was used and how many repetitions were performed. If someone is trying to get stronger and build more muscle, it is important that they are constantly pushing themselves to lift heavier weights. The training diary is essential to keep up with their progress.
A training diary is also a place where someone can write down their fitness goals. There is a power in putting a goal down on paper. Writing, “I want to drop two pants sizes in the next three months” is much more powerful than just thinking it. Someone else might write a goal of, “I will bench press my body weight within six months.” Whatever it is, writing the goal where it can be seen provides additional motivation to workout.
If used properly, a training diary can be a wonderful tool to help people reach their fitness goals. It serves to help the individual stay on track and stay motivated. Probably the most important thing a training diary does, however, is force the person to develop a plan so that they will ultimately get the most out of their workouts.
Annie and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches throughout the country. We would love to have you on our team. Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!