Using a workout logbook has a load of benefits, if you’re hitting plateaus or struggling to stick to a routine with your training then maybe it’s time to start tracking. Here are 8 benefits of using a workout logbook:
- Overcome plateaus
By keeping track of your weights and reps you’ll be able to identify when you’re hitting a plateau. Once you reach the point where you can’t progress the reps or weights on an exercise it is time to change it up. You might do this by changing the stimulus eg. replace flat bench for incline bench for a period. You could change up the rep scheme eg. change to a hypertrophy phase (8-12 reps) following a strength phase (1-5 reps).
We can all suffer with motivation at times, so looking back at your progress to see how far you’ve come can be a real motivator. You may not remember a year from now what you were squatting, so keeping track of progress will help to keep future you motivated. A reminder of what your past and current goals are and how they have changed over time can serve as motivation too. You may have started out training with a weight loss goal, now be working towards a performance goal.
3. Track your progress
The main reason to use a logbook…to log your progress. No one can remember how much they lifted on every set on every lift the week before, so having it in black and white in front of you helps to keep track of what you should be aiming for this week. If you’re following a program then this is even more key because a well structured progressive overload program will need to see gradual increases over time.
If you don’t have someone else holding you accountable then doing it for yourself can be a challenge. Just the psychological impact of knowing it is written in your logbook, and that you shouldn’t miss that session can really help to keep yourself accountable.
5. Goal setting
Having your goals written down with a structured approach of how to achieve them can make it far easier to stick to the plan and eventually realise your goals. Breaking your long term goals down into shorter timeframes can help here too, a logbook enables you to have daily, weekly and monthly goals, helping you to progress through small chunks at a time towards your main goal.
If you lead a busy life trying to balance work, family and a fitness routine then you need to be efficient with your time. Using a workout logbook enables you to be more efficient with your time and make the most out of each workout. We’ve all been there where we don’t have a plan for a workout and we spend far too much time contemplating what to do, then looking at our phones between exercises, then an hour has passed and we haven’t achieved much.
Having a plan written out in your logbook will help to keep you committed. Leaving it to how you feel on the day or allowing temptations to creep in will take you off course. You’re more likely to say no to going to the pub with your mates in place of your workout if it’s written down and planned for.
8. Ease of use
It is so easy to quickly jot down your reps and weights in our handy logbooks that there is no reason not to. With all the benefits above why wouldn’t you take a few seconds to keep track of your numbers after each set?!
How to track
There are a number of apps that do a great job such as Nike+, MapMyFitness and Bodyspace, another article to follow summarising the best apps.
If you have the budget for it then maybe a fitness tracker is for you. Apple watch, Garmin, Whoop, Fitbit all offer great products at a range of price points, check out our article comparing them here.
The last (and in our opinion, the best) option is the good old fashioned logbook. We have conveniently sized A6 logbooks for sale for just £5, you can buy one here.