3 Reasons Why Workout Journals Will Help You

GOALS

“Proper Preperation Prevents Poor Performance” – Charlie Batch

We’re all in it to win it, right? Strength. Health. Prosperity. Goals. It’s no secret exercise and physical fitness will help get us there faster.

TMI

Here in the “Information Age,” we are deluged daily with news, updates, ads, pop-ups, and a barrage of stuff we definetly could have done without. (Why the fish gape selfie, I just don’t know) With practicly everything we’d ever want to know at our fingertips, knowledge is power. But sifting through it all can be exhausting. I know I am constantly learning what to keep and file away, and what to simply block out.

Our own data 

I do like my stats and statistics. When it comes to working out, I don’t like my data up in the clouds. I like it right in front of me. Workout logs are beneficial for several reasons. If I had to offer a thesis I’d narrow it down:

3 Reasons Why Workout Journals Will Help You

Goals

1. Take the guess work out. 

Going to the grocery store list in hand, I know exactly what I need and can breeze in and out with relatively no issues. The gym is no exception.

I like to know exactly what my workout will be each session. Allowing for busy, peak times (Yes, “How many more sets do you have?” is annoying) the order of the workout may vary, but at least I have a clear idea of what the mish is.

2. Benchmark yourself

Just like I do for every client, I detail my own progress. With the last week’s rep counts and the projected counts, you have a clear way to see what to beat. And it’s not the “Bruh” next to you. Focus on you.

Goals

Arnold Schwarzeneggar once said, “The last 3 or 4 reps is what makes the muscles grow.”  So keep track of them.

3. Staying focused

Let’s be honest, keeping our “eye on the prize” all the time ain’t always that easy. Perhaps for some highly skilled, lasered – focused overachievers it is. But for some of us amongst the general populace, we need all the help we can get.

I still use loose leaf, 1 subject notebooks kept in a worn out binder. I don’t know call me old school, but it works. I have plenty of room for “notes to self.”

Goals

Next time you go to workout take a pad a pen. If someone asks you what your doing, reply:

“Bench marking myself.”

 

Quote for the Day

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“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it” – Lena Horne

Sometimes the heavy burdens of life seem, well, heavy. But we hold our heads high, shoulders back, straighten our stance and carry on. It is essential for growth and success.

Form and Technique

The proven benefits of regular exercise are numerous. One of the most important is that of clearing the mind. Once you get the heart rate up and endorphins going, the worries of life seem to fly right out of the head – at least for the time being – and you are free to think about whatever it is you want to think about. My kind of life.

I’ve always said I do some of my best brainstorming while walking. There are always going to be stressors of some kind. But it’s how we handle them that matters.

The King of Exercise

A staple in any strength training routine is “The Mighty Squat”, a serious compound movement exercise requiring laser focus and utilizing multiple muscle groups. It requires a strong stance, shoulders back, and a determination like no other.

Whether it be in the squat rack or in life, proper form is key.

Do you have the desire?

“Be as you wish to seem” – Socrates

mo • ti • va • tion
noun

  • the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Physical fitness means different things to different people. I particulary like the second half of that definition: “The desire or willingness”. Perhaps you want to lose a few pounds for the upcoming epic spring break. Maybe you have a wedding to prepare for. Or did the doctor tell you it was in your best interest to start an exercise regimen?

I just want to look and feel better about myself.

Honesty is the best policy

The more I work with individuals, I continue to strive harder and harder to understand the reasons people find not to stick to an exercise regimen.

Here’s why: In todays day and age of modern technology and various social media platforms, I find it truly amazing that the average person, which studies have shown, spends an average of three (3) hours a day on facebook, continues to try and explain why they cannot dedicate three hours a week improving their body, mind, and spirit.

Sound harsh?

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life” – Socrates

Ask me no questions

Be as you wish to seem

While I do not expect everyone to become a fitness fanatic, I do hope that as our culture moves further into the new millinium, regular exercise becomes as important as “checking in” and status updates.

Ancient logic

The GREEKS, with whom I am fascinated with and spend a great deal of time researching, discussing, and quoting believed that a strong body equalled a strong mind. I speak often on how much better I feel mentally after a great workout. If I am too tired after a long day, which happens, and I cannot make it to the gym, I don’t freak out. However, I do make it up. I find a time in my schedule – later.

In the section here entitled MOTIVATION, I try to show ways to help find and keep “the desire and willingness.”  Way’s to incorporate various forms of exercise in your life.

And who knows, perhaps feel better about yourself at the same time.

 

Training Wisdom 101

Smart
Smart Power in politics is a term used in reference to the combination of using both military strength and diplomacy. There is also S.M.A.R.T. Business. An acronym that stands for:

S-pecific

M-eaningful

A-djustable

R-eachable

T-imely

But this isn’t a political piece, nor business acumen. It’s about exercise, physical fitness, and reaping the rewards of hard work.That being said, the same acronym above is used in Fitness Training. The key to success in anything is a well thought out plan. Charlie Batch, a NFL quarterback once said, “Proper preparation prevents poor performance”.

Document it

I still carry a Top Flight, college rule notebook and pen into the gym for every workout. In today’s day and age a bit archaic I’m sure, however I do not use an app to document my workout, and suffice it to say, don’t believe that to be the case with the majority of people on the gym floor with their phones either. But’s that not for me to criticise nor judge.

I use my device at the gym for it’s stopwatch. I’ve always been a very detail – oriented person but suffer from serious ADD So I log what muscle group I’m working, the exercises, the amount of reps/sets, the order in which I do them etc.

Bench Press Bench Mark

I use this information to not only plan my next workout, but to chart my progress….in four (4) and six (6) week intervals.  And then I adjust accordingly as I go.

Modus operandi

To me, training smarter also includes paying close attention to form and technique. And not just for the obvious. Safety first, and learning to check your ego at the door, is crucial. Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“Walk softly and carry a big stick”.

This isn’t a rant either, but I feel it important to point out I do not feel the need to swing, yank, jerk, or slam heavy weight around to let out my inner beast. So often I see really, really bad form. Training smarter also means understanding fundamentals like proper form and how stimulating muscle fibers helps them grow. Targeting the muscle with pinpoint precision isn’t easy, but much like riding a bicycle – once you master it, it’s there.

Time sensitive

Smart

The greek philosoher Aristotle said, “Patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” We all want progress, gains, the pay off and the gold watch. In an age of instant everything it is important to remind ourselves (and not let it discourage us) that results take time. Set a date. “By tbe end of January I will have increased my squat by x.” “By my birthday I will have lost 15 pounds.” It is amazing how the closer the big day comes, the more determined we get at working towards it. Sometimes those little tricks work better than any preworkout ever could.

It can be done. Be smart. Be patient.