by Matt Weik
Are you the type of person who goes to the gym without a plan? Sure, you know what body parts you’re going to hit, but you have no idea what exercises you’ll use or how much weight you plan on pushing? If so, you’re probably the type of person who has been going to the gym for years and still looks the same. You need a workout log.
Now, what was just said may be a tough pill to swallow, but more times than not, the people who aimlessly go through their workouts without a plan rarely ever see the best results from their training. Why is that? It’s simple, they lack just about every aspect of what I’m going to touch on below in this article.
If you’re the type of person who isn’t seeing maximum results from their training, it’s time to grab yourself a workout log and start seeing the results you desire. Below, I’m going to lay out seven reasons why you should be using a workout log if you want to build muscle and look your best.
1. Lack of Memory
Don’t take this as a personal attack, but you probably can’t remember everything you did in the gym the prior week. Do you know the exercises, weight, reps, sets, rest periods? And not a guesstimate. I’m talking about 100% accuracy. Don’t worry, I can’t remember either. I have a great memory, it’s just short. With a workout log, you can look back at what you did in the prior workouts to ensure you are progressing. “Close enough” only works in horseshoes and grenades.
2. Inspiration & Motivation
If you’re losing motivation in the gym, it’s probably because you don’t have a goal in place. You aren’t tracking anything, and therefore, you aren’t seeing any progress. With a workout log, you can look back and see that your bench went up a certain amount of weight, or your squat, deadlift, etc. When you can see actual results, it’s easier to stay motivated and inspired to keep pushing yourself in the gym versus just going through the motions.
3. Progressive Overload
Are you not seeing any progress from your training? It’s probably because you’re not progressively overloading the muscles. You need to push them harder than last time. If you benched 225 for 10 reps every week for the past month, you’re not really progressing. Next workout, push for 12 reps or try increasing the weight 5-10 pounds. You want to put your muscles under greater stress than your previous workouts if you want change to happen. And an easy way to ensure you keep overloading the muscle is by tracking everything in a workout log.
4. Plan Your Workouts
Not only can you save time when you plan your workouts, but you have a guide as to what needs to get accomplished each workout. Walking into the gym without a plan is never a good plan. In fact, you’re probably just moving weight around without actually doing much of anything. When you plan your training through the use of a workout log, you can ensure you know what you’re doing each workout, the weight you need to use, the rep range, and the number of sets. You plan to fail when you fail to plan. Get it?
Everything in life is a numbers game. From your health to your business, to [fill in the blank with whatever you want here]. To see any sort of progress in your life and workouts, you need a tracking system. Through the use of a workout log, you have the means of tracking your workouts to see how your weights, reps, and sets are progressing to ensure you are “on track” to hit your goals (whatever they may be). I understand it may not be “convenient” to write everything down. But would you rather see results or be lazy? The choice is yours.
A workout log is a great way to hold yourself accountable. You’re putting yourself on the hook and on notice for the workout that is ahead of you. When you keep a workout log, it’s harder to sandbag your workouts and not put forth the effort needed to push yourself closer to your goals. Putting your goals down in your workout log and striving to achieve them can shift your mindset into ensuring you get your butt in the gym and use the blueprint you created in your workout log to move yourself closer to the results you desire. After all, what’s the point of going to the gym and spending all that time there if you don’t have a goal in mind or something you’re looking to accomplish?
7. Better Results
It’s almost impossible not to see the results you’re looking for when using a workout log. As long as you’re progressively overloading your muscles and following the plan you laid out for each workout, you should be seeing progress from your training unless your diet is a complete disaster. Also, if you aren’t using a workout log to track your progress, how do you even know if you’re moving forward? For all you know, you could be regressing (which would be devastating).
All in all, do yourself a favor. If you aren’t using a workout log, either go online and invest in one or do a simple Google search for free templates that you can download or print out. When you start implementing a workout log into your training sessions, the results may be hard to ignore when you look at yourself in the mirror. You’ll thank me later.