Keep a fitness journal to track your workouts? Adding these 2 important sections will change the way you approach your workouts AND help you meet your goals!
Two Sections You Need To Add To Your Fitness Journal
Good Morning! Happy Monday! I’ll share a 5 day weekend update at the end of the post, but first, let’s talk fitness journals.
Do you keep one? Do you find it beneficial? I’ve gone through difference phases when it comes to fitness journals. When I first got into strength training, I kept track of all my workouts – moves and weight – in a little notebook, to help me track progress each week. When I wasn’t lifting, I kept of workouts on sheets of paper (stuffed in multiple workout notebooks!) and based my weight selection on memory.
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Lately, my fitness journal has taken on a new look. I added two sections that have really been game changers: a GOALS section and a WORKOUT RECAP section.
The GOALS Section
I’m a firm believer in goals, especially small, behavioral goals that help on the journey to a larger goal. When I decided to get back into lifting again, I knew that I’d get caught up in the end goal and needed something daily, that would put my mind in the right place. After I write the date on my journal page, the next thing I pen is a goal for the workout.
In order to come up with a goal, I take a few things into consideration:
- how I’m feeling that day
- what things could distract me during the workout
- my outcome goal
Sometimes my GOAL for a single workout is a weight based. I’m currently working on doing a 225# sumo deadlift by December 31. Obviously, I need to increase my weight each week in order to do 225#, so some days, the GOAL might be related to increasing my weight for a certain rep range. I’ve found that when I write out the weight I want to hit, I often hit it and/or exceed it. I’m in competition with myself – my favorite kind!
Alternatively, my goal might be mindset related: to not letting my stressful day at work get in the way of my workout. Or a one liner pep talk to myself: ‘Crush your weight goal and lift heavy shit like a boss’. I’ve found that setting a simple workout goal gets my mind in the right place and helps me to make the most of my workouts.
Now, let’s be honest here, writing the goal doesn’t always work. I can go into the workout with the right mindset and something shifts my mood. The results might not be the workout I’d hoped. Everyone has tough days. That’s why the WORKOUT RECAP section is so important.
Related: 3 Ways to Structure Your Next Strength Training Workout
The WORKOUT RECAP Section
After each workout, I usually write a few sentences about the workout. If the workout wasn’t so good, I’ll write what my challenges were. This has ranged from: I let my stressful day creep in and it threw my lifting off, I didn’t eat enough and felt really low energy, I got in my head about my squat weight and second guessed myself. If I have a solid and awesome workout, I’ll write a few lines about how I feel, what parts of the workout were good and what I’m looking forward to for the next workout. I’ll also jot down a good challenge, how my muscles feel and/or something I want to work on for next time.
For example, I’m having trouble upping my squat weight. I realized I was doing the same thing I used to do with my deadlifts and let my nerves get in the way of progressing. That leads to me overthinking form and just not performing well. So, since my last squat day, I’ve made sure to add in some mobility work and focus on some tempo squats. I’ve played with foot position with just bodyweight or lightly weighted squats to make sure I’m in a position that feels good. I also recorded the heaviest weight I did with good form last squat day. Rather than regress back to a lower weight, post warm-up, I’m planing on starting at the heavier weight and going from there. And using the WORKOUT RECAP section to record how it felt.
Related: Drawing the Line Between Listening to Your Body and Making Excuses
The other thing I love about keeping this type of journal is that it gives my workouts a purpose and helps me remember why I’m working out. It’s so easy to get caught up in working out just to ‘work out’. Writing out your goals and your thoughts about a workout can also help you get a handle on the types fo workouts you enjoy.
Because I love y’all so much and strongly believe that adding these two sections to your fitness journal will change your life. Yes, your life. I’ve created a printable PDF for you to try it out. If you like it, create these sections in your own fitness journal!
DOWNLOAD IT or Click the Graphic![bctt tweet=”Grab a free fitness journal download and start meeting your goals! #fitfluential @fitlfuential ” username=”burpees4bfast”]
Soooo, how was your Thanksgiving weekend?! Please tell me all about it in the comments. Here’s 5 days worth for me:
Wednesday: DAY OFF! I was so pumped to have 5 full days off work! I started my day off with a dentist appoinment, which was way better than expected – no cavities. I haaaattteee the dentist. After, I headed out to run some errands and pick up last minute Thanksgiving meal items. The Hubs and I headed to the gym for squat day and when we got home, I found out he picked up a dishwasher! The contractor came to install it after the gym, which mean waiting for a shower and lunch. They ended up having to cut off part of our countertop, move our sink over a few inches and then, install the dishwasher. Now, we need a new countertop, but our dishwasher is installed and works great! I spent a couple hours prepping food, before heading to dinner with The Hubs’ best friend’s family, and coming back home to finish cooking.
Thursday: I was up and ready, with the car packed before 8:45am. I wanted to leave at 9, to make it to my parents house in time to watch the parade. The Hubs, of course, took forever to get out of bed and we left 15 minutes late! I always gotta pad his time these days! We got to my parents around 9:45am. I promptly made coffee and we sat to watch the parade/finish up prep. Lunch was so tasty and I ate just enough to be satisfied. After lunch, we played Mafia. My oldest youngest brother LOVES the game and narrating. We’ve played the last 2 years at Christmas and Thanksigving, but he still had to explain how to play the game. He usually takes what feels like 10 minutes to explain, however, this year, he cut it down to 2-3 minutes. Good job, bro. The Hubs was killed first, followed by me. There are only 2-3 people that really know how to play the game – as in, they will accuse people and such. Everyone else just kills the first person accused – me – for no real reason. It was still fun and after one round, we popped in our traditional movie – White Christmas – and ate dessert. We ran by The Inlaws on the way home and got pie, which I ate on my second viewing of White Christmas!
Friday: I got up, made a pot of coffee and settled into Gilmore Girls. My Friday consisted of Gilmore Girls, getting the tree, a quick Target trip for ornament hooks, which I somehow dropped and didn’t buy, decorating the tree and eating leftovers. The Hubs watched a few minutes of most of the episodes with me too. So, if you’ve watched – THOUGHTS? I was totally suprised by the last 4 words, but then as I thought through the 4 episodes, it all made sense. I LOVED the new epsisodes. They were current, but still so nostalgic. I want to watch them again!
Saturday: Gym time first thing in the morning. PR’d my conventional deadlift at 175#. After, we got ready for a shopping day, but stopped for about 25-30 minutes to talk to the Inlaws at the local coffee shop. I’d planned to be out until around 3pm. The Hubs doesn’t mind shopping, but he gets tired after a few hours. We hit up some stores, looking for pants for him and a coat for me. I did some damage at Athleta and he did damage at Lululemon (I tried on the most comfiest pair of leggings that I’m REALLY hoping to get for my birthday!). We ate lunch for free, thanks to a year old gift card that needed to be used. We ran past Target and were on track to be home around 3:30pm, when The Hubs asked to go to another mall to find jeans!! I was super suprised, but we went and shopped. He left with 2 pair of jeans and I got a coat for $50. Y’all, it’s so bloody warm, with thumb holes! Such a deal! When we got home, I expected him to play games with his bros or be lazy, but he cleaned out his closet/dresser, played fashion show for me with some of his old clothes, moved some of the boxes/junk in the laundry room and unloaded the dishwasher. It was freaking awesome. I just sat and watched Friends and painted my nails.
Sunday: Woke up with some Jesus time, made a list of some items we need to get for Christmas, went to get coffee, typed this post, watched a new Hallmark movie on Youtube, reorganized the laundry room, did some laundry and made a Goodwill run with The Hubs.
Whew, long weekend and long recap! I’ve also been listening to copious amounts of Christmas music. ANNNNDDD, it’s only 8 days til my BIRTHDAY! Y’all I LOVE this time of the year!
So, tell me:
Do you keep a fitness journal?
How was your Thanksgiving weekend?