5 Reasons To Keep A Training Log

“If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.”

Peter Drucker

basic program log

If you want to improve your performance, you MUST track it. This sounds like common sense because it is, but how many people do you see in the gym keeping a training log? Do you keep a training log? The difference between exercising and training is a training log.

 Here are the 5 Reasons You Should Keep a Training Log:

  1. It is what athlete’s do.
  2. It allows you to measure the effectiveness of your program.
  3. It will cause you to consistently train harder.
  4. Recording small wins helps to sustain motivation.
  5. It is your best tool for overcoming training plateaus.

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#1 It is what athlete’s do.

If you don’t keep a log, I would suggest you aren’t training; you are exercising. There is nothing wrong with exercising. You are still lapping everyone who’s sitting on the couch watching Netflix, but if you want to make progress, I suggest you train like an athlete. A large part of CrossFit’s effectiveness can be attributed to the tracking of personal records (PRs). When you are working out to improve performance by setting new PRs you are training like an athlete.

Athletes set performance goals and so should you. Instead of going to the gym with the vague goal of getting stronger and fitter, set quantifiable goals. For example, run a 7-minute mile or a five-pound increase in your five-rep maximum deadlift by the end of the month. fractional plates.PNGFractional plates allow you to break down your strength training goals even further. You can use ½ pound fractional plates to add 1-pound to the bar at a time. So instead of attempting to increase your deadlift by five pounds all at once, you can attempt to increase it by 1-pound each week. Most gyms do not have fractional plates, but my gym does. That is because I purchased them. I did not want to carry the plates to and from the gym, so I decided to risk the 33 dollars I paid for the plates and left them at the gym.

You can also break down your monthly cardio goals into smaller weekly goals. For example, you can increase your treadmill speed as little as 1/10th mile per hour (MPH) each week to reach your monthly goal. Small incremental improvements are easier to achieve and sustain. Progress by the yard is hard, but by the inch is a cinch.

The program I provide in my book encourages you to set performance goals around building your strength. Getting stronger makes daily activities easier, including biking up a hill or climbing stairs. Strength training helps you improve your performance on cardio-based activities. This is supported by a study, which concluded that heavy strength training improves running and cycling performance following prolonged submaximal work, in well-trained female athletes.[i]

Elite athletes are meticulous trackers. They track their training, their nutrition, and their sleep at a minimum. Some will track other metrics like their waking heartrate because a spike of 5 to 10 beats per minute, could be an indicator of overtraining or illness. Elite athletes track everything because they are serious about performance. If you want to improve your performance, keep a log.#2 It allows you to measure the effectiveness of your program.

Maintaining a training log allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your program by measuring your progress. Without a training log, you are essentially flying blind. Your training log will provide you with valuable insights. The more information you register in your log, the better. At a minimum, we should record:

  • our workout volume
  • our workout intensity
  • the number of hours sleep we get
  • the quality of our sleep (poor sleep can be a sign of overtraining)
  • the number of calories we consume
  • weekly average grams of macronutrients (protein grams at a bare minimum)
  • weekly bodyweight average

You will learn from your log, how much training volume you can effectively recover from. You will learn what training frequency yields the most progress. You will learn how long you can maintain a high level of effort before you need to a de-load week. A de-load is when you intentionally train at a lower intensity to promote recovery. You cannot maintain a peak level of training indefinitely. I suggest a de-load week every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on your ability to recover.

Everyone makes great progress when they first begin to train hard. I would not use your initial training program as a gauge for what works. The programs you follow after your first 6 to 12 months are a much better indicator of what works and what doesn’t. If you are making progress on your current workout routine than it is effective. I wouldn’t change things very much until your progress halts.

Q22

#3 It will cause you to consistently train harder.

I don’t maintain a log when I am recovering from a peak training cycle. When we keep a log, we naturally train harder. We’ll look at what we did last week, and we will challenge ourselves to do better. Maintaining a log helps to foster healthy competition with ourselves.

We naturally push harder when we track our performance. Not only will we push harder during our workouts, but we will also be more consistent. Recording an activity automatically modifies our behavior by making us more mindful of it. Recording our workouts will make us more aware of our workout consistency.

A log doesn’t lie. If we have been missing workouts or skipping leg days, the log will make it obvious. If we aren’t getting enough sleep or are eating too many calories, the log will make that clear.

#4 Recording small wins helps to sustain motivation

Natural bodybuilders and modern powerlifters go to the gym to set new PRs. They advocate avoiding muscle failure. They want to perform a goal number of repetitions on each set successfully. They want to build small wins. These small wins keep them motivated because each victory is another step closer to their goal. After all, our goal is to get bigger and stronger, not failure. Achieving these short-term goals generates the small wins we need to stay motivated during the pursuit of our long-term goals.

Using this philosophy, they have built an impressive amount of muscle. Powerlifters cycle their weights. For example, each week they might attempt to increase their three-repetition max (RM) slightly. If your three-rep max on the bench press was 185 pounds, and you could increase the weight just one pound each week, at the end of the year your new three RM would be 237 pounds. That would add an appreciable amount of muscle to your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It is much better to succeed with a one-pound increase than to fail with five. Fractional plates make these small increases possible.

#5 It is your best tool for overcoming training plateaus.

When we fail to make progress, the three areas to examine are our DIET, our TRAINING, and our RECOVERY. All of this information is contained in our training log. Without a log, we are relying on our memory. Not the most objective source of information. A log would be a lot more reliable source of information. “The palest ink is better than the best memory.” Chinese Proverb

If our goal is to gain muscle mass, and we have stopped making progress we would examine our log and determine if:

  • 1) we were eating enough calories and protein
  • 2) if we were getting enough sleep
  • 3) if we were training too much or too little
  • 4) if we were getting stronger
  • 5) if we needed a de-load week

As we gain muscle, we will need to continually increase the number of calories we consume to continue gaining weight. The reverse is generally true for weight loss. We might initially lose weight consuming 1,900 calories a day, but eventually, as our bodyweight decreases and approaches 170 pounds, we might need to consume fewer calories. I provide these numbers as an example. Everyone’s metabolism varies, that is why using the MyFitnessPal is a fantastic tool for determining how many calories we need to consume to gain or lose weight.

Our training log is our best tool for determining what we need to do to break through a training plateau. Without a training log, we are simply guessing.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Self-awareness is the first step in transformation. Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more Why a Natural Lifter Should Never Train Like Someone Using Steroids – How Naturals Should Train

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 Printed Book Cover

Book Available on AMAZON [Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook]

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #naturalbodybuilding#traininglog #workoutlog

[i] Vikmoen O, Rønnestad BR, Ellefsen S, and Raastad T, “Heavy strength training improves running and cycling performance following prolonged submaximal work in well-trained female athletes,” Physiol Rep. 2017 Mar;5(5). pii: e13149. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13149.

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THE NO EQUIPMENT, NO EXCUSES WORKOUT

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt

If you want to start exercising here is a simple, workout you can do that doesn’t require any equipment. These workouts should take no more than 20 minutes to complete, but if you do them consistently, you will get results.

            I believe that everyone should do a combination of strength training and cardio training. Both improve our physical and mental performance. I have written about the surprising effects that regular exercise has on our mood, focus, and mental performance so I won’t go into detail here, but if you aren’t aware of the many benefits, check out The Habit: Week-3 (Morning Exercise) It’s for the Mind more than the Body!

            A great starter workout would be a two by two. Two strength training workouts, and two cardio workouts each week. If you want to make exercise a daily habit, you could go for a 20-30 minute walk on the other three days of the week. Example schedule:

Monday: Strength Training

Tuesday: Cardio Training

Wednesday: 20-30 minute walk (optional)

Thursday: Strength Training

Friday: Cardio Training

Saturday: 20-30 minute walk (optional)

Sunday: 20-30 minute walk (optional)

            Here is a simple, NO EQUIPMENT Strength Training Workout Circuit. I provide hyperlinks for each exercise.

Exercise Beginner Intermediate Advance
#1 Push-ups Feet Elevated Push-ups Dips between chairs
#2 Doorway Towel Rows Inverted rows under a table Pull-up using a door & towel
#3 Bulgarian Split Squat Bulgarian Split Squat with pause One Legged Jump Squats
#4 Hip Extensions One Legged Hip Extensions Single Leg Hip Thrust Jumps
#5 Plank (30-seconds) Elbow to Hand Plank (45-seconds) Alternating Two-Point Plank (60-seconds)

Perform these exercises in a circuit with only about 30 to 45 seconds between exercises. Perform 3 circuits. Do as many repetitions as you can. When you can perform more than 20 repetitions, advance to the next level.

Here are the simple, NO EQUIPMENT Cardio workouts you could perform.

Cardio Options Duration Intervals      (sprint: recovery) Beginner Intermediate Advance
Outdoors Cardio 20-minutes Intermediate    [30-sec:30-sec] Brisk Walk Walk – Jog Jog – Run/Sprint
Indoor Cardio 20-minutes Advance            [40-sec:20-sec]  Jog in Place or walk stairs Shadowbox – Jog in place Shadowbox – Jog in place

 While you don’t need any equipment to perform these workouts, you might want to check out my blog post, Gym in a Carry-on – The Business Travelers Fitness Packing List for a few inexpensive equipment suggestions.

bus travel carry-on

 It isn’t a lack of resources that typically holds us back, it’s a lack of resourcefulness. Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Staying Fit While Traveling On Business

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Book NOW Available on Amazon!

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Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation

Why you should prioritize strength training, especially on a diet (UPDATED with FREE workout program log)

Basic Workout Program #2

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It may seem counter intuitive, but when you are losing weight, strength training, not cardio training should be your number one exercise priority. When you place your body in a caloric deficit, it is normal for your body to burn a combination of stored body fat and muscle to meet its energy needs, but you can prevent this loss of muscle mass through strength training. The human body has been conditioned to adapt to the stresses place on it by its environment by making it more resilient to the stress the next time it’s encountered. If your body is required to lift heavy objects using all the muscles of the body, on a frequent basis, it will preserve muscle and burn fat exclusively when in a caloric deficit, assuming you are consuming sufficient quantities of protein. That is why strength training should be your number one exercise priority.

A study compared diet and strength training vs diet and cardio training. The 12-week study found that the cardio group lost more weight, than the strength training group (32 pounds vs 28 pounds), but the strength training group had lost a lot less lean muscle mass. The type of weight you lose is more important than the amount of weight you lose. Strength training is the best form of training for improving body composition because it promotes fat loss while building muscle. The study concluded that “the addition of an intensive, high volume resistance training program resulted in preservation of lean body weight and resting metabolic rate during weight loss with very-low-calorie diets.”  If you are at 30% body fat level and you lose 10 pounds, but three of those pounds are muscle. You haven’t decreased your percentage body fat very much. You will look almost the same. You will just be a little smaller, weaker version of your former self. Worse, by losing muscle, you have decreased your metabolism, which will lead to a fat loss plateau.

Q10

If the muscles loss is severe enough, you will begin a downward spiral where your body composition gets worse. Every pound of muscle gained or lost will either increased or decreased you metabolism approximately 50 calories a day. Once you resume normal eating you will likely gain back the lost body fat, but not the muscle. When you lose body fat while building muscle mass, you transform your body by significantly reducing your body fat percentage.   You’ll become leaner, stronger, and fitter. Your ability to burn calories will increase instead of decrease, which will help keep the weight off after your resume a maintenance diet.

Everyone needs to change their belief that cardio burns fat and replace it with exercise burns fat.  It is also important to remember that creating a caloric deficit through calorie restriction should be your number one priority when your goal is fat loss.

Basic Workout Program

I hope you have found these suggestions helpful. Best wishes and best health!

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Book Introduction

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Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but good habits keep us moving towards our goals.

Best wishes and Best Health!

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See our most recent posts.

Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss, but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger.

cover page done

The book contains:

  • 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
  • A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit,  including Alcohol
  • 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
  • 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off
  • A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

Our BOOK The Fat Loss Habit is NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!! We would greatly appreciate a brief REVIEW. Your feedback is our best marketing tool and it will help us to make a better product. Your review will help other people who want to make a positive change by helping them to find our book.

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Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Book Introduction

 The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

Could you please Like and Share if you enjoyed this post. Best wishes and best health.

#FatLoss #WeightLoss #NewYearsResolution #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #FitGirl #FitMom #FitFam #FitCouple

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***FREE DOWNLOAD PROMOTION – ENDING SOON!**

Hey everyone,

I want to let you know that our Kindle eBook, The Fat Loss Habit is available for FREE DOWNLOAD until Monday, December 18th.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a brief REVIEW of the book. Your review will have a HUGE impact on the book’s visibility on Amazon.

Please feel free to share this with anyone you think might enjoy reading it.

The book is also available for purchase in PRINT and AUDIOBOOK.

I think you’ll really enjoy reading our book. It takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

The Book Contains:

·    7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

·    A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit,  including Alcohol

·    20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)

·    3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off

·    A Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep us moving towards our goals.

Best Wishes & Best Health!

Jeff

#TheFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss #NewYearsResolution #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #FitGirl #FitMom #FitFam #FitCouple

 

 

Don’t Wait for the Ball to Drop – Start 2018 with Momentum!

As 2017 draws to an end, start building momentum toward your fitness goals!

New Year’s Resolutions rate of success is an abysmal 8%, with 80% of people quitting by February. The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic seeks to improve that rate.

The Fat Loss Habit adopts a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program like the change techniques are all backed by research and scientific studies.

amazon book cover

The book contains:
• 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
• A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit, including Alcohol
• 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
• 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off
• A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

Print: The printed book can be purchased from Amazon .

Audiobook: You can purchase the Audible book from Amazon. The narrator did an excellent job bringing the book to life.

Kindle: The Kindle Version has been updated. It can be purchased on Amazon.

Could you please share this post or tag at least one friend that you think might be interested in it? New Year’s Resolutions are just around the corner and this book could really help people achieve their fitness goals in 2018.

Best Wishes and Best Health!
Jeff

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#FatLoss #WeightLoss #NewYearsResolution #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #FitGirl #FitMom #FitFam #FitCouple