Have you been struggling to make gains at the gym? Do you feel like a hamster on the wheel, continually going through the motions of exercise without seeing any real results? If so, you are not alone. Many people who commit themselves to a regular workout routine give up after a period of time because they fail to see results.
While kudos should be given for just showing up in the first place, the real reason you’re making the effort is to achieve various milestones, right? We’re talking concrete things that you can see when you look in the mirror, like real weight loss and actual muscle gain.
If you’re stuck right now, we’re going to give you 6 solid reasons why you should start using a workout journal. Some of these reasons may strike you as common sense, while others will cause you to pause in reflection. Be sure to read them all in order to fully absorb the deeper meaning:
1) Accountability buddy
A workout journal creates a built in “accountability buddy”. When you write down the exercises you have done at the gym, you reinforce desired behaviors.
Over the course of time, this can help to reinforce consistency – which is a critical component of goal attainment. This point is particularly true if you are just starting an exercise program.
2) Task completion
When you use a workout journal consistently, you create a sense of accomplishment through the psychological construct of task completion.
This helps to build your self-esteem and remind you while you are engaging in positive self-care activities in the first place.
3) Identification of challenge areas
One of the tangible benefits of keeping a workout journal is the ability to look back at challenge areas. Some people rate their workout experience at a level of 1-10, using intensity as a general guide. The higher the number, the better!
If you are noticing a pattern where you are scoring yourself 6 or below, the journal can help you to better understand why. Is there a nutrition issue going on? What about hydration? Are you getting enough sleep? Your training journal will help answer these questions.
4) Track progress
One of the things you’ll love about using a journal at the gym is the ability to track progress. Simply put, writing down the types of exercises you are doing and the weight being lifted can be super helpful for future planning.
If you want to make gains, don’t rely on your memory as workouts tend to blur into one another over the course of time. That’s why using a journal rocks!
5) Scheduling time off
One major reason people don’t see the gains they desire from working out is simply because they don’t give their body time to heal. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to take off one week for every eight weeks of consistent weight training.
A journal can help you keep track of how often you have been going to the gym and remind you when it’s time to take a break. Pretty straight forward, huh?
6) Reach goals
One final benefit of keeping a workout journal is that it can help you reach your goals. Real, lasting gains happen through hard work. When you write down what you have been doing at the gym, you psychologically commit yourself to obtaining the fitness goals you are working towards.
In addition, the journal helps you identify new goals that you can work on in the future!