One of the single most important aspects of my training has been journaling my progress. Ever see people at the gym with a little notepad and a pen after every lift? That is someone who is serious about making strength gains, or maybe they have OCD and therefore extremely meticulous about every single detail of their session. Either way, it is important for us to track our progress, how else are we going to get stronger? Guessing our numbers week in and week out? I think not.
When I first started lifting, I got a little marble notebook, wrote down all of my routines day by day and tracked the numbers. Even if my numbers fluctuated in the slightest sense, I kept track of it for the simple fact that I want to create a habit. My first year wasn’t as strength focussed as it is now. I focussed more on getting my form and technique down in order to, again, develop proper habits.
The benefit of journaling progress is that it keeps the ego in check and ultimately provides direction. For me, this is the spiritual part of lifting. This is the religious part of lifting. There are some days we may feel stronger, where we feel we can lift ten pounds heavier than planned. By all means, it is alright if we indulge in a little ego lifting once in awhile, but what about long term goals. Are we willing to sacrifice instant gratification of a minor ten pound personal record, frying our CNS short term and setting ourselves back, for long term goals?
This was just a quick tip. I will be sharing a longer, in depth article where journaling or tracking our progress plays a larger role in strength training if we are planning to make this a life long pursuit.