In part 1 of this series we discussed progressive overload. It is the key principle towards attaining your goals. In part two we discussed periodization, and the importance of keeping yourself organized. In part three we will discuss the importance keeping a journal. Keep in mind, I am not talking about “dear diary” type stuff, but rather keeping track of what you do day in and day out.
I personally feel regardless of your goals periodization is important. However, in all honesty periodization is arbitrary if you are not actually keeping track of what you are doing. Without a journal you may as well be a dog chasing its tail. Don’t go me wrong periodization can be extremely helpful, and if you are competing in a sport like powerlifting, olympic lifting or even strong man it is almost essential.
If you are a field or court athlete, it is equally important to keep track of something even in the absence of an organized plan (periodization). If you don’t you will struggle to progress, and when you do hit a plateau you will have nothing to look back upon to see what variables you may be able to change to overcome it.
This is why one of the best things you can do for yourself is go to your local office supply store and buy a notebook of some sort. In this note book create several columns; for the exercise, the reps, the sets, and the weight lifted.
Another thing you can do at the end of each session is write how the session felt, you might notice trends. If you consistently feel drained after several sessions in a row it may be time to consider performing a deload, if each session feels really good maybe it’s time to set a new personal record.
As you can see the largest benefit of having a journal in some shape or manner is it will help you better keep track of where you are headed by detailing where you are at and looking back at where you came from. A journal can even be motivational to objectively see how much you actually have improved.
Keeping track of what you are doing is essential in the persistent quest of reaching your goals.