Do you keep a journal of your workouts?
If not, you are missing out some really good stuff!
Benefits of journaling your workouts
I started journaling my workouts 2 years ago, when I started to become really serious about my training and I wanted to see what really works for me.
I began with the mindset that I will look back at these journals, but I haven’t done it so far. Maybe I will do it one time, but I don’t have to for the real benefit comes the moment you are writing your workout down.
By taking the time to write down your training, you gain a new perspective. You have the chance to reflect on your practice and see if what you are doing is moving you closer to your goals. Furthermore, writing it down helps you detach from the training itself and sometimes it feels like you are coaching yourself.
What to write in your journal
Since it is a workout journal, you should, of course, write your workout. Write down everything! Your warm up, the rest between sets, the cool down, etc.
After that, you should measure some stuff. You can measure everything that you would like to improve. I learned from Scott Sonnon to measure this 3 things: pain, exercise form, and exhaustion on a scale of 0-10 .
Pain: When you are performing an exercise, the level of pain should always be below 3 (to prevent injuries). I found this to be very helpful while progressing to some advanced bodyweight movements that required more mobility than I had at that time.
Exercise Form: Your form should always be above 7. If your form equals 7, then it’s better to stop performing the exercise and start training with easier progressions/ lighter weights. By writing your form down, you can self-reflect and see where you can improve next time. This is REALLY helpful.
Exhaustion: Measuring the level of exhaustion is helpful if you want to know when to move into more difficult exercises. If your level of tiredness is below 7, then you are ready to move on. This also helps to monitor things during the recovery days and deload weeks, where exhaustion should be relatively low.
Notes: Some things are difficult to measure, so instead of putting a number on what I am doing, I take some time to write down my thoughts about it.
When to write in your journal
It is better to measure things as soon as possible after the workout. I always do it after the workout or at the end of the day. The faster you measure the more accurate your measurement is going to be.
Now give this a try!
Create a file on your computer or dedicate one notebook to be as your workout journal. Try it for 90 days and thank me later!
Thanks for reading! I hope you got lots of value out of this post. Do you already have a workout journal? What do you measure?
Feel free to comment below.
Photo source: Joel Montes de Oca
 Exercise form and pain are mentioned in the “Intu-Flow” series. I can’t recall where he mentions the level of exhaustion.