Thursday 6.13.13

How to Use a Workout Journal

First of all, I want to say how excited I am that I see so many people recording their workouts in either paper or electronic journals! This is a huge step in being able to celebrate accomplishments and track progress. It did strike me as I was picking up a journal left open after class, that some of us may not know how to record our workouts in the most beneficial way. This particular journal read:  

Here is something along the lines of what I saw in this journal (p.s. the workout and weights have been changed to protect the unknowing in this example): 

Back squat 5x5 135# 

thrusters - 85
pull ups - blue


Seems pretty good, right? The workout is written down, the weights that the person used, and their time on the MetCon (aka: the metabolic conditioning portion of the workout, which was "Fran."). The answer is: Yes, this is pretty good. It has the bare necessities. BUT it COULD be so much MORE helpful! What are the chances that for a 5x5 backsquat, this person did 135# for each set? Most likely they increased in weight each time, but only wrote down the heaviest lift. For "Fran": think of all of the stuff you would want to know for the next time you did "Fran": was the band color you chose pretty tough? Or easy? Did you get 21 pull ups in a row, or did you break them into sets? What were the sets like? How did the thrusters feel? Was 85# a good weight? Should you go heavier next time? Or was this pretty difficult, and next time you might want to try and decrease your time? See, here's the thing: if you focus on setting little goals during workouts, there's more to celebrate! Last time I had to break up my thrusters when I did "Fran." This time, I did them all unbroken. Even on a workout that's not a repeatable benchmark, you could know, "last time I did 21 thrusters at 85# without putting the bar down. Today's workout has 15 thrusters at a similar weight. My goal is to do them without setting the bar down." Ah, the power of a specific journal!

 20 deadlifts (115/75)
20 KBS (53/35)
20 OHS
20 box jumps
20 squat cleans
 *200m run in between each