5 Reasons You Should Be Keeping a Workout Journal

Athletes who don't take the time to keep a training journal are missing out on several important performance benefits.

Struggling with inconsistent workouts? Here is how a training journal can help you crush your workouts more often.

As an athlete you want better. You want to perform better. You seek out the latest and greatest technical gear to help cut tenths of a second off your sprint speed. You put in extra time at the gym to get stronger. And you spend time getting your mind right so that your performance on the field or court follows suit.

You might think you are doing all the right things, but if you aren't consistently tracking and evaluating your performance in a training journal, you're missing out on some massive improvements.

Here's how.

Your training journal is home base for your workout goals

Every athlete has big dreams, but how many have goals every time they step foot into the gym? Your workout log is more than just a record of how you have done in the past. It's a blueprint for the future. A high-performance log book includes not only the workouts you've completed but the ones to come—including your short term goals and objectives.

It can keep you more consistent

One of the biggest things athletes struggle with is lack of consistency. They bang out several workouts in a row at peak effort; then, the moment they aren't "feeling it," they drop off for a few days. The cycle restarts and repeats itself over and over again. Great athletes are not flash-in-the-pan great in practice. They make working out at a high level a habit. They don't allow how they feel on a particular day dictate the effort they give. They simply show up and do the work. The constant up-and-down is disappointing to watch. With a slightly better overall average effort, an athlete can get superior results over the course of a season. Recording your workouts won't fix all your motivation issues, but it will help you become more consistent.

It helps you manage off-the-field stuff

As much as we like to think otherwise, the way we treat our bodies off the field has massive influence on how we perform on it. Having a tool to monitor stress levels, the amount of sleep you're getting, and how well you are eating encourages you to keep a smarter eye on them. You never really know what you're up to until you're required to keep an inventory of your behavior. It's possible that the first couple of weeks of recording your workouts and lifestyle habits will surprise you, even disappoint you. But don't freak out. That only means you have room for improvement. Use your workout journal to help you with scheduling meal prep, navigating the more stressful parts of the season, and getting lots of sleep.

It can help you address weaknesses

If you are like me (and most athletes), you avoid your weaknesses at all costs. Your log book provides a planning tool to help you chip away at them. Whether you spend more time doing Squat Jumps to boost a lackluster vertical or power up your chest with additional Bench Press work, a training journal is where you articulate you plans to address your weaknesses.

It will help you mark the milestones

Too often athletes get locked in on the long game—that big, greasy goal they constantly fantasize about. Although it has its place, the big win ends up boxing out a large number of small wins that athletes need to cruise through first. Your workout journal is perfect for marking and celebrating these smaller, but certainly no less significant, milestones in your journey to excellence. The IV-drip of confidence and pride that comes each time you bang out a great workout or hit a new personal best in practice will keep your motivation to work out white-hot.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CHEST | BENCH PRESS | WORKOUTS | BOOST | BENCH | TRACK | JUMPING | STRESS