Has your training progress begun to stall? Are you confused about why you don't seem to be seeing the same results from your training that you used to? There is one huge mistake that I see the majority of gym-goers make, and it is quite literally killing their progress.
The mistake is that they don’t log any of their training.
Why you NEED to log
If you are familiar with my video on the highly important principle of progressive overload, you will remember that our bodies only grow fitter and stronger when they are exposed to a stress that is greater than what it is used to dealing with. The major pitfall with regards to not keeping a training log is that you will LIE TO YOURSELF, and end up keeping your training stress at the exact same level, and thus provide no overload.
Our brains are very good at coming up with extremely elaborate reasons to justify us not pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone. This is because our bodies are constantly striving to maintain homeostasis (the internal stability of our body’s metabolism). Providing your body with a greater stimulus disrupts this internal balance and this may play a subconscious role in our default state being quite lazy. The solution is to keep a training log that you can refer back to.By logging your training, you will have objective data that can inform you on exactly what you need to achieve in the subsequent session in order to provide an overload stimulus to your body.
How to log
Now, this might seem like a tedious task, and it will certainly add a small amount of time onto your workout. However, if you want to make any progress past the absolute beginner stage of training, you need to at minimum be recording exactly what exercises you performed, the weight, and the number of sets and reps. There are othr elements you can add to a training log that can enhance your progression, including sidenotes about each exercise (how much you think you can progress by next week, technical issues you need to address next session etc.).
The logging can be done in anything, be it a smartphone or physical training journal. What matters is that the information is stored somewhere that is portable and won’t be forgotten on your way to the gym.
Here is an example training log from my session yesterday that you can use as a template for your own training: