Let me start by saying – if you’re not keeping a training log, you’re losing out on a ton of potential improvement. I can’t stress this enough, but a training log is CRITICAL to improving as an athlete. Not making any gains? Not losing weight? Feeling run down or injured? Lets look at your log to figure out why. If you don’t have it, the CrossFit Reflexion coaching staff can’t help you, and you can’t help yourself. So get one. Today. Bring a writing instrument (pen or pencil) to your workouts too.
Now that you have a training log in your hands, lets talk about what you should be tracking. A daily entry is the way to go. Each day you should track
- Hours of sleep
- Mood / Fatigue / Soreness (1 is the best, 10 is worst) so 1-1-1 is you feeling like the Hulk, 10-10-10 is not being to drag yourself out of bed
- Your Workout (record sets / weights used / time doing mobility
- Nutrition compliance (a sentence or two at most)
In addition, I like my athletes to take 10 minutes weekly (usually on Sunday) and jot down a few “ah ha’s” from the week. Things like nagging injuries, new PR’s or skills attained (doing your first HSPU), and an overall “grade” on how your feeling about your training.Tracking BF% or BW here is also helpful in determining how this affects your performance.
Goals / PR’s
Finally, reserve the last several pages of your log for your current PR’s and goals. It’s a great feeling to cross out those 2012 goals as you achieve them. Also, when you hit a PR, log it along with the date in the back. Over time this will show you progress and sticking points.
This should take about 5-8 minutes daily. It’s at least as important as doing your workout. When you’ve filled one logbook, put it on a shelf in your room, and start another one. Copy over your recent PR’s and goals.
Using Your Logbook
As you progress as an athlete, you will hit periods of time where you aren’t making progress, you feel weak or tired, and are constantly run down. Your logbook helps you (and your coaches) understand how your dealing with the training intensity and volume. If you’re not making gains, we can look at all the variables, training, sleep, nutrition, and make a program correction.
And finally, it’s a super motivator to look at your log from a year ago, and see how far you’ve come.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on training logs; are there other things you like to track?
Till next time, train hard, and record your numbers!