By Mark Wood
Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.
– Ralph Marston
Measurement is one of the best ways to see how far you’ve progressed. Unfortunately it’s one of the most under utilised aspects of training by the vast majority of exercisers from weekend warriors to the more serious amongst us.
Relying on the scales to measure progress is not accurate enough to see how you are progressing. The goal should be performance, because with performance, comes a stronger more athletic body.
The scales cannot tell you if you are getting stronger, they do not measure how fast you go. They cannot tell you the small improvements you made from last week to this week. Instead the scales only measure fluctuations (and we all know how much they fluctuate) in bodyweight.
Whilst comparing your scores to others can motivate you to work harder in the moment, we miss our biggest competitor… Ourselves.
So why should you take the extra few minutes to write down your workout? Here’s 4 huge risks you take by not tracking.
YOU CANNOT SEE PROGRESS
A few weeks ago, a client came up to me and said they don’t feel they are making any progress. My first question was “how have you measured that?”
The answer wasn’t a surprise, in fact when they told me they hadn’t it was almost like déjà vu all. I’d seen this before. When we sat down and looked at the improvements in their squat, how they can now finish the warm up without needing a break, and how they had just completed their first handstand. Their outlook changed. They saw how much their hard work had paid off, they could see the fruits of their labour.
YOU CANNOT PLAN AHEAD
“That which is measured, get’s improved”
Want a plan for the future? You should, planning ahead gives you something to strive for. Turning up each day and blindly following a workout with no goal rarely works. Tracking previous workouts gives you a clearer picture of your current fitness and allows you to suitable plan ahead. Knowing that you have 1 pull up on a band means you can then start progressing this and setting up an action plan for making this 5 or even 10 pull ups with no band.
YOU WON’T TRAIN AS MUCH
Those who never track their workouts find it easier to miss their days of training. We are naturally competitive, whether it’s with other people or ourselves we always want to be better. Tracking results often leads people to making less excuses and getting up to do a workout. We should be exercising almost every day in some form, and studies have shown that tracking your numbers keeps you on track.
YOU DON’T GET AS MANY “F*$% YEAH” MOMENTS
Nothing beats finishing a workout and realising you just made a new PB. When you track your results, the small increases in reps, weight, time and distance can be seen more easily. Need motivation? Try realising you just PB’d your max push ups by 3 reps or knocked 8 seconds off your 400m run. Tracking your workouts makes you say “fuck yeah” a lot more often.
There are so many ways you can track your workouts. Pen and paper has always worked but there are plenty more organized options available right at your fingertips. Using notes in your phone or downloading a workout-tracking app can help you smash your goals and move forward with your training. All our members have access to their own workout tracking service that keeps tabs on their numbers. Those who use it regularly see better results than those who don’t.