Do you use a gym journal when you train? Tracking your progress when working out can be vital to your success. Of course, you can use your journal to write down your programming and PRs, but what about the other details? Here are five more things that you should record in your gym journal.

(Psst! Need a new journal? Check out this one from TWL.)

5 Things to Record in Your Gym Journal

1. How You Felt During Training

Not every training session is the same. How difficult you find your workout and how quickly you begin to fatigue will depend largely on the day. Factors such as your mental state, how much you have eaten, what you have eaten, and the rest that you have had will all have an impact on how you feel during your workout.

For that reason, monitoring the highs and lows when you are training will give you some clear perspectives. Rather than believing that one “off day” is symptomatic of a bigger problem, you will be able to see that it’s a perfectly natural part of your training.

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2. Muscular Aches and Pains

If you are giving yourself the right amount of recovery time and prepping your workouts, you should not experience excessive pain. For example, after a heavy leg day, you might find that your leg muscles feel tight and ache for a day or so.

However, should that pain continue for a matter of weeks, it could be indicative of an injury or health-related problem. In that case, you might need to get advice from an expert. Noting down when and how long aches last could help you keep track of this.

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3. Rest Times During Workout

When you are in the midst of a WOD, you will need to rest between sets. How long you need to recover before you start moving again is a sign of your overall fitness levels. Failing to note down this aspect of your training is a mistake. You are likely to overestimate or underestimate the rest time that you need.

As you train, you should become stronger and your stamina should improve. You should find that the rest times decrease and you do not need such long breaks. Marking these points out in your journal is yet another way to record your progress.

4. Challenges You Encountered

There are some aspects of your workout that you will find difficult and others that will come naturally to you. The exercises that you find easy and those that you find hard will depend on your skill set and strength and how much you have practiced. There is no shame in having weaknesses, but failing to identify them will slow you down.

Should you find that there is a part of your sessions that always causes you problems or takes an excessive amount of energy to complete, write it down. Having a clear and concise record of your weaknesses will help you plan your future training.

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5. Goals and Motivation Notes

What is it that propels you forward in your training? Why do you dedicate time to your WODs? Everyone has his/her own reasons. Perhaps you are simply hoping to get into shape. Maybe you are preparing for the Games or any other competitive challenge. Whatever it is that keeps you moving, you need to use it to your best advantage.

When you are finding it difficult, motivation could be the key to help you keep going. Use your gym journal to write down your goals, the things that drive you, and what you hope to achieve in the long term. Being able to reflect back on these things could be essential.

Recording your progress in your gym journal is not as simple as you might think. There are many ways in which you can use this tool. Writing down all of the above could help you to better understand your training and identify weaknesses in your workouts. Get started today and see how this handy tool can benefit you.