Why Logging Workouts is Critical to Successful Training

Hello there! Welcome to our blog. I’m Jess, the other crossfit amigo. I thought I would start my first post off with a piece on an often underrated tool that I think all Crossfitters should utilize: The Workout Log.

I’ll be honest, for the longest time my Alchemy Crossfit Success Journal sat empty and neglected in my gym’s filing cabinet. I thought that tracking my workouts and recording my lifts was pointless, and looked skeptically at the athletes at our gym who spent time reviewing and recording their WODs before they left the gym. Starting out I was a complete novice who routinely stared in horror at the pull up structure. Why would I want to record my struggle to understand the mysterious Snatch (still mysterious) and my pitiful WOD results? What value could the others be possibly be gaining by writing in a “Journal”? It wouldn’t make them faster or stronger… Right? Wrong. I was so wrong. Recording and logging workouts is critical to successful training because it enables you to goal set, and to track your progress. Without out a history of your work, you won’t have a concrete understanding of where and how you’ve improved.

Hilary and Jess log every single workout they complete.

Hilary and Jess track success and log every single workout they complete.

My intimidation, thoughts of self-doubt and negativity soon diminished when I started to embrace the ‘Can Do’ attitude that the Crossfit community exudes. I regret not recording my WODs and lifts during those first 6 months when the gains were huge. I clearly remember my first day getting an unassisted pull-up; my friends erupted in applause and high fives were shared. I remember one of my best friends making a comment later on that made a huge impact on me:

“Revel in your gains and wins during this first year when you’re strength, endurance and mobility improve drastically. You will begin to live up to your potential and make huge gains initially. The more you train, the smaller the gains will become. Remember that Rich Froning probably doesn’t get to celebrate 30lb. PR’s anymore.”

This isn’t meant to imply that small gains are not as valuable (or as exciting!), moreso that those initial gains are a huge motivator for newcomers to the sport. I regret not having recorded this time in my athletic pursuit.

Another reason I think it’s important to log one’s workouts is to monitor and highlight weaknesses and strengths. When every rep is logged, progress or lack of progress stands out. You are able to alter training programs to highlight areas that require more attention. Remember to embrace your weaknesses as an opportunity. I have learned that Crossfit is not about having the best time on the board, it’s about the personal struggle and fight to become a better person than you were yesterday.

When it comes to Crossfit, we all have goals. Maybe for you it’s pullups, or perfecting your snatch technique. Without a log of your progress, you cannot track where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there!

Ready to start tracking your progress? Awesome, find below the very simple template that Hilary and I both use. Let me know logging workouts has helped you with goal setting and tracking.

WOD LOG

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