Measure Your Progress: Part 1 The Fitness Journal

Measuring your progress is by far one of the most essential and fundamental things that often goes unnoticed. Keeping a track is important. It helps you set your goals and helps you monitor your activities that helps you determine whether you are on track or not. There may be many conventional and non-conventional methods to track one’s progress, but there are two most common and accurate methods which I will be covering in this two-part post. So, let’s get going with the first one, The Fitness Journal.

If you have been into fitness for a while, you might have come across athletes, trainers, bodybuilder carrying a lot of stuff with them such as supplements, music gear, apparel, and most significantly, a journal. A small notebook which they keep on updating throughout their workout. In my initial days , I too used to get all paranoid about this carrying a diary stuff and its use but soon enough I learned it’s importance.

What is in that Journal?

Your goals are in that Journal. As simple as that. Before you use any more of your brain, I will make it simple for you. Fitness Journal contains everything from workout schedule, diet plan , body measurements etc. Let’s dig a little deeper.

  1. Workout Schedule– The set of exercises that you are currently doing. Your day wise routine. This routine is not only the gym routine, but can be any fitness program you are following such as Bodybuilding, Calisthenics, Yoga, General fitness etc. to name a few. List your exercises in the order of doing and keep a record of each rep, each set, each weight you are working with date wise. This will help you to know what personal best to beat in your next workout to up the anti. There is however no particular format to this. Feel free to experiment , be creative and make it stand out but don’t forget to include your routine, sets, reps,weights(weight-training) and date.
  2. Body-Measurements– Body measurements can vary for Male and female counterparts but the general idea remains the same. You can include things like waist, body-weight, body-fat percentage, and the different areas you are looking to improve upon. What this does is that it gives you a reference to compare and a most solid proof of progress. When you see that waist size coming down and inches growing on your arms, you know that you have come a long way and are heading in the right direction.
  3. Goals– This can be the game-changer. All our approach, our mindset, out training, all depends on the goal you have in mind. The level at which you want to see yourself in a given amount of time. Inculcating a goal in your journal can help you stay focused and not get distracted from the ultimate agenda. These goals can be short-term or long-term. You have that freedom. Just make sure you act upon it.
  4. Food– Food is my favourite part and one of the most difficult to maintain. You know that nutrition holds the key and keeping a food journal can be your very first step to fixing your diet and take control of what you eat. I know there will be times you forget to update your meal or skip a day or two but you have to start.

Following are a few examples of how your journal can look like and what things you can include. Pattern and format does not matter if you are comfortable with what you have and can work with it. Try out different ideas, different formats.

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Making a journal is not all. Keeping it updated on a daily basis is more important. Make sure you fill it with correct information and remember to carry it with you to your workout sessions no matter what others say or think. In this age of digitization with n number of apps on the go, use them or make a diary like the old times but do it which ever way you want to. You don’t generally see people maintaining a journal which is a harsh reality to be honest but this can be the change that will help you get there. It has helped me a great deal and will help you too. This journal will your guide to glory. This is a two-part post so stay tuned for part two.

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