Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Cleaning with Hannah: Training Log

Spring is here! Baby animals are out exploring, the flowers are in bloom, and it just may be time to do some serious cleaning. A good place to start is with a revamping of your training log. When I first started training at Barbell Strategy a little over a year and a half ago, I was a bit lost on how to format my log to make it not only easy to follow, but also easy to reflect on- see what was working well, see what might need to change. Over the course of my time at Barbell Strategy, I’ve tested out numerous training logs and various formats and I think I’ve stumbled on a few key things that really make a training log effective. I realize there are multitudes of different ways to track your progress and everybody’s system is a little bit different but hopefully this will be helpful to anyone struggling with their log, losing their workouts, or just feeling overall disorganized and in need of a change.
PR Page
This is obviously the quintessential element to a training log. Having a place at the beginning of your notebook to keep and update PR’s.
Long-Term Goal Page (yearly goals)
I actually keep two training logs- one specifically for weightlifting and the other to track my workouts in running from week to week. The other training log I use is set up for you but aspects of it could easily be combined if you only wanted one log. One of the best things this log asks you to do is write out goals. Near the beginning of your log, leave a page to write out goals over the course of a year. What do you want to accomplish this year? Where do you hope to see yourself by the end of the year? Are there any big meets you are targeting? What steps are you going to take to get there?
Focus Points (weekly goals)
In addition to long term goals, from week to week I write out a focus point, something to direct your attention towards over the course of the week: is there a workout you really want to nail, do you want to focus on getting more sleep this week..etc?
Daily Format
This is how I personally like set up each day. At the top of the page, i’ll put the date, the cycle that I am on and anything important that is happening that week (a track meet for example.) Under that, I separate the page into three columns: Exercise, reps, and weight. If i’m doing percentages, i’ll write in the weight before, if i’m going for a PR i’ll write in the weight after. I leave a comment section at the bottom of the page to remind myself of form adjustments that I need to make.

The daily comment section is also a great place to add in additional observations.
  • Weight 
  • Waking Pulse 
  • Sleep quality 
  • Notable tiredness and soreness before/during/after workouts 
  • Meals / hydration
Tracking your progress is an extremely important aspect of training. Tracking allows you to assess recovery and prevent overtraining. Human beings have selective memory and it’s highly unlikely that you could keep all of this information in your head, so tracking gives you a space to store that valuable information.

Another thing I think is important to include is a reflection after each month. How are you doing, what is frustrating you? What needs to change? Did you hit your focus points or did you fall short? I’ve always had trouble keeping a steady journal but filling up one page a month is extremely simple, and at the end of the year you get to look back and see how everything was going in 12 entries.