The Benefits of Keeping a Fitness Journal

March 10, 2021

Looking for a boost to your fitness routine? 

It may surprise you just how much logging your workouts can motivate you and inspire you to achieve your goals. When you consider the positive effects of journaling in general, it makes sense: Recording the past, present and future makes room for honest evaluations. 

When you apply that logic to your fitness routine, you’re able to build on successes and course-correct on what’s not working. All of this leads to a more intentional approach to exercise! 


The benefits of tracking your workouts

Wondering how a fitness journal can improve your fitness journey? Here’s just a few reasons!

Boost your motivation

When you get to the point where you can look back a few weeks and see how much you’ve improved, your fitness journal will be a big motivation booster. Seeing your progress laid out in front of you keeps you focused and ready to improve even more. 

Embrace progressive overload

Progressive overload simply means doing more work over time to see continual gains and improvements. It’s the process of gradually increasing the stress you put on your body to challenge your muscles. The result? Improved performance and strength — and the decreased likelihood of falling into a fitness rut or plateau.

It might sound obvious that you need to push yourself harder to see gains, yet many of us find ourselves repeating the same workouts over and over. Keeping a log is the best way to apply the principle of progressive overload to your regimen. After all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it!

Hold yourself accountable

When you’re honest with yourself about your habits — whether food or fitness-related — you can hold yourself accountable and make real change. You might also discover details you would have missed otherwise. This doesn’t just apply to your workouts, either; for instance, maybe you notice from journaling that you haven’t given yourself enough rest and recovery time.

Don’t hold back on your fitness journal. Be honest and assess where you can improve. 

Find out what is & isn’t working

Having a journal allows you to assess what is and isn’t working for you. When you hit a plateau, you can easily review what you’re doing and course-correct. If you’re dealing with an injury, you have a better chance at figuring out the cause (and avoiding it in the future!). All in all, a journal allows you to troubleshoot for optimal results.

Remember workouts you love

There’s nothing worse than doing a great workout, but then forgetting your favorite moves. A workout journal is a historical look at what you did that you can always refer back to for inspiration. Planning your future workouts just got a whole lot easier!


How to get started

Your fitness journal can come in any form that gets you motivated! Grab a beautiful handwritten notebook, a proper fitness journal or use an app such as MyFitnessPal. 

Once you have your journal, figure out what you want to track. It really just depends on what your fitness goals are. For instance, are you trying to lose weight, get faster, lift a certain weight or just feel more confident in your own skin?

You can choose to track things like:

  • The sets/reps you completed
  • Tempos/break times
  • Body weight
  • Mile times
  • Session-to-session highlights
  • General performance
  • Rating of perceived exertion
  • Any pain or issues
  • Daily calorie intake
  • Body metrics

Once you begin tracking the factors that matter to you, it’ll be far easier to plan your workouts and maintain focus! Your journal doesn’t have to be all stats and numbers, however. You can also record helpful alignment tips for the future, or even quotes that inspire you. Here’s just a few to add to your journal:

  • “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -Gandhi
  • “If you think lifting is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.” -Bret Contreras
  • “A one hour workout is 4% of your day. No excuses.”
  • “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work gains success. Greatness will come.” -Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson


CA’s personal trainers can help

Want even more motivation and accountability? Look no further than CA’s personal training programs! We have both in-person and virtual options. A personal trainer acts as your biggest cheerleader, and will create a personalized workout program unique to your goals.

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