You belong to a local gym; maybe a boutique fitness centre, or maybe a large corporate fitness entity. You may even have a home gym. Whatever the platform you use, there is likely a myriad of equipment available to you, from dumbbells to high tech machines. Daily you participate is this journey called fitness. You run on the treadmill, toss around some weights, tug on cables and about anything else you can do to get that body of your dreams. But I bet there is one tool missing in your arsenal. It is for most. Yet, it is the
single most valuable tool you have at your disposal. What is it? A journal!
In my local gym, I’m the guy with a journal. Everyone has asked and every newbie ask what it is that I am writing in that little book. A few have even picked up the habit as part of their journey to a lifestyle of wellness.
I discovered the power of this tool several years ago when I was training with a former competitive trainer in Dallas. Like most everyone I initially dismissed its power to carry me forward and succeed. But before long, I was convinced and I have rarely missed a day of fitness since without journaling.
But how does it help? What good is a journal as an element of wellness? It is simple really.
There is a principle in the fitness industry known as the principle of progressive overload. Basically speaking, this principle states that in order to grow stronger, bigger, more defined muscles that replace fat you need to continually lift heavier weights over time. Now I know right off the bat when discussing exercise for women that most would argue that they do not desire a bulky, muscle bound physique. Instead most women want lean, toned, sexy, athletic bodies. The same principle applies. In order to continually hone your body you need to continually do better than you have before.
Say for example, I do Standing Bicep Curls today using 40 lb. weights in each arm. I complete 3 sets of 10 reps each. In a few days, when I repeat that movement, my goal would be to accomplish more. And I should be able to do so without any thought about it. So, 3 days from now, I may record Standing Bicep Curls with the same 40 lb weights but complete 3 sets of 12 reps this time. I have therefore progressed
and though I may not be able to see that in the mirror or on the scale, I’m not guessing, hoping, wondering if I am progressing because I have it on paper. Conversely, if my performance is dropping I can track that and determine why that may be occurring.
Before long, those progressions will appear in the mirror and reflect on the scale!
Additionally, through a journal you can discover what is working and what isn’t. Maybe you aren’t progressing in Standing Bicep Curls so you try Concentration Curls and discover your body
responds very well to that movement.
Another benefit to a journal is found in understanding when it is time to change it up. I am a firm believer in muscle confusion. I never follow a workout program for more than 4 weeks without mixing it up. The body grows accustomed to routines and as it does, it stops progressing. And you’ll see that in your journal. Suddenly, you’ll realize that you are doing the same weight, same sets, and same reps in Standing Bicep Curls. That’s your sign to make a change. The journal proves it to you.
Last, fitness is a journey without a final destination. Your body is continually changing and there is no
stationary goal line as a result. Journaling helps you see the journey clearly. I can look back to the beginning of my journaling days and then compare it to today’s entries and see exactly how much I have grown in that period of time. I don’t necessarily feel different about myself but the journal clearly shows
profound improvements and changes. Then, when I do look in the mirror my vision is a little clearer. Does that make sense?
One simple little tool, a journal, has profound power and impact to your fitness journey. So whether like me you are an inspiring bodybuilder or like most women who want that lean, toned, sexy physique journaling is the one element of wellness you do not want to overlook or dismiss.
Do you journal? If not, will you add this element to your fitness lifestyle? let me know in the comments below!