Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve got a jam-packed day today, so this is going to be short and sweet.

It’s not uncommon for people to spin their wheels in the gym.  In fact, I would say that most people find themselves lifting the same weights for the same amount of reps for years…seriously.  The don’t get any stronger, they don’t get any leaner, and they waste a lot of their time.

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is that they don’t keep track of their progress.  An incredibly useful tool is keeping a training log.  I do it with all of my clients (as well as myself) and it’s not only a huge motivator but it keeps us from wasting time and reps.

Let me explain.

Let’s say a client was doing Dumbbell Lunges.

One week they do three sets and the weight and reps looked  like this:

Set 1: 35 lbs x 8 reps

Set 2: 35 lbs x 8 reps

Set 3: 35 lbs x 6 reps

If I don’t write anything down, or keep track of anything, there is a good chance that the next time I meet with this client, neither one of us is going to remember what weight they were doing, or exactly how many reps they actually got.  So they might grab 30 lbs, feel like that weight is fairly good work and stick with that for all three of their sets.  If this happens, they essentially went backwards by doing less work then they did the previous week.

However, if I keep track of their weights and reps, I know the next time we meet what weight to grab and what the minimum amount of reps we want for each set is.  If we use the above example, I would have them get 35 lbs and shoot for a minimum of 8 reps in their first set, 8 in their second, and 6 in their third.  What usually happens is that a client will get an extra rep or two in one or more sets.  This means they have done more work than the previous week and have essentially gained strength.  Both good things.

The other piece of this is that keeping track of your training sessions can be a huge motivator.  I just finished a session with a guy who I’ve been working with for a month or so.  When we first started,  he was able to do a total of 28 feet-elevated push ups spread over three sets.  Today (four weeks later) he did 25 in is first set, 14 in his second and 13 in his third.  Not only did he almost double his push ups in four weeks, but he also completed 25 reps in his first set, almost the same number of reps he got in three sets his first week.  I f I didn’t keep track, we would have no idea of the huge gains he has made.

Keep track of what you’re doing.  Write it all down.  It will keep you from wasting your time as well as keep you motivated.

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