The ‘write’ way to fitness
I DON’T know about other people, but I have never been one to keep a personal diary or journal. The type of diary where you write about what happened during the day while confiding personal thoughts and feelings.
However, there is one type of diary I have kept that I have found invaluable, and much like a personal diary it contained my thoughts and feeling and was something I would look back on later for guidance. I am talking about a training diary.
As an athlete, I religiously kept a training diary. In fact, it was part of our sporting scholarship requirements to do so. I am glad I did keep training diaries as I found them to be one of the most valuable training tools available to me.
If you have a goal to improve your game then you will know it is important to train the areas which are lacking. Training diaries can provide a record of exactly what you have trained, when and how much, giving you an easy to see record of the progress of your training and practice sessions. Over time, this can then be reviewed and analysed to see if the training is effective, progressive and balanced.
A training diary can include any information that you and/or your coach think is important. For me it included: The day and the time I trained The type of training session The amount of repetitions or distance covered • The intensity of the exercise (whether that was the resistance such as the dumbbell weight or the heart rate the training session was set at). • A comment on the training session
An entry in my diary may resemble the following:
AM: Gym training – Strength (4 x 4 reps) rest 3 minutes Max intensity. Exercises as per training program. Comments: Felt strong / increased weight on squats
As well as monitoring progress and recording training sessions, a training diary can have several other valuable uses.
Reviewing a training diary can expose patterns which are affecting you and your progress.
As an example, over the years of keeping training diaries I began to notice that when I was coming down with a common cold I experienced an increase in appetite, stiff neck and a rise in strength in the gym. If I had these symptoms then it was likely that next week, I was sick. From recognizing these signs, I was able to back off my training and often avoided getting sick and disrupting my training schedule.
A training diary allows a quick and easy way to see where you’re going by reviewing where you have come from. It need not be a novel, just a few cryptic lines of code that makes sense to you alone.
Five minutes a day and an exercise book is all you need.