In this episode of 20 Minute Fitness we discuss tracking your progress. More specifically how to track your workouts in the gym. If you would like to hear more about how to track the physical changes that happen to your body when you start to workout and eat right, then tune in to our body composition series. In addition, if you are more interested in learning how to track and set your macros, listen to our episode titled: Easy Macro Tips that will crush your diet goals.
The Benefits of Tracking
Team Shape are huge advocates of tracking. We fully promote the fact that tracking various aspects of your health and fitness can optimize your training and diet. Greg O’Gallagher, the fitness icon behind Kinobody, once said: “Throughout my 10 years of weightlifting, the periods in which I gained the most muscle and strength was when I was tracking my lifts.” Therefore, we explore the various benefits of tracking your training, including increased accountability, the ability to come into the gym with a plan and avoid plateaus and stagnant routines and more. In fact, according to research by the American Psychological Association, prompting individuals to monitor their progress toward a goal increased the chance that they would achieve their goal. Furthermore, the more frequent the monitoring of their progress, the greater the chance of success. Find the study in the journal: Psychological Bulletin.
Best Apps For Tracking
We then move on to the various ways you can track your workouts. These include the old fashioned way of using a notebook (my personal favorite) and this can be a workout specific book such as the Fitbook, Bodyminder workout and exercise journal, or Fitness Logbook, or you could use a fitness tracking app, or even the latest wearables that automate the tracking process.
The apps we explore are apps by Runtastic, such as Runtastic Pull-ups. Aflete, an app that allows you to follow fitness plans designed by influencers and experts in the industry and track your workouts inside the same app. Finally, we talk about Strong lifts 5×5 app. The app you need if you are looking to gain strength and add muscle mass.
Best Wearables For Tracking
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of wearables designed to help you track your gym workouts. In this episode, we discuss the Atlas Wristband2. A wearable that can automatically detect the exercise you are doing. Then tracks the repetitions you complete as well as a whole host of other metrics. I then move on to talk about the Beast Sensor, which focuses on helping you to track your power output and the velocity of each of your lifts. Great for serious power lifters.
Why is it important to track our progress
Tracking lends accountability to yourself and your goals. If you are continuously reminded and conscious of the fact that you need to record your workouts or your body fat % or whatever the goal may be, this continued awareness and behaviour of recording will become a habit. A habit is continued and practised behaviour and this will make you more prone to making better, healthier decisions that guide you towards your goal.
Planning Your Training Progress
Tracking helps you come in with a plan. Know exactly what you need to do in order to have improved and progressed from your previous workout. For example if you are trying to gain lean mass, in order to do this you need to achieve progressive overload, by writing down your previous weights and reps you know exactly how many reps or what weight you need to hit going into your next session, as said it will stop you from coasting, skipping out on those final reps, not pushing yourself. Keeping you accountable, your own coach)
Let’s You See Milestones
Tracking helps you to see how far you have come. After some period of working towards your goal, everyone encounters some difficult patches where they feel demotivated, maybe you feel as if you aren’t seeing the results you expected. If you have a record of where you first started this will reinforce the reason why you started in the first place, you can see what incremental progress you have made and that innate desire to press on will be reborn.
Push Past Training Progress Plateaus
Tracking helps you avoid stagnant routines and plateaus. If you are recording your figures and you realize that they haven’t bumped in a while, you know to mix it up. If you are not recording and monitoring your progress it can be difficult to understand whether you are progressing or stuck in a training rut.
Better Chance of Sucess
According to research by the American Psychological Association found that prompting participants to monitor their progress toward a goal increased the likelihood that the participants would achieve that goal. Furthermore, the more frequent the monitoring, the greater the chance of success.
How to track and monitor your workouts
Write down the exercise, the number of sets, the weight and flick back through the notebook to see the prior sessions workout.
Barbell Benchpress – 4 sets, 8 reps, 198 pounds
1 week and the next Barbell bench press
4 sets, 8 reps, 205 pounds
or 4 sets 10 reps 198 pounds
Example of Fitness Tracking Notebooks
Cons of A Notepad
- It’s an extra item to bring to the gym
- Can be smudged/damaged
Pros of A Notepad
- Writing down makes me more aware the action of actually writing the goal makes it stick with me more
Fitness Apps & Wearables
- Runtastic Pullups – series – great for helping to increase calisthenic/body weight exercises. Really helped my pull ups, small incremental improvements, can do anywhere
- Aflete – Mo Samuels program designed to allow you to follow a workout guide in the app and record your workouts as you go along.
- StrongLifts – helps you gain strength and muscle faster by guiding you through every 5×5 workout.
1.) Atlas Wristband 2: it is the only fitness wearable that automatically identifies your exercises, then records reps and essential data to showcase your workouts in unprecedented detail. Calories and heart rate are just the beginning.
See which muscle groups you worked at a glance or dig deeper and swipe back in time to compare your heart rate, caloric burn, and velocity data.
2.) Beast Sensor: which focuses on helping you to track your power output and the velocity of each of your lifts. Great for serious power lifters.
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