The advice you hear from experts is that you should log your workouts, that you need to keep a record of what you are doing to work out. I’ll tell you how logging destroyed my workouts. All the work out and diet gurus tell us to buy a journal, print the form that they use or use an awesome app that will help us log our work outs quickly and efficiently. But the important thing to do is to log, log, log. You must write down what do in our perfect journals, forms or apps. They tell us that if we don’t write down what we do, we will not know if we are making any progress and if we don’t know what we have done then we cannot improve. They also argue that the habit of writing down every detail of what we do in our workouts helps us turn it into a habit. But what habit are we building? The habit of writing or the habit of working out.
There are other ways to note what you are doing instead of journaling every singe detail – how many miles we ran, how many calories we burned, how many repetitions we completed, how much iron we pumped. They say we need to keep track because we’ll get bored and we need to change it up. The truth is I have never gone back to see my progress. I fell prey to that inducing habit of writing things down. And when I was done with my workouts, I wrote every single detail down and then I felt accomplished. Let me repeat that, I felt accomplished after logging my workout, but not because I actually completed my work out. Do you see the problem?
I became so obsessed with the logging of my work outs that I forgot why I was working out in the first place. The habit I was trying to form was not a writing habit but an exercise habit. And something as simple as finding time to work out became such a chore. I invested more time in the logging part that in the work out part.
So I stopped the insanity. I stopped logging my workouts. I started to focus just in the exercising part. On how I felt accomplished after my work out without writing anything down. My stress level went from 100 to 0 in no time because I didn’t have to worry about investing time in logging every detail of what I had just done. I just did and that was enough. I felt so free that I wanted to work out more and I felt great after it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still track what I’m doing because if you do something like weights you only improve if you increase repetitions and/or weight. But I decided to do a plan on a regular piece of paper. I designed the workout I wanted to do. I wrote it down with a timeframe – For example, I would do these exercises for this amount of weeks and then after that I will come up with something else. I took a picture of the written plan. I keep it safe in my phone. Since I work out with my phone (because it has my music) if I need to look at the plan for reference I just look at it in my phone.
And that is how I do it now, and I’m much happier, healthier and in the best shape of my life.