Why You Need To Track Your Workouts To See Progress

By Kevin Jones

April 1, 2019   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

If you have heard a lot about how weight training can affect you but haven’t seen results from your own efforts, this problem may be caused by a lack of workout tracking.

Think about it.

Say you are good about hitting the gym 3 to 5 times a week. You may do a bunch of upper body lifts but see little progress over time because you don’t track your sets and how much you are lifting.

These kinds of haphazard workouts will yield some results since you are working out. Unfortunately, it won’t be the definition you are looking to achieve.

If you are ready to make some real progress and start crushing your goals, then it’s time for you to learn just why you need to start tracking workouts.

Not Every Exercise Will Work For You

workout tracking

Whether you are lifting weights or doing yoga, you will find that not every exercise works for your needs.

For instance, if you find that an exercise provides you with little progress or actively leaves you feeling strained or in pain, then it is time to kick this exercise out of your routine entirely.

However, without tracking, you can easily forget that you have problems or did just not progress when you attempt that exercise.

See Also: 5 Tips for Finding a Fitness Program That You’ll Never Want to Quit

Feel Stronger Motivation And Dedication

Personally, feeling a stronger sense of motivation and dedication to my workouts is one of the main reasons why I track my routine. Hitting up the gym nearly every day of the week can feel very repetitive and since it is tough for us to observe our own progress, it can be hard to stay motivated to make time for exercise.

But with workout tracking, you can see a clear chart marking your progress. As you see how you have steadily improved, you can stay more motivated and dedicated to that next heavy lifting session.

Helps Push Your Fitness To The Next Level

As I mentioned earlier, a major reason why you should track your workouts is to help push your fitness to the next level. For example, say you are stuck dead-lifting 190 lbs and just can’t break the 200-pound mark. Without tracking, you may not be able to make it past this blockage.

However, if you are tracking your workouts, you will be able to see if there are other workouts you can do to help strengthen your auxiliary muscles. That way, the next time you attempt a new deadlift PR, you will be able to manage it.

See If Your Lifting Goals Are Close

lifting goal counts

As long as your lifting goals are more refined than “get more ripped”, then you need some way to see if you are close to your lifting goals.

Since our overall fitness goals should be long-term and not easily achieved, it can be tough to see how close you are to achieving your goals if you aren’t tracking your progress. You won’t easily see how long it will take to reach your goal if you have no idea of where you are now.

See Also: 5 Ways To Use The Mind Muscle Connection For Better Workouts

Ways You Can Track Your Workouts

When tracking workouts, there are a lot of options you can choose from. Some of the tracking methods I have used are:

Pen and notepad – The most basic tracking tool is a notepad and pen. I recommend a notepad rather than loose leaf paper which is easy to lose. Also, with a notepad, you can easily flip through your workouts for a quick overview of your progress.

Printable workout charts – If you like the tactile motion of writing down your sets and reps but find the pen and notepad a bit messy, you can use a free workout chart printable. By using a weekly plan, you can tailor your workouts to an overall monthly goal for laser-focused exercises that will help you progress.

Smartphone notes – Let’s face it, most of us are glued to our phones — even at the gym. To make tracking easier, as you rest between exercises, make notes about your exercise, sets and reps, as well as the weight lifted.

Workout log apps – While I have used all the above methods to track my workouts, I currently use a workout logging app. There are many apps out there and not all of them will be right for your kinds of workouts. As I am both a runner and lifter, I tend to use two different apps tailored to those interests. Since they are on my phone, the process is less tedious than it may sound like. I can easily see why one set of workouts may be slipping in quality.

If you are still committed to making this year your year for fitness, then pick your preferred tracking method and start maximizing your exercise time. Begin tracking workouts today.

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones is a freelance writer, researcher and fitness instructor/consultant. Kevin has written extensively in the fitness and health industries, writing for companies such as NordicTrack & other influential health and wellness brands.

Articles of Best Supplements

Top Supplements Review