By: Coach Mike Lowe
All too often we see athletes stare at the whiteboard wondering what weight they’ll be using in the strength workout of the day (SWOD). They have no reference to guide them, or memory of what weight they used last time, sometimes, they don’t even remember their one rep max. Later in the week, this individual is usually the same person to approach us about feeling tired or “not as strong” and wondering why they feel this way. With a logbook, these problems can be easily avoided.
It’s surprising that although we’re quick to buy special shoes, jump ropes, tights, and the newest-best thing to get an edge in the CrossFit game, that we don’t maintain the most basic tool to monitor and IMPROVE our performance. Here are 4 reasons why you should start tracking your workouts today.
1) Identify Strengths/ Weaknesses
Tracking your workouts allows you to gain focus on your training. It also allows you to see strengths and weaknesses. If I write that I was able to complete 21 thrusters unbroken but that I had to break up my pull-ups into set of 7, I can now identify the need to work on pull-ups in future workouts. This also allows me to start supplementing my workout with strength work geared towards pull-up strength. I can also track the weight I use every time for a SWOD or metcon so when the same movements appear, I have a reference as to what I’ve been able to do before and whether I think I can go heavier while maintaining perfect form. These opportunities for improvement and increased strength are evident as you continue to track your progress.
Motivation, especially when you’ve been CrossFitting for a while, can be difficult. The honeymoon phase of CrossFit is over and for some it becomes increasingly difficult to get into the gym and attack their workouts. A logbook, though, can show you where you once were and how you overcome those challenges to get where you are now. It can also motivate you to set new goals and take your training even further.
3) Injury Prevention
Having a log book can help you see patterns to help avoid injuries. Keep track of how you feel during and after your workouts. Is there a nagging shoulder pain every time you do kipping pull-ups? Do your knees ache after you do front squats? Identifying when and where pain occurs can help you discuss these issues with your coaches and find a solution before anything gets worse. Maybe its a slight form issue that can be easily corrected or maybe you need to scale back on overhead movements to provide your shoulder with a little extra rest. If you’ve identified the pattern, we can help prevent the injury.
4) Correlating Diet and Performance
What you’re eating and how you do on your workouts are two training factors that are inseparable. Keeping track of your food and water intake and comparing that to your workout time can help you see where adjustments need to be made. See what works and what doesn’t work by detecting the patterns of your best and worst days at the gym. From there, keep eating the same way that you did on your best days and track whether or not you see an overall improvement in performance.
Now that you’re ready to start tracking your WODs, get a notebook, wodbook, cellphone app, or other means that you can use to start using to write down your information. Bring your WOD tracker with you every time you come into the gym and use it for everything. Write down the warm up, the skill, SWOD, metcon, and everything you ate/ drank that day. Include how you attacked the workout. What was you rep and rest scheme? Did you have a scheme to begin with? Were you able to do some things unbroken but others not? Where do you think you could have improved?
All this information will now start to become part of your personal database that can be used to help you become that best athlete you can be. This knowledge and understanding of your progress gives you power and accountability to continue improving.
At CrossFit 915 we believe that tracking your workout is so important that we offer a FREE service to our CrossFit members to help you get the job done. Visit Crossfit915.socialwod.com to view your workout profile. As long as your scores are regularly tracked on the whiteboard, you should be able to find your name and claim your profile. Here, we keep track of your performance, the weight you used on the strength workout, and even your score on the metcon. You can also use this site to enter benchmark scores, one rep maxes and more.