Whether you consider it to be journaling, note taking or score keeping, taking notes on your weights and scores from your daily, weekly, and monthly fitness regimen is important. Keeping track of your progress is important for your own mental solidarity as well as accountability. How will you know when to deload? When to go heavy? What type of heavy is relative to your work capacity? And what your past and present personal bests are? When taking notes, here are some helpful tools to consider:
- Mobility: Take daily notes on which stretches you do. Do they help you? Did you benefit from them? What were the positive outcomes? Were they difficult? Learn systematic methods that work for you when remembering things that work for you. Bookmark pages, highlights phrases, go post-it note crazy!
- Skill/Strength: What are we doing today? What cues were you given for instruction? What cues worked for you? What cues were hard to relate to? Describe the movements in your own words for recollection. Record your working weights as points of reference so that you can gauge growth/progressions.
- Conditioning: Write a description of the workout. This will come in handy in case you travel. The more you attend class, the more options you will have available to re-WOD when traveling. This is also a useful point of reference to see if you’ve made progress.
- At the end of each week, how many days did you attend? Write a quick reflection on which days were the hardest, what body parts hurt the most, and which movement you were best at. Give each week an intensity score on a scale of 5-10. (No one should ever be below 50% intensity.)
- At the end of each month, you should start to tally your weeks and their relative intensities. This will help you understand your own athletic capacity and be able to adjust accordingly. Coach Jeff's rule of thumb (as a 30+ year-old male) is two weeks of 80-90% intensity, with one week at 70-90%. He recycles this pattern and occasionally goes 80-100+% on a week or two that he feels good and well rested. He also uses sleep and food intake to determine his percentages. For him, 7-9 hours of sleep combined with proper fueling will make him inclined to shoot for 90%. Less than 7 hours and or improper fueling will limit him to the 80% zone.
Increasing self-awareness and getting to know yourself is a life long journey. Taking notes and journaling properly will support this process. Although getting started may be slow or uninspiring, have no fear - it will get easier! Let’s make the month of September the start of self-progress and note taking. Talk amongst each other as to what works for you personally and what has been helpful to log. Exchange ideas so that you may benefit from each other’s note taking idiosyncrasies!