The Importance of Keeping a Training Log.
We use Train Heroic to program for our athletes and as a way to track their progress. The importance of keeping a training log is often overlooked. People come in, look at their session for the day and simply refer to the app to see what exercise they are doing, and what weight is supposed to be on the bar. While having an app is incredibly convenient for the athlete to use, it is often times underutilized and a lot of value is lost. When athletes fail to fill out the pre and post lift survey, and pass up logging their makes and misses, they are withholding useful information from their coaches as well as themselves. We recommend not only filling out whatever app you use with as much detail as possible, but also encourage you to keep a personal log of your own.
What We Track in Train Heroic
When athletes fill everything out in their app we are able to track numerous metrics that allow us to continue to program effectively. First and foremost, we can track their progression throughout the training cycle. We can see how different phases of training affect them positively and negatively, and can make adjustments based on that information. We can also see what days affect different athletes throughout the week. If we see someone come in every 4th day of training and have a bad day and we go into the app and see that their readiness is low, stress is high and sleep quality is poor, then it would explain why training goes south on that day. That 4th day can also be a result of the weekly accumulation of volume and intensity but if we have no way of seeing how their body is responding if nothing is filled out. When we have access to this information, it allows us to take fatigue into consideration adjust the program accordingly. Coaches can obviously see how everyone is doing in person, but remember that training sessions can get packed and we don’t get to see every make and miss.
Things You Can Track With Your Personal Log
Keeping track of your training is just as beneficial to you as an athlete. Writing down what you are doing every day allows to you to think about the training that lies ahead. It gives you a time to visualize and mentally prepare for the day. Your log is also much easier to access than an app. You can quickly flip through pages to look at previous training sessions instead of having to scroll back through an app.
The most important reason to keep a log is to track your progression. There will be times that you struggle in the sport, and having something to look back on can be quite helpful. Maybe you are having trouble hitting your snatches on a certain day, and you pick your log book up and look back to six months ago when you couldn’t even hit the weight on the bar for a single. Having access to those training sessions can do a lot for your morale as you battle through a training cycle.
The final and often times overlooked part of keeping a training log is the notes you can take. Commenting on the day or a certain lift can be just as important as writing your numbers down. Maybe you did something different on a clean and jerk and it felt great, LOG IT. Maybe you know that your sleep was bad, or you had a stressful day coming into training and the lifts are feeling heavier than normal, LOG IT. Whatever you think is necessary to write down should make it onto the page. Being honest with yourself can do wonders for your training. You are able to see what you do on days that you feel great and vice versa.
Whatever reason you have for keeping a log, do it. You will benefit, your coaches will appreciate it, and if none of those appeal to you, at least you will have something you can look back on when you are older!