On Plans and Progress

2015-01-23 10.46.47

I reached the last page of my training journal earlier this week and started a new one. This seemed a good time to look back and see what worked, what didn’t, and what mattered. I thought I would share these thoughts for anyone who might find them useful.

Up about 10 pounds, but max pushups, pullups, and running and rucking speeds have all improved.

Biggest takeaway from this span of my training: having a solid training plan is absolutely essential to consistent progress. Writing out said plan in a way that you can understand and follow it may be even more important.

At the start of this journal, roughly 9 months ago, I would pull random workouts from various sources. It worked, but results were far from consistent. Things got a little better when I started using the Stronglifts 5×5 program for about half of my workouts, continued through the kettlebell challenge and really took off when I restarted the commercial structured training plans that I had bought some time ago, but fallen off of using.

I had fallen off of using them for one reason: My ability to keep records and make sure I knew what workout needed done absolutely sucked. I would also often get confused as far as where I was in the workout. Have I done four rounds of this or only three? Do I need to do the burpees or the mountain climbers next?

What finally solved both of these problems was taking the rounds and sets from the printed training plan, and turning them into a bingo sheet in the notebook:

2015-03-11 22.05.30

Marking down every few sets keeps me from getting lost,  I have what needs done today (and what the results of the last test/max/whatever were) with me every time, and I can use rest days to fill out the coming week or so of workouts.

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