LOG YOUR PR’S! How do you know you’re improving if you don’t know where you’ve been? Every Personal Record-maximal or not-that’s important to you or your goal(s) should get logged. My log includes data like PR’s, dates, loads, volume, goals, and more. I always pay extra attention to the goal-specific indicators in each training session-both for myself and the individuals I work with. I encourage you to do the same. So, why am I a such a big fan of logging your own PR’s?
1. Ever heard of a S.M.A.R.T. goal? When creating training goals, ask yourself: are the goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely? In order to properly assess a training goal, we’ve got to know where we currently stand and what we’re capable of. Use your log.
2. More data. More data allows us to make informed, highly specific decisions when it comes to creating a training program. More data = optimal programming.
3. Getting wins under your belt and staying safe. There are days when we’re just not capable of performing at 100%. Life happens, stressors take their toll, or maybe things just aren’t going our way. It’s nice getting wins under our belt, and establishing a new PR can be one of those wins.
4. Progress. Ever heard that quote, “what’s the definition of insanity?” If you’re not making progress, consider changing your course of action. Your log can tell you exactly how far you’ve come, how long it took you to get there, whether or not it’s time for an adjustment-and what type of adjustment that should be.
5. Variability. Training programs specifically tailored to individuals are often the most successful, but everyone is unique. Some individuals adapt to movements faster than others, some can’t perform certain movements, maybe their goals have changed, or maybe they’re just burned out on a movement and don’t feel like doing it that week. Let your log be your guide, select another variation that satisfies the objective.
Here are some examples of how to use info from your training log to guide your programming:
-If John needs to develop the tissues involved in a squat, but is burned out on back squats and only has a BB Back Squat PR established in his log-maybe he can establish a Front Squat PR. He’ll develop similar tissues and establish a new PR!
-Jim is strong and has a heavy DL PR established for a 1 rep max. Jim goes up skiing and finds his alignment tanks after just 2 runs. Jim’s “absolute strength” is great, but maybe Jim needs to focus more on developing “strength-endurance” and hit some PR’s in movements that involve greater amounts of time under tension-like higher rep DL variations.
If you don’t have a training log, start one. Do you have a budget, schedule, or timeline for goals in other aspects of your life? These provide roadmaps for where you’re at, and where you need to go. Why wouldn’t you do the same with something as important as your health? Optimal training includes a TRAINING LOG with PERSONAL RECORDS. Your log provides important guidelines to help you succeed in your health and performance goals.