If you’re working out at home or a gym, charting maybe hasn’t occurred to you. You’ve been working out “regularly”, and you feel your heart rate go up, so that’s enough, right? Maybe not. In fact, experts generally agree that to get the most from your workouts (home or gym) charting is critical. Let’s look at a few reasons why.
First of all, having to put some numbers on a chart during your workout at home/gym will likely improve your progress. With workouts, because you’re going to write it down, you may find you can lift that weight one more time, so that you can write down “20” instead of “19.” Charting during home/gym workouts can increase your performance, just because you’re keeping track.
Hand in hand with the “motivation” factor is that charting during your home or gym workout can keep your more accountable. You are more likely to go to the gym and more likely to give it your best if you know you will be writing down whatever you did. There’s just something in keeping track of it that increases likelihood of the event happening. (The same thing goes for being more responsible in your eating, by the way. If you are writing down everything you eat, suddenly that donut isn’t so appealing anymore.)
If you record what you did on a chart during your gym or home workout, you will be better able to measure your progress. You may think that you can keep track in your head and remember how many sets of what weight you used last time, but it just doesn’t work that way. The numbers get all mixed together, and the workout becomes less effective. Instead, write down that you used 20 pound weights and did 12 repetitions, rest, then 10 repetitions, rest, then 8 repetitions, etc.
And write down how strenuous it was for you, so you’ll know when it is time to up that weight to 25 pounds! Soon, you’ll see that you used to use ten pound weights, and My what progress you’ve made! Also, when you know the numbers, you can plan your next home or gym workout ahead, so you have goals and are more prepared before you begin.
If you seriously want to improve your weight lifting, experts believe that you need to vary your workout every few months. Maybe this quarter you’re working out your upper body on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and lower body on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with a rest day on Sunday. Maybe next quarter, you can move your upper body workouts to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and your lower body to Monday, Wednesday, Friday…or even move your rest day. For some reason, the body adjusts too easily to a change in routine, and in order to stimulate more change in the body, we have to change the routine again. That’s the best way to increase muscle and decrease fat – according to many experts in the field of fitness.
But your mileage may vary. That’s another terrific reason to chart during your home/gym workouts. If you’re keeping track, you can more easily see which workouts were the most effective for you, and when it is time to shake things up, you can go back to a routine that worked before – chances are, it will work again if enough time has elapsed.
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