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How to Know If You’re Making Progress: The Ultimate Guide to Workout Tracking

Your fitness success will only go so far as your data recording. Yes, you read that right; how you track workouts directly correlates to your end physique. But how can you record your gym progress? Where do you start?

Fortunately, with PVL as your trusted courier and guide, you no longer need to lament, "Why am I not making progress at the gym?" Instead, you'll soon find yourself exclaiming, "Wow, I've transformed into a total powerhouse!"

How to Track Your Workouts & Gym Progress

There are a few metrics you’ll want to keep in mind when workout tracking. The goal is to achieve “progressive overload,” continuously adding volume to the training. This can mean anything from weight to reps, sets, faster rest periods, additional exercises, or more frequent workouts. The most common way to progressively overload is to add weight over time within a given rep range.

Gym Progress 1 Month

After following the above guidelines for a month on the same workouts — it’s essential to do the same exercises for at least a month since that’ll give you enough time to progress on your lifts — you’ll see some significant changes with strength and muscle growth. 

For example, you choose a particular exercise and say you want to lift 100 pounds within the 10-15 rep range. You start the first workout by lifting 100 pounds for 10 reps. Mark that in your phone or notebook (or workout tracking app). In the next workout, your goal is to beat that previous achievement. Say you get 15 reps this time; keep track of that too. Congrats, you’ve hit the top of the rep range! Now, the next time you work out, add five pounds (105 total pounds) and go back to the bottom of the rep range (10 reps). This way, you’re always adding weight or reps to your lifts. 

You can easily record this data within a notes app on your phone or a physical notebook. This allows you to see a timeline of your gym progress after one month, two months, half a year, a full year, and beyond. Recording what you lifted, how much you lifted for how many reps, and how long you rested between sets and exercises will give you a comprehensive overview of your workouts.

Why Am I Not Seeing Progress at the Gym 

For starters, if you aren’t following the progressive overload and are going into the gym lifting random weights and reps each workout, then that’s a primary culprit to why you may not be seeing progress. 

In addition, adding pertinent information to your workout tracking log is vital to knowing what went into each training session. If, for instance, you put “didn’t get good sleep” in the margins of a workout that showed you plateauing (i.e., not progressing on your lifts), then you can recall why you faltered a bit.

If you don’t write down what you’re lifting and how much, you’re pretty much flying blind in the workout department. And what good does that do you? Not knowing where you are in your weightlifting progress is dangerous territory, where you have no sense of direction and a lousy physique to show for it. By putting down every important detail about your workout on paper – digital or physical – you can continue to overload your body’s system effectively. The same can be said for tracking dietary information and sleep journaling. 

What’s measured is managed. Manage your training like the boss you are by tracking your workouts. Your future physique will thank you.

Article by Terry Ramos

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