Recently, several members of Industrial Athletics, the Home of CrossFit Alloy, have asked if they should be tracking their workout performance. In short, the answer is YES! But, proper tracking means more than simply taking pictures of the scoreboard with your cell phone after each workout. Instead, I highly suggest that you keep a CrossFit Journal. This CrossFit Journal can come in many forms. You can bring a physical Journal with you to the box to write down each WOD. You can track your WODs on your computer at home. There are also a ton of free apps our there for your smartphone. You are looking for some sort of organized written account of your performance in WODs. This written account will help you see your PRs metcons and lifts whether it’s a one, two, or three rep max. An organized Journal gives a CrossFitter the ability to set personal goals and compete with oneself. By writing down each day’s workout and your performance, you can see how you did in the past to push yourself in the present, and understand the level at which you are performing. Because CrossFit encompasses so many movements and lifts, and is constantly varied, it can get difficult to recollect past performances in order to get in the mind frame to excel above your previous time, weight, or number of reps. This is especially helpful for benchmark WODs, which are typically done infrequently throughout the year.
As you know, when we are working on a strength program, we will aim to hit all lifts at a certain percentage of our one rep max so we will want to be able to quickly look that up. Also, you will have days (or sometimes weeks) when you feel like you are not progressing. By keeping a Journal, you can see actual progress and use it to bolster your confidence. This can assist with setting goal by reflecting on your progress. You can understand what you need to do in order to become the athlete you want to be. A journal can give you a sense of accomplishment too. Sometimes you get discouraged, but knowing what you have done in the past, whether it was a quick or slow progression, can be highly motivating. You can see the movements and lifts you have previously mastered to help you get through the ones with which you may currently be struggling. You can make correlations between workouts and acquire a perspective on what is working and what is not. A Journal can also help you gauge when to move up in scaling and when you need to make the WODs a little more difficult to encourage continued progression. Some CrossFitters even keep track of their diet, and can see if certain foods have helped or hindered their performance in the past. All in all, a CrossFit Journal is a great tool that can elevate your athleticism in more ways than one.
If you need some ideas for keeping a CrossFit Journal, talk with any of the coaches at the box. Also, stay tuned to the website, we will be doing a Continuing Fitness Education on tracking your workouts soon.