With the exception of those who are highly motivated and disciplined, most people have difficulty achieving fitness goals when they workout by themselves. The missing link in this success equation is usually accountability. The addition of a training partner, journal or support group can make all the difference between Fab and Flab. There is something motivating about seeing on paper the food atrocities we’ve consumed or knowing someone is waiting for us at the gym.
Accountability enables us to go for it as a “team” effort, even if the team is me, myself and I. Whether it’s a training partner with similar goals or a piece of paper-go for it. I usually recommend beginners as well as veterans to the fitness game go to www.askrocco.com and get a Free Food Journal, which allows them to write down everything they have consumed including water intake and record the type of exercise performed.
Many trainers and exercise enthusiasts use specific workout journals that record every rep, set and exercise in their workout. I personally don’t think this practice very prudent since it takes time away from the workout. If you want the workout to be intense enough to bring about change you need to rest very little between sets. These journals are better left to bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes who really need to record small incremental improvements.
From Honeymoon to Real Progress
When you begin a training program, especially with weights, there are large jumps in the amount of weight you can handle. I dislike rep, set and weight journals. The progress in the beginning weeks is often skewed and full of false hope. These leaps in poundage are not a result of significant strength gains but the ability to become more efficient at doing that specific movement. You are becoming more skilled at the exercise and adapting to that change in your environment. This is no way to understand real improvement. Consider this adaptive period as kind of a honeymoon. After the honeymoon comes real work then progress.
It doesn’t matter whether your sources of accountability come in human form or through pen and ink. The important thing is to adjust your ATTITUDE and be ACCOUNTABLE. Only then will you find an effective way to bring about significant change in your body through exercise.