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Five simple steps to track your workouts
We bring you a five step guide on how to track your fitness and how it can supercharge your exercise goals.
- How personal tracking can change person-to-person
- Why tracking your workouts and fitness can be beneficial to achieving your goals
- Five easy steps for you to implement tracking workouts to your own training
There are various ways people can track their workouts, and different strategies work for different people. Some may use apps; others may use a diary to note down their weekly exercise.
Others may swear by the number shown on the scales at home, or the advanced scales at their gym or health club that give more in depth readings. Others simply keep an eye on how their clothes fit and how they feel.
Recognising positive feelings after working out and tracking how you feel after workouts is itself a training tool, and many people fail to incorporate it into their workout schedules.
Keeping a track of both your physical appearance and your psychological wellbeing could be something that accelerates results. You could reach fitness targets more quickly, more easily and with a true sense of accomplishment knowing what has changed and how far you’ve come.
Here are five key steps to tracking your fitness
1. Know how many calories you’re burning
It’s a good idea to know how many calories you need to eat during a day to maintain the weight you’re at. It is then possible to calculate how many calories you should be consuming per day to hit your target weight, whether it’s an increase or decrease from your current weight.
It also means that when you burn off those calories at the gym, you know what extra calories you can eat to replace those that are burned off (high protein options are great after a workout). When the Escape Team workout, we like to use Myzone.
2. Determine what makes you feel good (or bad!)
Try lots of different types of workouts. Cross training, circuits, bootcamps, PT sessions, small group sessions, Group X, spin, weightlifting, running, boxercise, bodyweight classes, specific sports or being in the gym on your own (there’s so much choice!).
These exercises and training types have varying degrees of intensity and, potentially, required ability. Many gyms and trainers will cater for members of all abilities and help you improve through the ‘ranks’.
Some exercises are more demanding than others and may leave you aching for a couple of days after the session! Spinning, bodyweight workouts like MetaFit and Insanity, cross training and boxercise can all bring on a serious case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Once you’ve tried a new type of exercise, jot down two or three sentences about how you feel straight after the exercise, and the day after to note down the after effects.
Like most things in life, in exercise and training, you’re likely to find a regime that suits you well and leaves you feeling good, refreshed and as if you’re progressing towards your goals.
3. What exercise works best for you or is the most effective?
Track your calories whilst you’re trying out all these different training types. The amount of calories you burn in an hour can vary massively depending on the type of exercise you’re doing (as well as your personal make up of course – don’t rely on a friend’s stats!).
Once you know what type of exercise increases your heart rate the most, and subsequently burns the most calories, your choice of exercise may be obvious! Be sure to mix it up though – you don’t want to become bored by routine.
4. Know that you’re improving and hitting goals
Create tangible goals, be it a goal weight or a desire to be able to deadlift a certain amount. Write them down so you can keep yourself motivated. Want to skip a day that’s NOT rest day? Think about how good you’ll feel after your workout and that extra little step it will give you towards what you really want.
Setting small goals on the way to a bigger achievement is a great way to realise that you are improving. As people get fitter and more accomplished at their chosen training they tend to become more demanding and harder on themselves. This can often lead to them thinking they’re not improving or, even worse, going backwards. These smaller goals reinforce the fact that you actually are on the right path, doing the right training and making the right changes.
5. Ensure you’re working with enough intensity
Use a rep counter, stopwatch or a Tabata timer to push yourself to the limit and tap into the energy sources you store beyond your comfort zone.
Like having a trainer next to you encouraging you to push through the final part of an exercise, exercising to a timer can ensure you’re continuing to work out when it matters most. Tabata timers allow you to take the short rests you need but keep you working out when it hurts – when it matters most. A stopwatch can be great for achieving PBs for sprints out on the athletics track, which really increases the heart rate, burns fat and trains fast twitch muscle fibres.
Countdown timers can revolutionise the way you perform your bodyweight exercises such as press-ups, burpees, mountain climbers and squats etc. by allotting timing to it. This allows you to stop counting reps and instead focus on form and quality of the movements.
If you’re looking for a great workout app that features a Stopwatch, Countdown, Rep Counter and a Tabata timer, you’re in luck! Try the Time2Train app which offers all these in one great, easy-to-use app. Escape will be bringing you more information about our app and why we’ve introduced it in the coming weeks so keep checking back. In the meantime, download it from the iTunes app store or contact us at [email protected] if you’d like more information about it.