Pexels mentatdgt 1507931 1

Boring, but still here

4 minutes read  

by Harry
on 10 Aug, 20224 minutes read

I won't lie to you, I feel like this blog is getting boring and perhaps you feel it too.

When I first started, I thought I'd have more to say - more great recipes to share, more workout insights, more mental health tips... but the truth is I'm not an expert on any of it, so commenting just feels out of place. What's most important though, is that every two weeks, I'll still be here, posting a mixture of knowledge and nonsense, doing my best to stay consistent regardless of how boring the content is. Because in all honesty, this is just as much for me, as it is for you.

And, that's perhaps my greatest insight so far and what my whole health and fitness journey has been about - 'consistency is key'.

Now maybe I wouldn't be writing this if it wasn't part of my job description... but I know I still should. Simply because documenting my failures, my progress, and everything in-between, has been vital to keeping me in the gym almost every morning at 6:30am. In the last four weeks, I've had just 3 days out of the gym. Now that it's part of my daily routine, I just can't seem to stay away... (I must stress that this amount of rest is not a good idea at all, especially not for my goal of building muscle, but we'll get onto me very recently learning about the importance of rest next time)

I keep quite a religious notebook on every single workout I do: documenting the exercise, the sets and reps and the weight, as well as where I may have progressive overloaded, injured myself, hated or loved an exercise and much more. This reflection has been instrumental to keeping me consistent. Not only can I look back and see how far I've progressed with what I can lift, but it also helps me plan my next workouts with ease.

I can see my recent workouts, decide quickly which one should come next and simply copy and paste my last workout for that muscle group (with a few changes here and there for increased weights, new exercises I want to try etc). This helps especially with waking up and having no doubt about which session I'm doing - my mind is already prepped for a cardio session, a HIIT workout or leg day.

Now, maybe starting your own blog isn't necessarily the key, but the power of gym-journaling can't be underestimated. I've been doing this for a couple of months now, and it has helped me to no end. Here's a couple things I've learned along the way:

  • First, try just noting down what you did and how you felt about it, as simply as you can.
  • Try various ways of journaling: As you journal more and more, you'll develop your own personal way of documenting your workouts that suits you best. I use the notes app in my phone, but you may prefer something physical and tangible - plus you may actually have nice handwriting.
  • I like to use small colour block emojis to denote various things, like a progressive overload set, an exercise I didn't like, an injury occurring etc.
  • I also like to give the workout an overall score so that next time I come to that muscle group, I know if I need to change anything from the previous session.
  • I find it useful to note down how long the workout was, so that I know how early I need to get up before work so that I have enough time to finish every exercise - especially if I didn't manage to fit it all in last time.
  • Take note of your form and write down which exercises you felt were best. I can't tell you how many exercises I've crossed off the list, simply because I didn't like them. Don't be afraid to remove an exercise from your session and find a different one that you prefer - there's plenty out there.

If you try these simple things, I strongly believe you'll become more consistent in how often you go to the gym, and also more structured in how you workout.

Here's a snippet of what my gym-journal looks like:

You'll notice a lot of shorthand codes,: like FF (final set failure) and AF (almost failure), as well as colour codes: like yellow circles (progressive overload) and red circles (an exercise I didn't enjoy), while green ticks just show that I was happy with the exercise as a whole.

Workouts side by side