I keep a training journal.
I hope you do too.
The reason is simple.
I write down my sets, reps, and the weights I use so I can
measure my progress.
In fact, last week I was looking at some of my workouts I did
almost 10 years ago.
I can see where I was compared to where I am now, and
surprisingly, in many cases, I’m not that far off.
See, I don’t care if my workout was “killer” or if I feel
“trashed” after my workouts.
In fact, the older I get, the less I care about those things
and the more I steer toward this one thought:
How can I recover so I can do more measurable work
What do I mean by “measurable work?”
I use both quantitative and qualitative measurements.
You should too.
Here’s an example:
Quantitative: Volume or tonnage lifted.
Did I lift more weight overall today than I have previously with
the same weights?
In other words – say you can do Clean + Presses with a pair
If you can do 5×5, then you’ve lifted 48kg * 25 reps = 1200kg.
When you can lift the same 48kg for 10×5, then you’ve lifted
2400kg. You’ve DOUBLED your volume.
And that’s progress when training for strength.
Circumference measurements – size of your waist, hips, etc,
or change in body fat measurements are great ways to
measure progress on a fat loss program.
What have you been using lately?
Qualitative: Speed of movement.
This is my #1 indicator for QUALITY.
When the speed of my movement – my KBs, my bodyweight
through space, whatever – slows down, then the quality
of my work has diminished.
Work = Force x (Distance/time)
I’ve decreased my work output because I’ve slowed down.
Now many people neglect such measurement tools because
they “don’t have time” or they “just workout for stress relief.”
But how then do you measure progress other than “feeling
good” after that “killer workout?”
The truth is – you can’t.
Unless of course you’re using a secondary measurement like
improvement in sleep quality.
So how do you get off the feelings roller coaster?
Start measuring something.
If you’re on a fat loss program – use circumference measurements.
If you’re on a strength program – measure the increases in
The “STRONG!” program in “Kettlebell STRONG!” enables
you to get strong by increasing your tonnage over the course
For example, you start with just 20 total reps in your first
workout using your Clean + Press 5RM.
Then, by the end, you’ll end up doing 60 total reps resting
just 60 seconds between sets with that same 5RM.
Each week, you’ll be able to measure your progress –
You’ll see that your total workload is increasing.
You know what else?
When you actually MEASURE your workloads this way,
something surprising starts happening.
You start SEEING changes in your physical appearance.
Imagine that –
You start measuring and before you know it – you’re not
only stronger – you look a little bit leaner too – more
Your pants aren’t as tight as they used to be.
And you’re not really even “trying” – at least not in the way
you used to – with your “killer workouts” and all.
And when that happens, you know what else happens?
You start FEELING pretty darn good about yourself!
Wouldn’t you like that?