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Your most important equipment? Pen and paper.

Posted by eric on November 1, 2011

When you're loading up your gym bag and prepping for your workout, it's easy to remember all the normal standbys - towel, water bottle, running shoes, and perhaps a protein bar. But what you might be forgetting are the two most important tools for maximizing your workout - a pen and paper.

Here's why:

In order to improve your performance, or for that matter, even know what your performance is over time, you need to record it at every workout. For every set. 

By writing down not only how much you lifted, but also any specific information about the set (too easy, too hard, etc.) or workout (felt tired, felt great), you can look back and see what kind of progress you're making. Next to the look and feel of improved fitness, nothing will hit home more than seeing the weight you're lifting or the distance you're rowing or the speed you're running increase over time on paper.

You can also encourage yourself to make progress.

For example, if you're always doing 20lb dumbbells for your hammer curls, it may not strike home that you should try to increase your weight, especially if you're comfortable with what you're lifting. If, however, you look back at your log and actually see you've been lifting 20lbs for hammer curls for the past 2 months, it can help you realize the time has come to step out of your comfort zone.

So throw a notebook and a pencil into your bag the next time you head to work out and start tracking your progress. You won't regret it.

Stay fit everyone.


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