For the longest time I thought I was too cool to record my weight, reps, and sets in the gym. In fact, not only did I preach about how irrelevant it was to do so, I also found myself judging people that walked around the gym with a notebook and pen. Let me share a quote with you from one of my all time favorite movies, Pulp Fiction "Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps." Though taken a bit out of context from the situation in the movie, there is definitely truth to this quote in most situations we find ourselves in life. For some, it can be the pride that keeps them from saying "sorry", and others, doing an activity alone in fear of judgement from others. For me, it was my pride that kept me from recording my weights in the gym, assuming only "novice" fitness enthusiasts did it. Well guess what? It was also my pride that kept me from reaching my potential. Now, six months into recording my weights and reps I am squatting, deadlifting, and bench pressing more weight than ever before. My fiance frequently compliments me on how much bigger both my butt and pecs have gotten!
So what's the big deal with tracking progress? Progression Overload, or (overly) simply defined as "doing better than last time." Before, I was just guessing the amount of weight I lifted the previous week, there was no control. If it felt tough, I was doing something right. And to a point, this worked, and I gained muscle because guess what, if you lift really hard 5x a week, something is going to happen. Sadly, that something came at a much slower pace than these past 6 months. Never am I unsure about what weight to use, how many reps to do, I always have a goal, setting the bar just a little higher than the previous week, and that goal has made all the difference. And if you record your weights but can't ever seem to go up in weight? Check your DIET first, and then your lifting intensity.