It’s one of the most under-utilized tools in training – the training log. From the hobbyist to the serious fighter, keeping training records can help you improve your training, achieve your goals, and decrease your injury risk. Training logs can be kept in any format. There are several apps available that help you log your training so those records are only a swipe away. You can simply make notes in your phone’s calendar if you don’t feel like spending the time learning a new app. For the old-fashioned, there’s the ever-reliable notebook and pen. Regardless of the format that’s right for you, keeping a log of your training is something you can start today. Training logs can be beneficial in several ways:
Improve Your Training
How many times have you learned a new move that you know was going to work well for you, only to forget it after leaving the gym? Maybe you remember it a week or two later, and have to frantically ask your coach the name of that move he taught on that day, and hope he remembers it. Take the time after training to write down the name of the moves, submissions, or combos you learned, as well as a notes on how they worked for you. Not only will you not forget the name of that perfect move for you, if you make the habit of looking back at your training log every few weeks, you’ll inevitably remember a move or submission you learned that you forgot about, and want to try next time.
Achieve Your Goals
Everyone has heard it – to have a better chance of achieving your goals, write them down. Take some time to write your goals down in your training log (somewhere visible where you can see them daily), and then break them into small, achievable steps. Once a week, take a few moments to note where you’re at in achieving those steps, and to reflect on what you may need to change or where you can do better.
Decrease Your Injury Risk
Injuries are the shadow lurking in the background of every competitor. If you train often, you might not know why your shoulder suddenly is hurting, or where you pushed too hard and strained a muscle. With a good record of your training, you can look back and see that maybe you were repeatedly training left hooks and pinpoint that as the source of your shoulder issues. Perhaps you worked on takedowns more than you realized, and that’s where you strained your hamstring. Being able to figure out the ‘why’ of your injury will help you learn what to avoid in the future or how and when you need to take it easy.
A log helps you train for your next competition and helps you maintain a steady training base between competitions. Nothing sucks more than gearing up for the next throwdown and running into a previous injury you’ve forgotten about, or not knowing what foods you ate last time that hurt/helped maintain weight. You never want to reinvent the wheel. Keeping a training log will help you capitalize on good training techniques and avoid previous errors in training that keep cropping up.