97% ARE LOOSERS. and WHY? Right now I want to tell you about your muscle building plan workout journal . In spire of a very important role of this tool in life of each athlete, sport athletic magazines write about it almost nothing. Aha, you’ll say: if it is not discussed in sports press than, may be, it’s not that very important! How about the following statement: Guys! 97% of you won’t achieve any results (absolutely no results) if you don’t start running your workout journal! Is it clear? Or, may be you just don’t believe me? I’d been always surprised by extremely low quantity of bodybuilders of my gym who run workout journal. The majority of them prefer to Bench 150 lbs for three years on end losing their time in vain. I wont say that no people were able to achieve progress without a workout journal (there are some guys in my gym as well); but they’d have achieved much more progress and would have needed much less time if they’d have it. To go to a gym in order just to lift barbells is ok only if you are a young pre-beginner; but in order to achieve real progress and to be able to appraise your success you just need to have strict muscle building plan and need to run workout journal. Muscle growth is response of your muscles to increased loads. That’s why, in order to control your loads, you need first of all to know them. Your weights and workout journal Of course, if you hadn’t changed your weights for a couple of last years and are not going to do it, all what’s been said about workout journal is not for you. Then, it’s a big question whether you need to read this site at all. I’d been training for too long like other representatives of this Grey majority. I didn’t consider a workout journal to be a necessary thing as well because I remembered my workout weights very well. It is not difficult when you are using the same weights for months. Like an absolute idiot, I was ignoring the main workout principle – the overload principle (constant increase of training weights). All this time I was visiting my gym like a robot, not knowing how to start progressing and having no wish to do it… It went on and on till I understood the necessity to change something in order to succeed. And the first new thing that I introduced into my training process was a strict muscle building plan in my workout journal. From the very first time when I came to my gym with it I felt that my trainings obtained new meaning. I was coming to the gym, was looking at the figures of the previous training session, was planning new exercises and was performing them. Then I was writing the new figures down in the diary and so on, and so on. The endless perfection circle was closed up. Yes, my ‘achievements’ within the limits of each single training were not very impressive (one-two pounds); but after some months they resulted in dozens of pounds of basic weights and several additional pounds of my muscles. The workout journal played a significant role in increase of my training weights and muscle mass. It disciplined me, forced me to set new weight borders and to overcome them. There were periods when my progress (weights and muscle mass) was rather poor; there were even periods of regress but my diary enabled me to analyse all mistakes that I made when training; and I was able to improve the general situation. Why do you think the majority of gym visitors don’t succeed? – These people usually have rather clear aims and understanding of what they want to achieve. Still, 97% of them are not able to do it. Why? The answer is simple: they don’t have a concrete muscle building plan of activities to achieve their workout goals. They have goals but no plan! They are just like a wanderer who needs to get to a city lying a hundred kilometres away but who doesn’t know what road to take to get there. For example, I want to increase bench press weight up to 300 lbs but I don’t have clear understanding and a step-by-step plan how to do it: on what days to increase basic weights, what exercises to do and what sequence is it supposed to be, how many sets and reps are required, what should be the speed of their performance, etc. Without knowledge of the ‘way’ how to succeed and without a muscle building plan derived from this knowledge you’ll make no headway (meaning your sports results) or will take a wrong direction (for example, you’ll start training endurance instead of mass). So, taking into consideration all that’d been said above, we can define the following most serious merits of any training diary: 1) Presence of a plan of activities to achieve your sports results. It’s necessary as much as the air we breathe. Without load increase muscles don’t feel the necessity to grow and become stronger. The growth process is individual for each person; it depends on her genetic features and peculiarities of their training regime. To change your body you need to plan your workout regime and experiment with it. If a certain experiment doesn’t work, it’s very important to define the reasons of this failure, to study the procedure of its conduction in details and find mistakes or inaccuracies. 2) From such experiments the second workout journal merit follows: it helps you elaborate your own workout regime and a plan to fit your individual (in all senses) body in order to derive the maximum benefit for training process from your individual features. 3) Workout journal disciplines you. You are not hoping for a successful training session… you are just doing it. At the same time, the skill of planning and ability to approach your goal step-by-step will be very useful in any sphere of your future life. So, how is a workout journal supposed to look like? – Usually it’s just an ordinary notebook. You’d better have a thick one if you are going to train long and seriously. First pages are left for the information about your basic volumes: biceps, chest, thigh, waist, neck, shin and forearm. I recommend writing these pieces of information in the form of the following table: Date Weight Neck Biceps Chest Waist Gluetes Quads Calf 27.02.05 61 36 36®36 92/95 73 88 55®54 34,5®34 23.06.05 65 36 38®37 93,5/96 75 90 57,5®56 35®34,5 This is an example from my workout journal. ® and (l) refer to right and left arms and / – to chest size (pause/breath in). After this you need to assign the place for a training plan that is to include your training schedule for the next month (or for a longer period if possible). It’s better to elaborate cyclic plans because it’ll enable you to observe and analyse achieved results at the end of each cycle. Our first cycle will last for 12 weeks. How is it better to write down exercises? – There are a lot of ways but this is the most widespread one. 07.01.10 1) Squats:5 (100) , 5 (100) , 5 (100). 2) Bench Presses: 5 (108) , 5 (108) , 5 (108). 3) Barbell Curls: 5 (63,5) , 5 (63,5) , 5 (63,5). 4) Crunches: 50 , 50 , 50. Training time 1:44 When filling in your workout journal don’t confine yourself to a simple list of exercises, sets and reps performed during your training sessions; try to add to each training session record other pieces of information about the way you were feeling (tired (fresh), had a good (bad) sleep, was (wasn’t) able to eat, training time, it’s duration, your mood, etc.). When writing down the information on training sets and reps, try to add it with notes about the speed of positive and negative phases of each exercise performance. There is no such thing as a ‘too detailed workout journal’. In conclusion I want to stress it once again: running a workout journal will enable you to take an absolutely new view of your program and progress. This new view, in its turn, will help you to plan and estimate your future workout cycles and make progress.