The Art of Tracking

Written by Coach Tara

In my experience as both a nutrition coach, athlete and trainer I am always looking for the best tool to create a stronger, faster, leaner, better version of myself and my clients. How can I improve my overall fitness and how will I know that that is happening? What are the things that are working? What are those that aren’t?

CrossFit built their definition of fitness as the following:

“We define fitness as increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Capacity is the ability to do real work, which is measurable using the basic terms of physics (mass, distance, and time). Life is unpredictable (much more so than sport) so real world fitness must be broad and not specialized, both in terms of duration and type of effort (time and modal domains).”

The key phrase here is measurable. How can we ensure that we are actually improving over time? In one word: TRACKING. Whether this is a food journal, WOD notebook, body measurements or keeping track on your strength cycle sheet; having written records is invaluable to you as an evolving athlete. Remember last summer when you were jacked and tan? How exactly did you achieve that? What were you eating, what weights were you lifting and how many rest days were you taking? How about sleep, water, supplements?  In contrast: lately you’ve been feeling crummy, haven’t been recovering and have noticed you are gaining fat…what is the difference?

Without using the simple tool of tracking it is going to be hard to recall over time what was/is working and what wasn’t/isn’t. It will be hard to remember what bands you were using when you started doing pull-ups or how much your deadlift has gone up in six months. (Editor’s note: upon recent review of my 2011 workout log I found “Fran.” At the time I completed it with a 30# barbell, and a blue and green band for pull ups in 7:31. My most recent log notes 3:17 Rx).

Think of your log as your road map on your journey. It is going to be quite difficult to tell where you are going if you have little idea where you came from. This can lead to frustration, burn-out and eventually quitting something that in reality was bringing HUGE progress. A real example of this is the reason we ask you sign in to class. This gives us a measureable record of how many times you’re making it to the gym and is a great way for us to trouble-shoot when you feel your results are lackluster.

It would be my suggestion to start this strength cycle! Deanna has made up sheets for you to keep track of your lifts and we will be implementing workout tracking in ZenPlanner starting TODAY. This puts all your info in one place. So, when you’re on the computer SIGNING UP FOR CLASS you can also enter your workout results and have a record you can consult anywhere, anytime. Slick!

Commit to tracking for the next 12 weeks and see what changes your strength numbers and body composition. Like all valuable and scientific data, the proof will be in the numbers. Either way, you will have instant feedback on what is or isn’t working for you and we can make informed adjustments from there. Use this one simple and effective tool to become the best version of yourself yet!

Want help tracking your progress?  Email us at to get set-up with one of our coaches.