For many of us working out is an enjoyable pastime, the challenge of pushing your body as far as you can, to see just how much you can get out of it, is its own reward. But for a lot of people exercise is just seen as the lesser evil: ‘If I lose weight I can avoid heart disease.’ ‘When I’m fitter I’ll be able to run around with the kids.’
No matter what your goals in health and fitness are, knowing where you have come from and tracking how you progressing along the way can not only help to get you there faster, but also make the journey a little more exciting and challenging.
There are numerous ways to test and keep track of your progress, from traditional fitness tests such as the beep test, max. bench press etc. to some more new-school challenges similar to the Crossfit benchmark workouts. Knowing that each squat, push up, burpee, cartwheel and 1km run you do along the way is going to help you to get a better result, once it comes time to test yourself again, is often the motivation you need to keep working hard.
It can even be as simple as writing down some basic information about your workout, like the weight used and repetitions completed, or distance and time completed. So the next time you do that exercise, your aim is to ever-so-slightly improve on one facet of the workout. Just like having a mini competition with yourself to kick your own butt.
Technology can be really useful to help you with tracking your progress. There are loads of smartphone apps and online tracking systems that you can use to record and measure your progress. For all of you technophobes out there, don’t stress; it can also be as simple as recording each session into a book.
However you choose to do it, start recording your training progress and see how much you are improving. If all else fails you may even be happy in the knowledge that all of your hard work means that you are not going backwards with your fitness, especially as we get a little older.