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How many times while growing up did my daddy tell me,”Write it down!” How often have I told myself the exact same thing?
Writing something down has been demonstrated to be an effective memorization technique. It’s also the key to the past that helps shape your future – and I do mean shape your future. To know where you are going, it helps to know where you’re coming from. Irrespective of how much fish oil or ginkgo you take, it’s far-fetched to expect you will remember every set, rep, mile and nuance of your last workout or the one before that.
Why do you need to recall what you’ve already done? Same reason people write down recipes: to increase the odds of success the next time you are in that circumstance.
And I am not speaking only sets and reps. In fact, anything that affects your senses can impact your workout, even in the event that you’ve mastered how to block out distractions. Recreating a scenario in which you can tune out those annoyance increases the potential for a favorable gym experience. Control what you can, have a back-up plan for what you can not and ignore the rest.
Food and supplement intake, including quality, quantity and timing, also affects your workout, so make some notes. At the gym, temperature, lighting, music, accessibility to the equipment you’ll need, the gym’s layout and how crowded it is are all variables in your workout. Things you discovered on a particular day that affected your training, good or bad, are worth jotting down.
After a while, taking notes will become second nature – a frequent occurrence within your day-to-day workouts. It doesn’t have to be prose; it may be bullet points. The next time you’re in a slump, flip back to a great work out and see why it worked. Draw from that experience. It will not always work, but it could mean the difference between a bad day, week or even month. If you harness creativity with discipline, you can make a masterpiece.

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