Oct 262011

I am a big believer in tracking your progress in your physical training.

Besides being a great motivator go reassure you of how far you’ve actually come (or a reality check when you think you’ve come further), it’s pretty hard to know you’ve overloaded on volume, density or intensity of work when you don’t know what your previous loads have been.

There’s Always A “But…”

A commonly recognised concept amongst The Movement is that operation should be focussed on outcome, rather than ideology. So although I believe tracking is a fantastic tool, there comes a time when it is a hindrance rather than a help; and this should be recognised.

Training trumps Tracking

Time is against us all. If we all had unlimited time on the Earth, unlimited time in each day, unlimited time to recover from stresses; the way we plan our lives would be VERY different.

Sometimes even planning to track something by getting out a notebook, finding a pen, setting up a timer and checking previous records could be the very thing that throws up a roadblock in your mind and stops you training at all.

You don’t need permission to leave your notebook in its drawer and just play with movement. A deadlifts session that tests well and MAYBE doesn’t break any PRs or get tracked is still better for you than none at all!

Plus, if you truly enjoy a “pick-up-and-go” type drill (like my beloved Vulcan Gripper), odds are that recording every little session you do, playing around with max reps at intensities and arm/hand position etc, your notebook will be a big mess before long.

The take away is this: Time is limited and quality work is the goal; sometimes cutting corners pays off, you’ve just got to consider the costs before you choose.
If taking a break from tracking means reigniting your training, I would say that’d usually be the way to go.

Any thoughts?

  7 Responses to “Tracking vs. Training”

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  1. Something to chew on…

  2. I stopped tracking currently. I’m also stronger as of late and more flexible too.

    • Nice to know I’m not alone on this one, Darryl; though I expect you’d agree that your average gym-goer could probably benefit more from a tracking increase than a decrease.
      (I know very well that you’re hardly at the point of “average” in these matters, haha.)

  3. When I first talked to Adam he said that if you test your movements you won’t need to track because you will always be doing your best.  It’s just a nice way to compare. I myself try not to flip back to see if I am breaking the PR and just let them be organic.  They always are.

    • I still allow myself the luxury of checking back if it doesn’t feel like it’s going to be a density or intensity PR; simply because I may not have the time to play out a volume (depending how high the last one was and my ongoing rate).

      Other than that… I often tell people I train with to do so, but only if I think it serves a purpose at the time (early stages of tracking/training being highly associated with that).

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