Should You Track Your Fitness Progress?
As a team of passionate personal trainers at StudioForty6 we decided that office workers shouldn't have all the fun with Friday afternoon drinks; we needed to jump on board that train!
Not only would we have a sneaky alcoholic beverage; everything in moderation, but we would use our time wisely to discuss a hot topic in the industry and form a team outcome.
Our first topic was - Should we encourage our client's to track their fitness goals?
If you are working towards a goal then tracking your progress will always be a positive exercise whether it is via and app or fitness device like MYZONE or GARMIN. If it is in front of you then it becomes real. You pay closer attention to it, you will aim for that little bit more each day and you will get a hit of dopamine (a feel good hormone) when you hit your goals. It really comes down to the individual and what motivates them. If it works for YOU then go for it.
Here is why.
By tracking your training you will …
Better quality and be more efficient with your workouts. It will help you understand what intensity you are working at whether that means you need to work harder or you are working too hard! Working too hard and adding stress to an already stressed out body can cause the body to hold onto body fat or cause injury. Working at a lower intensity to what you think can leave you feeling a little deflated when results don’t start happening.
Keeps everyone accountable. This is so important. You want to know if the effort you are going to is worth it. At Studioforty6 we use the MYZONE system so our trainers can track progress to ensure it is in line with the your goals. We also refer to the heart rate effort in our sessions. This again helps our trainers understand if the intensity of the workout being delivered is on point with goals.
Education. As trainers we can educate you on how to interpret the data. We like to focus on trends not individual data. Looking at the trend can determine so many things. Interesting we can pick up on fatigue levels and then adjust the workout intensities and investigate further. Looking into sleep patterns, hydration and stress levels therefore being a far more effective trainer for our client's.
You can’t argue with data. Having quantifiable data as trainers is invaluable and takes any guess work out of the equation. Before this technology was available to us we relied only on our training and client feedback. Now we can do all of that with the added benefits of accurate data. It allows us do our job of getting our client ‘well’ before ‘fit’.
It allows self monitoring. We love that client's begin to understand how it feels to work at the different intensity levels therefore learning to listen to their bodies. How do I feel? What is my body telling me? Do I need to adjust my workout today to match the way I am feeling?
Our findings are not all in favour of this technology. Our observation is that wearing this
technology becomes an extrinsic motivation to train as opposed to finding an intrinsic motivator. We believe you will be more successful if you are motivated internally - find your ‘why’.
So, as a StudioForty6 training group we recommend using this technology, our choice is MYZONE, as long as you understand the data and what you are trying to achieve. It is a small investment ($120 when you purchase via us) with a big return!
Until next time...
Kirsty Robbie - CHEK exercise coach and managing director of StudioForty6 Personal Training