A few people have told me that one reason they’ve gone off the rails with their training is that they just can’t remember what they did the last few times they worked out. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, this can be a big issue with negative consequences. You show up to the gym for two or three weeks, and you work out consistently, but you get stumped on how long you should run, what exercises to do, or how much weight to lift. Ultimately, this keeps you from being able to see your progress, which can lead to giving up altogether. In those first few weeks, when you may not see huge differences on the scale or in your waistline, being able to see your achievements at least on paper can be a huge motivator.
I’ll admit, my memory is terrible when it comes to workout tracking. I can remember what days I do which workouts (Monday is legs, Thursday is back/biceps, etc.) but there’s no way I can remember the sets, reps, weights, or miles from one day to the next. I’ve tried using index cards and notebooks, but those systems tend to get messy for me. That’s why I’ve started using Fitocracy to track my progress.
Billing itself as the “fitness social network”, Fitocracy puts an exercise spin on websites like Facebook and Google+. You can do all the normal social network stuff–create a profile, upload a user picture, follow/friend people, and leave comments on other people’s updates. The big draw to Fitocracy (at least for me) is the way in which they go about workout tracking. You input which exercises you’ve performed during your workout that day–including number of sets, reps, and weight, or minutes and miles walked/ran–and the system gives you a number of points for completing the workout. Once you get a certain number of points, you level up.
Yes. I just said that. You level the fuck up. Like a video game, except it hurts in real life and you probably won’t end up with the insanely hot princess–which is fine, because if that bitch is dumb enough to be captured in the original game and the 17 sequels, she’s more trouble than she’s worth.
You can also go on quests, and complete accomplishments. Some are easy (performing the Barbell Bench Press one time), some are moderate (trail running for 30 minutes, followed by ten minutes of stretching), and some make you say “What the hell!” (Perform a widow-maker (20-rep squat) at 1.5 times your bodyweight). Even if you didn’t grow up playing video games, you’ll enjoy this quirky spin on what most find to be a boring but necessary task.
If the only thing stopping you from making progress toward your fitness goal is being able to keep up with what you’ve done so far, I’d encourage you to give Fitocracy a shot. You can even follow my workout routines–just go to my profile and hit the Follow button. Remember, though–you can’t track workouts you don’t do, so quit readin’ and get to work!