It’s been about 2 years since I started Crossfit. June 19, 2012 I recorded my first WOD in my Pillsbury dough-boy note book. Her name was Cindy- I used the blue band for 4 rounds and the green for 3, struggled through 3.5 rounds of regular push-ups and 2.5 on my knees for 6 full rounds, plus 5 pull ups and 7 push-ups. Flash forward to June 16, 2014 and I nearly doubled that first WOD in our 10-minute time cap. I would never have remembered that if it wasn’t for my WODbook.

Finding the right place to keep these notes that is organized and allows you to find what lift or WOD you want to refer to easily is probably just as important as keeping them. If you choose to use a notebook, consider sectioning it off into categories: Goals, Lifts, Benchmarks, Run/Row and so on. You can even break it down by page so Fran has her own special spot where you can record all your dates with her for easy referencing that doesn’t run into your front squat weights.. There are also premade WOD books that you can purchase, but a 5-star notepad works just as well.

There are also many downloadable apps for your Smart phones. Recently I began using myWOD that was recommended by a friend. It is segmented into Girls, Hero’s and lifts and lets you add custom WODs as well.    Here is a list created by Ben Cohen-Leadholm from a discussion board of some programs that are out there: https://app.box.com/s/32a9619bb17732ff9c0d

When you track your workout, taking the time to write down a few specific notes after each WOD can help you identify weaknesses, recognize strengths and set and achieve goals. Depending on the days focus here are a few things to include:

Weights & Times- With the many lifts and WODs we do, you want to know when you did your best, when you didn’t do so hot, and what you are consistent in. It’s a little easier to remember your one rep max back squat than your 5 rep, so writing down any PR is useful. Recording Hero WODs, The Girls, and Open WODS are good comparisons for us to use as benchmarks to see how we are evolving as athletes since they cycle back every now and then. It is fun to mark down how we did on a CFFS original as well, but we may not see them programmed again. If there is a WOD you really liked- or one that absolutely destroyed you- record it and plan on coming back to it during an open gym time in a few weeks to see how you have improved.

Modifications- Benchmark WODS don’t swing back around for several months sometimes so not only do you want to know what you did, but how you did it. Did you modify the weight? Supplement single unders for double unders? Did you kip your pull ups this time around?

Strategies & Tips- This could be a whole topic on its own- and it probably will be soon- but breaking down HOW you completed to WOD (especially if it’s one you plan on besting the next time around). Strategies can be when you rested, how you broke up the reps and even a note on how you want to attack next time.  Tips you’ve learned about a movement from a coach are useful to write down as well so you can refer back to them and keep the cues fresh in your mind next time the move comes around .

How You Feel- It’s good to remind yourself of how you feel so you know when to push and if you are ready to push. If you hit a new 5 reps max clean and it feels solid, when that weight rolls up in a WOD you can say to yourself “Yup, I can do this”.  How you feel can also refer to your energy levels or your nutritional intake for the day.  Ellie wrote a great post on how what we eat affects our performance, so if it is something you are interested in, recording how certain foods make you feel can be a good way to start adjusting your diet.

No matter how you choose to document your Crossfit you will surely appreciate it in the long run.  Its an easy way to take ownership of your progress and hold yourself accountable for your improvement.  Plus it’s fun to look back and see how far you’ve come = )