There are four main actions that a good gym tracker can help you with if you are to be successful in the gym.
To be successful, you must set your goals, design a plan for reaching those goals, track and measure your progress towards your goals and finally, you must adjust your plan accordingly.
Most gym-goers don’t have too many problems with the first one, everybody has their goals. The second point, designing a plan, stumps some people but most are able to put together some kind of plan eventually.
The most common place that this all breaks down for people inside the gym, particularly those that aren’t training for a competitive sport, is the tracking phase.
People gravely underestimate the importance and power of tracking their workouts. There really is no excuse not to track your gym workouts and progress nowadays, especially since there are now a plethora of apps and devices to help you do it.
Almost everybody has a smartphone now and they usually will carry it with them in the gym, which makes it the perfect tool for tracking your workouts. You don’t even need to design a spreadsheet or create your own document, it is as simple as downloading a gym tracker app and inputting your data.
With fitness and gym tracker apps being one of the most accessible pieces of progress tracking software, I thought it would be a great idea to outline the biggest benefits to using one.
5 Benefits of using a gym tracker app
Direction and focus in the gym
This is perhaps the simplest benefit of using a tracker app. A big reason for lack or results is the lack of direction when you are in the gym.
With no plan of action to guide you, it is very easy to spend a lot of time wandering aimlessly around the gym and picking random exercises that you just feel like doing. Having a written plan means you are able to stay focused and work with a purpose.
It will also make your workouts much more time efficient and should be driven by your goals so you don’t waste time sub-optimal exercises.
A good gym tracker app will have a workout diary/schedule built into it, which makes it very easy to see when what days you should be training on. It also makes it very easy to see when you have skipped a session.
Having this visual representation of how consistent you have been should make you a less likely to skip your workout days. If you take this a step further and go into the actual workouts themselves, having the list of exercises pre-written will also mean you are less likely to skip an exercise.
Having gaps in your workout schedules gives you a small feeling of failure as they serve as a visual reminder that you aren’t putting in the required effort. Nobody likes to see that they are letting themselves down so it serves as a great way to keep you accountable to yourself.
More efficient progression
To get bigger and stronger you need to force your body to adapt by constantly challenging it and increasing the demands you place upon it. Working with the same amount of weight or reps will not lead to longer term progress.
Once your body has adapted to a certain workload, progress stops. You have to increase the workload to stimulate your body into adaptation again. This principle is called progressive overload.
Without tracking your workouts, it is very difficult to make efficient progress since you need to remember exactly what you did during your last workout in order to do more during your next one.
Let’s take the bench press: for example, you perform 3 sets of 10 with 225lbs during a workout. To force further adaptations in terms of strength or muscle growth, you need to progress from here.
You can progress by completing more sets, more reps, using more weight, better technique or even taking less rest time between sets. So, if you perform 4 sets of 10 with 225lbs during the next workout, you have progressed.
You can probably already see how confusing it could be to try and keep track of whether or not you are making progress just by memory. With a gym tracker app, you are able to clearly see what you have done in the past in order to improve on it in the future.
Seeing progress is an excellent way of staying motivated to keep going. On the other hand, feelings of lacking progression can seriously hinder your desire to get to the gym every day.
By using a gym tracker to keep tabs on all the different metrics that align with your goals, you will have a visual representation of the progress you have made. The more things you can keep track of, the more chances you have to see the progression.
Keeping an eye on all of these metrics can make improving them a little like a game. You will be motivated by trying to “level up”.
Optimize your training as you go
This benefit is a bit of a culmination of all of the ones listed above. By keeping a very close eye on your workouts, progress and measuring it all against your goals, you are able to make changes very easily as they are needed.
Having a gym tracker app that provides all of your gym data in one place makes it much easier to see how you are responding to your training. Therefore, it becomes extremely simple to make tweaks and test different approaches as and when you need to.
For instance, you take a look at your body measurements and notice that your biceps aren’t growing but everything else is. You can then analyse your program to and see what kind of workload your biceps have been getting and decide whether it could be a good idea to plug in some extra biceps work.
Final thoughts on fitness tracking apps
Of course, after reading the article, you know that I am going to suggest for everybody to find and download an app to keep tabs on their gym progress. Not doing so means you are likely to be missing out on some well-deserved gains.
Just make sure that your tracking app has all of the features you would need, such as body measurement tracking, a workout calendar, pre-written programs and freedom to edit all of the variables within a program.
The GrowBig fitness tracker app has all of the above and is a truly complete piece of gym tracker software. You can check it out and download it here.