Keeping a Journal

By Jocelyn


In CrossFit it is very important to keep a workout journal. So much so that we practically insist upon it! I’m always surprised when a person who has been CrossFitting for quite some time, when asked what their max effort is on a particular lift for example, responds with a confused look because they still don’t keep one.

Hey, we are trying to increase our work capacity right? You know those daily WODs we do? And how we use a stop watch to time them? That’s your measure! Not to mention we focus a lot on strength here at CrossFit West. Often times we work in “rep ranges” which means we are lifting a certain amount of weight for a certain amount of reps and sets. For example, if we were working the Back Squat in a 5 rep range it might look something like this:

Back Squat

Generally the amount of weight you lift for a certain number of reps will be based on a percentage of your max effort (the amount you can lift 1 time) or simply based on the amount you lifted that last time you lifted in that range. In order to know what weight is appropriate you need to be able to flip to the page in your journal when you last completed that particular lift to see what the weight was. That way you have an idea of where you should be this time around.

As for the metcons: as you well know, we use stop watches and holler out a time for ya at the end of your workout when you yell “time!” The purpose is to have a measure of your work capacity (aka your fitness). We can measure the growth of your fitness by documenting the amount of weight you used in a wod as well as how long it took you to do it and then testing it again later.

For example, the first time you did Fran maybe you did it with 70 lbs w/jumping pull ups and it took you 10 minutes. Written in you journal it might look like this:

“Fran” (70), jmp pull ups- 10:00

Three months later you re-visit Fran but this time you do it with 95lbs w/kipping pull ups and you get it done in 6 minutes. That’s a whole heck load of increased work capacity. In fact, mathematically, using weight, distance, and time, you can actually calculate how much horse power you put out in a particular workout (I’ll let you do the math!).

The point is, you shouldn’t just be going through the motions in here. Write this stuff down! Not only will it allow you to measure your gains, but it can keep you on track to reach your goals, and help re-inspire you during stagnant times.


Work technique- do singles and move up in weight only if your technique is sound.

5 rounds
5 Power Snatches (135/95)
2 Muscle Ups
30 Double Unders