“How much you bench, bro?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this. The gym is littered with people looking to compete everyone else and in my opinion it just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you are benching more than the other guy at the gym. What matters is that you are improving with each workout. You should be striving to beat yourself, not the kid from math class or your old rival from high school. But so how do you know if you’re improving? Unless you’re blessed with a photographic memory there is no way you’d be able to know. Keeping record of your workouts is so simple and so powerful, but yet when I go into the gym I only see a select handful of people doing it. What’s even more interesting is that it’s the people I see tracking their workouts that are there on a consistent basis. Logging your workouts is important for two reasons. First, it organizes you and keeps the guessing out of which weights to lift for each session. This saves you time and gives your lifts purpose. Secondly, and more importantly, it shows you raw results and progress. Seeing your progress is vital not only because it gives you self-confidence but also because it shows you that your hard work is paying off and inspires you to stick to your goals. If you truly are looking to improve and increase your weights, I highly recommend starting a log of your workouts. For my weighted workouts, I simply log which lift I am doing, the weight lifted, and the number of reps performed. Then when I go into the gym for the next session, I look to increase the load and make my workouts slightly harder. Try it out, I challenge each one of you to try and track your workouts. As elementary as it may be, tracking your workouts can take your lifts to the next level. Maybe you’re looking to gain an inch in the arms, or maybe you’re looking to break that plateau. Whatever it may be, I am willing to personally guarantee tracking your lifts will help. Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with his weightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra endurance power athlete.