1) Pay just as much attention to making notes on your training as you do to writing down the workouts themselves. This doesn’t have to be extensive–I like noting how much I slept and ate before the workout, how hard my top sets and the conditioning were on a scale of 1-10, and how I felt during and after in a quick sentence or two. Over time, patterns do emerge–make it a point to look through your log every month or so. If you are consistently feeling and performing better at certain times of day or under certain conditions, voila, you have a theory!
2) Ask someone to train with you. This can be something like “hey, you want to lift with me today?” or something like “hey, do you want to come in on Thursday with me and push the Prowler?” This adds a layer of accountability, a bit of healthy competition and motivation, and it’s fun to train with someone you dig.
3) Take a week “off” every blue moon if you’re dragging or run down. Come to the gym during class time, ride the bike or hop on the rower, help change plates, and recharge. This may sound counterintuitive but I’ve had and seen this work really well time and again for a good recharge and refocus.