What is a Workout Log
Do you enjoy working out but have trouble remembering exactly what you did to workout? Creating a workout log is a perfect way to track your workouts. Not only is a workout log great for recording individual workouts, it is useful for creating a plan and a detailed look at what effective workouts you are doing. If you are looking to increase gains, or lose weight, or even just build in more structure in your workouts, a log is an excellent tool for all of those things and so much more. A log is a great tool for anyone looking to perfect their workouts and training regimen. A log can be as simple as a record of your activity or as complex as detailing your nutritional intake and caloric output of each workout. The best part of keeping records is you can be as detailed or simplistic as you want!
Tips for Writing a Workout Log
Creating a good and effective workout log takes a little more work than simply creating a grid and recording some numbers. Extensive research and years of actual experience in creating logs has led to several ways to make the best log possible. From counting individual repetitions, to how many minutes of cardio you do, there are quite a few different and unique variables to track in a good workout log. Several other important things to note are also useful in creating the best workout log and plan for use. Determining what you are using the log for is also a key factor in deciding what information is included. It is important that it be practical, quick, and easy to use, yet versatile enough to create a decent picture of what exactly you’re doing to workout.
1. Keep it simple.
2. Only track what you need.
3. Be sure to include exercise name, sets, and reps.
4. Include total time worked out as well as length of time doing cardio.
5. Create a simple to see table with at least several rows and columns.
6. If looking to lose weight, include a column or row for weight records. This can be a daily, weekly, or monthly record.
7. If training for any type of race, include a section for distance traveled, and time it takes to go certain distance.
8. Another piece of data to track, not necessarily a workout data point, but important nonetheless, is to track the number of calories eaten in a day. This can be useful to make sure your output in energy is greater than your intake.
9. Your log should track at least weekly, if not months at a time.
10. The longer your log tracks workouts, the more complete picture of fitness you can get.
The Process to use and make a Workout Log
Let’s put all that together and try to make a workout log for you to actually use when you workout. For this purpose, let’s suppose we are training to perform in a triathlon. First thing you need to figure out is what type of log you want to use and what is best for you. Anything from a simple piece of paper to a dedicated log in a phone or tablet can be used as a way to track your workouts. For now, we’ll use a plain piece of paper. Get a clean piece of paper and a pen and create a grid. Make sure you leave plenty of room in the left most column of rows. These spaces will be where you record which activities you perform. To the right of this column you will need to create at least two more columns. The amount of columns you use will depend on how much information you want to track. It is ideal to use at least two so you can keep track of both repetitions and sets. A third would be ideal if you use machines or free weights so you can track the amount of weight used per exercise. Another set of information we can track is distance and time spent traversing said distance. It’s important also to make sure you record the date somewhere near your log so you can easily tell which workouts you did on what days. Another important thing to keep track of is other notes that might have impacted your workout or training. At the bottom of your log, you can make a place for notes that you think worth remembering. Once you have created your basic spreadsheet, all that’s left is to start working out and tracking in your logs!
Another aspect to keep in mind is where to store your log. Typically a notebook or excel spreadsheet make for ideal locations because your data can be easily seen and gone through. A simple notebook is sufficient if you can remember to bring it with you on your workouts! Make sure you keep your log somewhere you have easy access to but is still safe so you won’t lose your information. No matter where you choose to store your log, always remember to bring it with you when you workout or it log won’t work!
Examples of Content:
DATE Repetitions Sets Weight Distance Time
Exercise A Number of Reps Number of Sets Weight used Distance Traveled Time in which distance was traveled
Monday 9/1/17 Repetitions Sets Weight Distance Time
Squats 25 3 225 lbs
Dead Lifts 20 3 115 lbs
Barbell Curls 20 5 65 lbs
Bench Press 15 3 120 lbs
Sit-ups 100 1
Pushups 100 1
Run 3 miles 25 minutes
Swim 2 miles 45 minutes
Bike 6 miles 30 minutes
Notes: Great workout today. Got all my training in. Legs burning. Need to pick up pace when running. Tired during swim. Need to work on endurance. Need to increase weight for curls and squats. Need to drink more water. Left knee hurt, take aspirin.