T Nation

Any Tips on Keeping a Workout / Food Log?


So I have never kept a accurate and good food log. So do the members here have any tips on this?

Perhaps a type of notebook? Do you write down your workouts for a week / month ahead of time? Do you plan your meals out a few days / week ahead of time? Is there a certain style of writing in the log that you find most useful?



I have a notebook and write down what I did in the notebook...

workout 1
weight x reps; weight x reps; weight x reps; weight x reps; weight x reps
workout 2
weight x reps; weight x reps; weight x reps; weight x reps; weight x reps

Refer back to last workout so I know what weight to start at and what my specific goals are for that session (extra 5 lbs, extra rep, whatever)


Also keep track of how long you are resting as this can be a major factor in how tough your next set is.

As far as food goes -

Just plan an average day. How many meals, at what times, how many calories/protein/carbs/fats. Read nuritional facts on everything and request it if you are at a restaurant. Once you memorize what each meal is, you won't need the log anymore.


Workout logs are critical. Whatever system you like best, but make sure you're tracking what you're doing so that you can evaluate progress or lack thereof.

As for food logs, I like to record my meals as I go through the day with a general goal in mind for the day. I've been tracking my food intake for the last 6 years or so, so I have a pretty good idea what 2400 cals, 3000 cals, is going to look like for me. My fiance does it differently. She'll map out her entire day the night before, and then just execute what she laid out. It works really well for her...

So there you go...two different ways to get to the same goal. If you're just starting out, it might make the most sense to do it like my fiance does. Use fitday.com - very easy and user-friendly.



Thanks for the insight everyone...

So far I just bought a old school composition notebook and wrote my workout in that.

The diet one will be a work in progress... I can't decide if I should go with something I can keep in my pocket (small) or go with something larger that I just keep in my car.

In the beginning I will probable no worry about calories to much when it comes to the journal, more getting quality food in me. I figure the quality food is more important to start with.

Thanks, keep a any advice coming!


That composition book should be perfect for your training. I've always preferred journals about that size for that purpose.

As for the food log, keeping it with you is a very good idea when you're starting out. I used to do the same and you'll quickly realize it's a pain in the ass to constantly pull that bitch out to jot down the same old shit. But it's extremely important to track your nutrients, so don't give up. You'll be very glad.



Agree with Bango, the log book is crucial. It is also a test of willpower. Have to write down what you eat, have to beat last week's squat, have to, have to. It's a pain in the ass! But if you keep it up, you can guarantee that you will get the body you really want. Like Chuck Norris, the log book does not sleep, it waits.



one thing I've started doing with the food log is not writing the foods down, just the number, I have a little notepad that I write the grams carbs fat and protein that I've eaten.
At first I kept a huge binder and wrote everything down till I got the hang of it.
It's pretty cool to look back at your workout journal, I can see what ridic shit I was doing two years ago lol


Fuckin Chuck Norris...


I agree...My roommate and I went to college together, and he trains his ass off just like I do. The other day he was looking through his training log from like 2001. I suggested some time in the near future I bust my old logs out too and we play the game, "What did you do on February 19th in 2003? I hit a PR in squats...etc"

Should be fun as shit.


haha that'd be cool, too bad my partner's too lazy to write a log lol
still busts his ass in the gym though
February 19th 2003 I was breaking awkwardness PR's in highschool haha


I'll check my log and get back to you...