T Nation

Do You Keep a Training Log?


I started writing down how many reps/sets I can do with a certain weight , I write it on my calendar so I can check if there's any progress later on.

When I go to the gym I use my cellphone,I save it as a text message.


Numerous notebooks filled with past training logs.


It's the most important thing to me. Constant progress every time.


I love looking back and seeing how much stronger I have gotten.


Like 2 years with a:
5x3 in. 80 sheets Memo Book

Small and a smaller pen will slide into the spiral...

Mine is black, always black...


Yeah, I don't see how people can make consistent progress without recording their efforts.


I've kept a complete training log since the day I started training. After all these years I now have several spiral notebooks stacked up detailing every set, rep, weight, personal notes, etc., which makes it very ideal so I can go back and look at certain training cycles that were exceptional for me and base new ones on those or even repeat them.


Everytime I do as well, also I'm probably one of the only people in the gym walking around with a clipboard and sheet of paper writing down everything I do. My clients do it as well when I'm not with them, I gotta know what they are doing on there own.


Excellent question, Horazio. In my opinion, we train with a log. Otherwise, it's just tinkering with the toys. Also, I think John Stone's idea of regular photos is a good idea: you SEE the progress, not just read it in your journal.

Personally, the biggest help to my progress came when I began timing my workouts, recording not just exercises, sets & reps, but the length of my workouts in minutes. I keep track of total tonnage for the day and week, dividing this number by the time in minutes to give pounds pressed per minute. This way keeps my work hard and honest.

(Needless to say, nearly all my movements are compound: when in doubt, do a dip.) Good question. And log on!


Keeping track of timing and total tonnage is an excellent idea! Similar to the old Power Factor Training protocol. I tried this method several years ago with reasonable success. Maybe this time I'll keep it simple and track tonnage and time of the workout without all the calculations of the PFT protocol. Great suggestion! That may be an element that I am missing in my workouts to keep me better focused.


I stopped for a short time, I went back to a log.

It's a motivational tool for me.


Um not really its not like im going up 10 lbs every week on bench or something. I don't need to write down my progress, I can pretty much see it and remember what I did before I mean the numbers are not drastically changing or anything.

The only thing I could understand tracking would be food for obvious reasons. I'm a bit too lazy to do this but hope to eventually start tracking my daily food intake much closer.


Have kept one since the start of my lifting journey. I try either to beat the time, weight or reps every time. It also helps me to know when I need a break or if I am constant in the time of the day when I train.

IMO a training journal and a diet journal are invaluable as a tool for guiding your efforts otherwise you are spinning your wheels going nowhere.


How hard is it to remember what you did for the past few weeks?


For me it's pretty damn hard. I rotate three lifts for each bodypart and it takes two weeks to rotate through them all so I don't really trust my memory to remember 33 different rep and weight combinations. Not to mention I also write down what pin hole I did rack deads from, what incline I did presses on and how the seat was setup for machine work.


One or two reps more is good news so I write it down,cos I won't remember exactly how many reps I did last time.