T Nation

Do You Record Your Workouts?

Just thought about this while I read the rules thread by fat tony.

How many people do you see ever recording their workouts, what they lifted etc?

I record everything I do, cardio, weights, rest times, etc. I can be anal about such things. But I think I've seen 2-3 people other than me in the gym who record there workouts. This just seems inefficient to me, how can you ever compare anything you did from 1-2 months ago? How do you plan ahead?

I guess it also makes me wonder about the M&F crowd that has the muscle mag open to the workout and follows all 2.5 hrs of it religiously.

Just curious,


I haven't for a long time (been several years). I tend to do it for a few weeks then stop. I like to just go and lift.

But, lately I've been writing it down, so I can be sure that I'm progressing, rather than going by memory.


Yup, I've been writing down my workouts for about a year and a half now.

I just recently started adding a date to the workouts when I tried to look back and noticed that none of my workouts were dated.

I write them down on a piece of scrap paper before I leave, then record everything as I go, and transfer my info to my computer when I get home. My handwriting is too messy for keeping an actual log-book.


I don't know what happened at my gym... but there are various people (including me) jotting shit down while in the gym.


I do the same thing. Load everything into Excel.


I keep a simple log in a notebook with the date, exercises, weight, sets, and reps.

If I don't reach a particular goal in the time I want, I can look back at what my workouts were like and it helps me to make whatever adjustments I need to.


I agree with you wholeheartedly, I have been logging workout stats since the beginning and I have had the same experiance in the Gym I am the only one doing this. I might also ad I beleive this contributes to the fact that these people always lift the same and always look the same.


 Yup, I agree with you in regards to Excel. It's a hell of alot better than trying to read my scribble of weights after the workout is over. Plus it has that nice aesthetic appeal to it too.


I've been recording mine since 95. Fun to look back and see how dumb I was back then, haha

What kind of template do y'all use for Excel? I've tried different things, but could never find anything I liked for it.


I also put my info into a "handmade"spreadsheet not the world's best by any means but works and its free. I have lottsa stuff on it also: daily food diary with C/P/F/C, treadmill activity, speed, HR, weight,and exercise, pounds, sets, reps, etc.

Email me here with your 'real' email address and I will send it to you.


I just keep mine in a regular note book,have been since I started. I have a stack of notebooks in my garage(where I lift) to look back and see where I've been.


Same here. I use a regular notebook and record workouts in a format of 4 columns, one for each week of the month. My current notebook has over two years of workouts in it. I work out at home, but, if I'm traveling I jot down my workouts on a piece of paper and transfer them to my notebook when I get home.


i log all of my workouts

but i dont do it at the gym

so, just because you dont see everyone running around with a pencil doesnt mean they arent logging stuff


I like what I see here.

Here is my trick: teacher's record book.

Yes, the green ones. Each open face (back of left page and front of right page) typically used for 1 class I use for 1 month. Each row typically used for 1 student I use for 1 day. (For EDT style recording, I usually scribble on a blank page and then transcribe the summary.) Space at the top and bottom for extra miscellaneous notes. AND, the best part is that these things are durable ... many rings hold it together with well laminated front and back cover. I can scan in a sample if anyone wants to see.

I have been recording for YEARS, and this is the best thing I have found. I see 'training journals' for sale. They suck. Too rigid. We all have our own training and thus our own needs for recording. Basically, the teachers log is like a loosely pre-formatted excel book.



Very cool. I really like that idea. It would be great if you would scan a sapmle that we could see. I know I'm interested.



who actually 'farms' their log books? our buddy Dan John raves of the value in this ... we could likely all benefit from doing it more often or again ...

so, your homework assignment for this week: what have you learned by farming your log book? what works? what doesn't?



I go through phases, sometimes logging in a notebook, sometimes not. Lately, what I have been doing is not recording in the gym, but jotting down my best lifts of the day into a file.


You have a very good memory, then? If I do 4-5 exercises in a workout, there's no way I'm going to remember the weight, reps, and rest time for the whole workout. If I'm following a 5x5, that would be 20-25 sets. Nope, I need my notebook with me!

I also like to flip to last week's page for that workout and see how many reps I have to do today in order to beat last-week's-Me. That man is my No. 1 enemy!


I hate writing.


We use a chalk board and marker board. Record sets, reps, new maxes, and any other week to week changes.
I used to record everything and turn the weight/reps into a polynomial for graphic analysis, but that was just for kicks. not too usefull.