How Do You Log Your Lifts?

I’m just curious, I’ve never found “my way” when logging my lifts. Personally, I like more variety in my workouts. I program for the big 3, however I like to have a selection of variations for assistance or priming lifts etc. So logging for me can get sloppy. Not to mention sometimes I’m in the mood to log every breath I take, and other times i just want to log anything worth noting, accessories be damned.

All my workouts are very similar at their core, but vary from day to day.

Do you prefer digital logging, like on excel? Do you prefer pen and paper? If the latter, how the hell do you keep your sweat from making a complete ink induced disaster? I prefer pen and paper. But I make it through about 10 pages before the book is basically crispy garbage.

I’m thinking something like a whiteboard in my garage, record daily, and just snap a pic of it. Then erase. (Obviously with a rough outline to follow)

I’m generally curious, but also looking for ideas to adopt.

Idk if this is what you meant but I just made a training journal on here. I keep my main lifts the same and move around the smaller stuff. I just look back and keep an eye on reps and weight, and try to move them both up as I go.

I just use a 10" spiral bound notebook. One lasts me 3 months or so.


I just use my iPhone notes section. I created a section called “Training log”. Super simple and never lose it.

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I write down what I did in a notebook.

Electronic stuff is too clumsy for me, unless you’re doing Starting Strength/Stronglifts. Those apps are pretty cool (press one button per set) but only because the programming is straight forward.

I haven’t logged in a while but I’ve got several years of continuous logging on here.

Once I got on 5/3/1 it was pretty simple. I had a spreadsheet in my office with my training max and work sets calculated, so all I would do is jot down the three work set weights on a sticky note, then jot down the number of reps I’d get on my top set after I did it.

I’d usually log that night and could just do the rest off of memory. The work set poundage and the number of reps on my top set were all that changed workout to workout, unless I changed up assistance.

In summary, a sticky note was all I needed on 5/3/1

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I get what you mean with varying levels of commitment to logging. With the biggest, imo, upside to long term logging being tracking progress, I came to the point where I make logging your ‘key lifts’ non-negotiable, with logging your workout fluff as secondary.

Long term I want to know how the lifts I’m using to track my progress are moving, so I’ll always log my squat, bench, deadlift and any other lift where I’m varying weight or reps as a key training variable.

If I don’t log my crunches or rope extensions, well what does it matter, I do those exercises by feel, not by %.

As for where and how I log, I use the app ‘fitocracy’. For me it’s dual use, I plan my workout using it based on the pecentages and reps I need to hit that day, then I use it as a workout plan and adjust it as needed if I do less or more then planned. I’m sure its not the best app out there, but it has a good 5 or 6 years of my lifting in the memory to look back at training and PRs.

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I always come home after working out and take a shit after drinking my shake. Best time to log in my log is while dropping a log.


Glad I’m not the only one. Speaking of which, time to log today’s workout…

With a pencil and paper like this: IMG_20190924_160352

This is two separate back workouts and the notation is:

Exercise: Weight (lbs) @ reps x sets.

I also add small notes like bodyweight for pull ups, if I’m feeling shit, if I’m feeling injured or if it’s an afternoon workout vs my regular morning workout, etc. I’ll also make notes on whether I liked a new exercise I tried, or nixed an exercise from my regular routine.

I log everything so I don’t have to remember anything.

I’ll second the memo/notes section in the phone. I log all of my warm up sets and reps, I think it’s nice to see exactly how I worked up to my top set. I don’t log warm up stuff like empty prowler pushes, leg swings, band stuff, etc though.

I’ll rarely log the rest period unless it’s way off from my normal 2-4 mins.

After it’s logged, copy and paste it to these forums, then try to do more next week. Rinse and repeat

Glad I could make a thread and totally ignore it. Sorry dudes.

Now that it shouldnt be 90+ in NC anymore I’ll probably just go back to pen and paper, but I just have to improvise in the summer due to sweat drenched hands. Nothing like writing down a PR just for a giant glob of sweat to smear it into abstract art.

I just cant stand apps, they’re always missing something I consider critical, or the sets/reps for some reason dont ever work for me. I like excel documents too, but I get kind of obsessive over them, spend too much time making it, then change something half way down the line and it doesnt fit in the table neatly or something stupid, and it drives me nuts.

I’d like a laptop dedicated in my garage for easy recording and music instead of trying to type on a phone while I’m gasping for air, but I’m not sure how financially responsible that would be in the heat.

Ideally I guess I’ll probably log as all my ME and barbell movements on paper, and just have a whiteboard for accessory options for the day

Dude I totally missed the point of this thread, and then when I finally realized what you were really asking I decided not to post because I assumed you were using a commercial gym and I have a home gym… but now I see you too have a home gym!!

During my workout between each set I write on one of my large mirrors in dry erase, then at the end of my work out I sit on my bench and copy it all down in my training journal.

Get yourself a large mirror to flex in and write on! Wife bought a nifty stick on dry erase marker and eraser holder I keep stuck to the side of the mirror.

EDIT: I also have each main(ish) movement wrote down on the side that has my “personal record” for each lift. Makes keeping up with it easy and when the time comes tonerase it and write a new number, feels good mane.

I do 5/3/1 so I log my numbers for any + sets, my starting and ending weights, my starting and ending body weight, and just the names of the assistance work I did.