T Nation

How Do You Track Numbers? (App, Paper, Etc)


#1

Just switched to a busier smaller gym (so far atleast, will try diff times to see if its emptier), I know there are iPhone apps out there, but none Jim approved.

I think Jim is ok with Black Irons calc, but they don't seem to have an iPhone app.

I want to avoid bringing pens and paper if possible, as I ride the bus there and don't want to bring too much crap along.

Thinking of doing Black iron calc and just writing it on the iPhone notepad.

Jim, will you ever make an app?

Sorry if this has been asked already, I looked on this sub forum and on Jim's posts...


#2

I use Black Iron to calculate, then cut and paste the workout and email it to myself.

Then I use a 50 cent Composition Notebook to record it.

Easy to write comments, note things like what hurt, etc.


#3

Thanks 2b,

I just took a pic of my computer screen black iron calc results. In the new iOs note pad you can put a pic- gonna see if thats enough or if I lose track of where I was… leaving now for squats and leg curls.


#4

What is so difficult about brining a notebook and a pen?


#5

I used to have a spreadsheet I wrote which I would punch my numbers into and then copy all the sets into my notebook each cycle.

Then I realised I had a brain and it was less fuss to actually use that rather than all the copying:

Week 1 is -10% on the final set (easy to calculate in your head at the gym)
Week 2 is -15% on the final set (same calculation as week 1 take half again)
Week 3 is -5% on the final set (half of week 1)

Each working set is 10% more than the previous. Again, dead easy to workout if you know the weight on the final set.

Now, I have a notepad first page is rep records. Following pages are my planned cycles with the TMs for the cycle.


#6

Just got back, loving the efficiency.

I dont wanna take any extra stuff mainly bc it’ll go in my pockets. Yes, I could use a locker or a fanny pack- but its just not work it to me.

So I looked at my screen a few times more than I would have liked. Next time ill just write out the day’s workout on a small scrap of paper. I am able to know where I am on the list, but doing any calculations… not so sure. Though I am new, so maybe that’ll change in time.

Thanks for the replies guys!


#7

I created a big excel spreadsheet with all of my numbers rounded to the nearest 2.5, and just remembered how many reps I hit for the lift. This way, I could look months back and really see the pattern of my progression.

When in doubt, just remember your training max and do the percentages real quick in the gym.


#8

I was just thinking yesterday that most people would think I went way overboard with what I do:

  1. Use MS Excel as a spreadsheet to track the big four and important lifts (e.g. pullups, shrugs, etc). One file for each 26-week period. One tab for each week, even when the page only lists “Deload Week” or “Vacation Week”.

Reason: Automatically updates as numbers and percentages change, very easy to use formulas to automatically update percentages for the week; updates numbers when I change TM; very easy to copy/paste, so Week 1 of Program X can be pasted in at Week 4, and all I have to change is the TM.

  1. I have a small notebook and pen that I write my workout during lunch, directly from the Excel file. I take this into the gym and mark through when each set is complete. I also track any joker sets or assistance exercises here, since I only do them when I walk in ready to run through concrete or when I know I have extra time I can spend there.

Reason: It really focuses me and gets me excited when I write in my notebook. It’s something I’ve done for a decade now, since grad school, so maybe it makes me feel 25 again. Also, having the notebook to mark through completed sets helps me keep a routine so I don’t waste time (90-120 seconds between sets) and so I’m always sure which set I’m on.

  1. I have the GymHero app. It’s come a long way, especially since the recent update last week.

Reason: It’s overkill, but the timer is easy to see and it stores data in the cloud, so I’ll have that there. It also gives me a breakdown of how much I focus on each muscle group and how much time I spent working out.

I definitely don’t recommend anyone take this approach. My wife calls me a hyperfocuser. I have a few passions in life and I pursue them to extreme levels. I’m also reluctant to let go of what’s worked for me, and this has always kept me motivated and in a rhythm.


#9

Excel spreadsheet I made. All it calculates are the percantages based off training maxes. I then fill in whatever assistance and supplemental lifts I do that day.

I have a home gym so I can take my laptop with me. My reverse hyper serves as a makeshift desk for it.


#10

Pens and paper. It’s forever saved, it will never be deleted,virused, or crashed, plus easy to refer back to quickly and find. Just throw it in Your gym bag. Get a small legal pad or composition book and get a new one each cycle/wave.


#11

[quote]isis07734 wrote:
Just got back, loving the efficiency.

I dont wanna take any extra stuff mainly bc it’ll go in my pockets. Yes, I could use a locker or a fanny pack- but its just not work it to me.

So I looked at my screen a few times more than I would have liked. Next time ill just write out the day’s workout on a small scrap of paper. I am able to know where I am on the list, but doing any calculations… not so sure. Though I am new, so maybe that’ll change in time.

Thanks for the replies guys! [/quote]

Do you not sweat or do you not believe in towels?


#12

Those are my two choices? haha.

Just starting 531, so my numbers are low. Haven’t really worked up a sweat yet. Wear a hat to prevent scalp sweat on the flat bench, but the gym also has wipes.

(Doing Jackshit)


#13

Long time lurker, I just don’t post.
I use Big Lifts 2 on my iphone. It works great. Been using it since the start of the year.


#14

It’s neat seeing how many diff ways ppl keep track. Thanks Jobah, i’ll look into it.

I think if I ever switch to a more complicated template I would need something like that. This morning my little scrap worked well, looked at it twice.


#15

If you have a gmail account, Google sheets is great. I made a spreadsheet on there that calculates my weights for the workouts. I fill in my reps and additional info during or after workout. The thing that makes it great is everything is on the cloud. I can access the spreadsheet from my phone, iPad, or even computer at work when thinking about my next workout and everything is automatically synced and saved across all devices.


#16

So, I use Big Lifts 2 for the main lift percentages and FSL. I don’t really use it for accessory work, as I rotate that based on where I am really weak. I do use it for the main lift as I am a numbers geek and love the graphing and the max estimation that the app does (I think that some of the features require an in app purchase, so you may not want to do that). It is really cool to see graphically how you are getting stronger over time.


#17

Google Sheets also makes it very easy to import Excel spreadsheets. After that if you need to make major changes you can use a computer to access it and while you are lifting all you need to have is your phone to input your rep maxes for the day.


#18

I just use the black beast calculator and then write down what numbers I have to hit on a piece of paper every workout. After my workout I log my lifts in my phone.


#19

I multiply using a pencil and paper while on the crapper.


#20

Pen and paper. I print out the log sheets from the back of the e-Book and stuff them in my gym bag with my belt and Oly shoes. I hate taking my phone to the gym and figure that if I keep it on paper I’ll have it forever. 25 cycles in and I still have every one.