T Nation

Keeping a Journal


Anyone here not keep a training journal or logbook?

I keep one, but I absolutely HATE it.
The only reason I keep one is because I notice I only make gains when I do. I stopped using one over the summer but ended up not progressing as I had hoped.

I would love it just to go into the gym daily and work whatever parts need it until they felt stimulated enough without having to write everything down. But life isn’t so perfect. At least not for this dwarf.

Thoughts?

It’s the same as running a business and not accounting for it. The month end close blows, but how do you know if it’s successful?

Good job with the details.

Have a giant one with three years of info in it.

The pictures of Arnold he never has a log. You’ve been at it awhile Iron Dwarf maybe you could just follow your instinct.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Anyone here not keep a training journal or logbook?

I keep one, but I absolutely HATE it.
The only reason I keep one is because I notice I only make gains when I do. I stopped using one over the summer but ended up not progressing as I had hoped.

I would love it just to go into the gym daily and work whatever parts need it until they felt stimulated enough â?? without having to write everything down. But life isn’t so perfect. At least not for this dwarf.

Thoughts?[/quote]

me!!
it is in my warehouse gym,I never had a training logbook when I were lifting until 25ys of age,then -a looooooong stop- and 3 years ago I decided to have a logbook,have to say that I used both my blackberry as logbook than a diary but I really prefer paper&pen.

PROs; you know EXCACTLY what load to use in that excercise and (if you change the order of excercises;f/e wanna do first decline and then incline) you have a path to follow.
Any time (1 per week) I went to the public gym and trying new machines/routines I’m in trouble; too light loads,too heavy,have to do some “feeling” sets to have the groove a/o right loads.
very imo,the logbook pushs you harder,beyond your limits ;reading old logbooks you know that (for example) now you are using on CGBP 40% more load than you were using on bench press…
have also to say that my m8s/friends fooling me me when I said that i got a logbook and when I speak of 15% more of total lifting load per session after one month they open their eyes like a cat-fish LOL
but who cares? i’m confortable with logbook…

CONs:
1/it make you guilty when you had a HEAVY day at work and could’t match former performances but in real world (life,business,love) this happens so you are more motivated next time to do enother rep or a PB

2/it’s a pain in the ass to write down the ENTIRE session ,if I write down after the session I make mistakes LOL so after each muscular group I write down exactly (load,reps,rest,feeling; “toasted” “hard” “not so hard” “this excercises sucks= one arm db raises laying on incline bench LOL”)

Kept journals since mid 1998, I actually still have them. Invaluable for monitoring progress.

I dont keep a journal. I just write down PRs so I know what to try to beat the next time I’m training.

I have mixed feelings about log books. Obviously, they can be a great tool when trying to measure your progress over the long term and determining whether or not a specific exercise/diet/training routine worked for you. But I also feel that training logs can do more harm than good for people who are concerned solely with body image. Several years ago, I kept very detailed logs and bought into the fallacy of trying to beat the log book every session and I got caught up in the numbers game. Over time, this led to me doing stupid things such as sacrificing form and using extra heavy loads (90% 1rm) for prolonged periods of time. This led to some injuries and absolutely hating my workouts, yet obsessing over how to keep beating the books.

I have since adjusted my logging methods to just recording whether or not I’m working out on the prescribed days and staying within an appropriate volume and stopped stressing about the exact weight used. As long as I am eating accordingly to my goals and know that I am lifting with as much intensity as my body will allow for in that specific session, I know that good stuff will happen. I guess the moral of my story is keeping a very detailed log combined with an immature mind (in terms of training experience) could set one up for disaster.

[quote]zonaguy10 wrote:
he fallacy of trying to beat the log book every session and I got caught up in the numbers game. Over time, this led to me doing stupid things such as sacrificing form and using extra heavy loads (90% 1rm) for prolonged periods of time. This led to some injuries and absolutely hating my workouts, yet obsessing over how to keep beating the books.

[/quote]

I agree with most part of your post but sacrificing form to beat the log is PowerLifting not BB,imo.
ALL we could use more weight if we lower the bar fast and bouncing it on the chest without the 1’ stop but how this is linked to the target of stressing the muscle deep(= ipertrofia)???

I record everything - form(strict or loose), grip/hand placement, injuries, fighting with the wife that morning? why I’m doing a Sunday routine on a Saturday, bodyweight, aches/pains/injuries, hungover?, dieting? if it’s a holiday, if there’s a big game that day, how far out I am from a vacation or date that I want to look my best for. Not all of it every day but the more information the better.

I have near - eidetic memory (shameless plug), also memorizing my buddies’ numbers.
It’s definitely invaluable, so I’m with ID.

It’s not all numbers, though: my ‘log’ also contains meta data such as comfort, discomfort per exercise, form (if I’m spotting), rep quality etc.

It’s a tool and progress is not only governed by increased numbers: constant numbers + less discomfort or higher rep quality = progress, too.

I keep a written log because I’d rather not risk forgetting what I did last and it allows me to update my training log here with a little more detail, which could prove invaluable retrospectively in seeing “what worked and what didn’t”.

Without any form of logging I’m pretty sure I’d spin my wheels, though I’d say the vast majority of big guys you see in gyms don’t log. At all. So who knows?

Same as Fatty, eidetic memory, I really don’t need one to remember all I did on said training day, but I do like to keep everything written down because it’s one of my idiosyncrasies.

And I have everything written on it, from what I ate that day to the song I listened during the set to how the set felt and assorted training routines I write down when they come to my mind.

Also Dante says we have to beat the logbook. Can’t beat the logbook if I don’t have one.

[quote]DeltaOne wrote:

Also Dante says we have to beat the logbook. Can’t beat the logbook if I don’t have one.
[/quote]

well,my hat down to DT,
we are the logbook, paper logbook is just to beat ourselves…

PS; i have a logbook

I don’t bring my logbook to the gym. Just because you don’t see guys writing in them doesn’t mean they don’t have them.

I’ve kept a journal since 1994. My old ones are at home in my office.

It’s important to me since I can look at last few weeks and determine what exercises I can focus on and previous weights. Without it, I’d be a lot less efficient and be guessing more often

[quote]tnt2005 wrote:
… You’ve been at it awhile Iron Dwarf maybe you could just follow your instinct.[/quote]

I realize I know myself WAY better than I did at 20, so maybe I’ll try it without the book for a while.

I keep a joyrnal with pressed lilies and tears on every page