T Nation

Keeping a Training Log

Jim,

Do you or does anyone here keep a training log ? What kind ? What do you keep track of ?

Yes, I keep a training log in a notebook. I only keep track of the main lifts.

I track all my lifts in this fashion on my notebook:

Movement day (squat/bench/dl/ohp); date; bodyweight
Main: weight x reps; weight x reps; weight x reps
Joker: weight x reps; weight x reps…
FSL: weight x reps (add a P if pause reps) x sets
Assistance: Exercise: weight x reps x sets; Exercise: weight x reps x sets; …

I also have a separate page for tracking each days PR sets and joker PRs and another page for weight percentages for 4-6 cycles

This isn’t bodybuilding, for the most part anyone in powerlifting or even strength training in general should always have some kind of log IMO. It doesn’t have to be obsessive, a lot of stuff is automatic for me. I do agile 8 every day but I never wrote it down anywhere. My log starts with the date, and squat/bench/DL or press. Each week 1 I write down my new training max. I write down every weight and the reps for all my sets of the main lift, including BBB or whatever. Sometimes if I have a major assistance movement that I’m trying to focus on I write down my sets for that too. Most assistance is just “leg curls 5 sets x10” Something like decline situps I write sets x reps and won’t bother specifying some sets were weighted and some bodyweight. Pullups I don’t even write what kind of grip anymore, just how many sets and reps. Usually the only amount of weight that gets recorded is my sets of the main lift.

I don’t write down pre-workout stuff either…I always do something in the gym before I grab a barbell (sled dragging, seated bike, hip circles, shoulder dislocations) but it’s not a big deal to me to write out specifics. Maybe if I do light set of face pulls or leg extensions before training I’ll mention that I did them without listing reps or the weight. I do rotator cuff strengthening/prehab as the last thing of every upper body session but that’s not in the log either. I write something vague about cardio/conditioning like “30 mins incline walk on treadmill” or “short laps of heavy sled drag” “long laps light sled drag”

If you aren’t logging your workouts, you can’t as easily measure progress or figure out what works and what doesn’t. I only track my main lifts, weight, reps etc. I don’t track my assistance work, as I change it up too often. I also weigh myself every morning, and on a side note, track all of my rock climbing and climbing related training. Basically started tracking my climbing in 2010, and my body weight and workouts since starting lifting again in the summer of 2011.

Keep my main lifts recorded, scribble it all down at the start of the session, What I need to do and then recorded the + sets figures.

Anything else that I feel needs recording gets written down as well, Mostly lift by myself so its handy to have something to keep track and try to better the following session, chins, dips that sort of thing.

Yes, I have a small notebook and I pretty much just keep track of my main lifts and performance each session so I can see how I’m trending week to week. I keep a small list of lower body and upper body accessory movements just as a reminder because I tend to forget certain things, but I don’t track performance there. I have an Excel file where I keep my weights by percentage for each movement for easy tracking and calculation but I never have my phone or a PC when I’m lifting, just my notebook.