I support the idea, however, I have/had a thread in the "Building a Better Body" forum titled "Good Idea?" that was along the same lines. It was thoroughly demolished. Replies ranged from "Do you even lift weights?" to "It'll be too complex." It seems funny that we (T-Nation) are so devoted scientific truths and doing what it takes to get things done, but the idea of a "community lifting notebook" is too difficult and complex and won't yield any good data. Don't even get me started on the misconceptions people have about databases and DoE. Let me know if you fair any better.
It might be easier to get people to post training logs on the site. Get T-Nation to allow 10 of us to do this & get volunteers with different training objectives. Post before & after measurables (pics, measurements, or max lifts). Start a new log for every new routine used.
You should be aware that coaches have already been analyzing training logs and practices of lifters for years. How do you think some popular rep schemes, like 5x5 or 10x3 came to be?
CW posted a while ago that he tests his new ideas on his clients, and ones that work end up being an article. Dan John has been training people for decades, so what he writes about is not just what is supposed to work from behind the computer screen, but what actually worked for many people over the years.
What I'm trying to say is that it is pretty much already known what is needed for strenght and/or size improvement. If you're confused by all the training systems in use, then you need to take a step back and go back to the basics. In that case, looking in other people's logs may help you in particular to understand certain things.
Also, by reading other logs, you can see plenty of things that are not usually mentioned in training articles (except Dan John's, actually). For instance, you can see that progress is not always forthcoming, despite hard work; or to what lenghts people go just for a "measly" 5lb PR.
Still, there will be an important matter of applying all that knowledge to yourself. Which is, IMO, the most important thing. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that you, just like lucasa, are hoping to find some magic bullet, an ideal workout. Such a thing does not exist.
I started to type a nice, sincere reply and then decided fuck it. Nothing personal slotan, your just happened to be a particular straw on my back with this issue.
Right, Zatsiorsky, Verkhoshansky, Medveyev, and others have done a very good job of it. Louie Simmons has continued to benefit from their work. Wait, we shouldn't have/set up a "shared training log" why?
Right, "his clients" and "many people", what about me? or you? or people in the gym who ask what you're doing?
Great! Then we're "done" and T-nation needn't print any more training articles! Also, everyone who's interested should be in superlative shape and/or able to achieve any physiology they desire/are capable of. If not, it should be clear how they go about doing so. And despite what people say "Work hard!" isn't very clear. Especially if you're using a Weider routine.
Wait, we were done. We know pretty much everything, the rest is inconsequential, all you have to do is read everything T-mag, Joe Weider, Muscle Media, Pavel Tatsouline, Mike Mentzer, etc., etc., etc. has ever published and it will be clear what you should do.
Also, by reading their and others logs, you can see plenty of things that they didn't even think of (except Dan John, because he thinks of everything).
For instance, you can see that while one person busted his ass, the other didn't and both added 5# to their PR, you might even see why. Wait, we shouldn't have/set up a "shared training log" why?
First, I/we are not looking for a "magic bullet" routine. What we're looking for are some more rigorous guidelines than just "Dan John says this worked on his clients, so I should/should not try it too."
Maybe someday, in the far off future, we'd get "the routine" (or a operating codex/algorithm based on parameters), but it's not likely in this lifetime or the next, so we'll just have to settle for better/worse routines and how much better/worse they are based on our psycho/physiology.
Second, I don't know if you people are retarded or just really, really slow. EVERY coach on here says to keep a journal. Why? Here's why: So you can know what works and what didn't. Why do you care what worked and what didn't? Think about your answer.
Third, (and this is the funny part) if you look at a group of a hundred people and try to get some data out of it wrt a routine's efficacy, you SHOULD be able to get at least SOMETHING. Moreover, if all of the parameters confound the results with 100 test subjects, and you get nothing, how is a trainer working with 50, 25, or 10 subjects going to provide you with more relevant advice? Furthermore, how does one person keeping one notebook help at all?
Fourth, (this one's pretty good too) T-nation and the general Testosterone attitude seem to crumble at this issue, biological complexity. When you even begin to mention the idea of classifying and categorizing parameters that effect strength gain/fat loss/muscle growth in a large scale on the forum people throw up their hands say it's too complex and move to the next thread.
To be clear, I've abandoned the "shared training log" idea. If no one participates, it won't fly. Other persons in related fields (genomics specifically) will continue to use the same idea or similar ideas (parallel processing, multivariate experimentation, combinatorial approaches, design of experiments, etc.) to their advantage, and quickly outstrip anything sport science can do (if not already).
We can just hope that athletic/performance associations continue to detect and ban their methods and effects and pray that athletic performance doesn't slip into the "insignificant parameter" domain. This monkey is going back to his own typewriter now.