T Nation

Who Keeps a Training Log?

Who here takes a log of their training sessions, ie exercises, sets, reps? I have only just started ofter 3-4 yrs of training and am finding it great, cuz Im constantly trying to better the previous week, from knowing exactly what I did the previous week. Very easy to forget a exact weight used, or reps.

I do. I keep it on the computer and print it just before hand. Make notes as I go, update the computer version after I grab a post workout protein shake.

It makes my sessions much easier as I don’t have to try to remember what I did the week before.

I do.

I stopped recording my workouts for a month just to see how it “felt”.

My workouts suffered.

Training Logs help me focus my efforts, I like to plan out the workouts before hand. It gives me a goal for each workout.

I never used to but I do now…on my PC like the previous poster. Just write it out and then it’s easy to update, print it and good to go. Has deffinately help me stay focused and I can accurately track my progress.

on and off, for the last 3 years. seriously, for the last year…

always a good feeling to revise old ideas and recall the days of old PRs… and such.

I think it’s essential if you are truly trying to make gains.

Some would argue differently, but I definitely prefer to have my workouts planned and try to improve on my previous lifts.

Some distainful looks from the “super hardcore” occasionally, but it works for me…Keeps me focused forward, and invaluable if you get injured or working around an injury (with me that’s most of the time) so you can refer to where you were at, meet and exceed…

I’m so stats freak so of course I keep a journal. Keeping a journal actually motivates me to push myself even harder. The journal reminds me of the kinds of lifts I’ve been doing and the amount (or lack there of) of weight that I’ve been moving.

I actually look forward to adding more entries in my computer the night before my workout because I know I’m doing something to get towards my physique goals.

What a nerd, I know. :slight_smile:

I don’t keep a very thorough log, but I never goto the gym without my notebook. I track every exercise I do, sets and reps and calculate volumes.

The things I could probably add, but don’t usually, are time spent on a given exercise, rest times, and general notes about each workout session.

It is also not very well organized. Each page is a day, but it’s mostly chicken scratch.

Still though, it is invaluable for charting progress and keeping yourself on point. If, for whatever reasons, you miss time in the gym, it is infinitely easier to come back strong when you can look back on what you did last few times in the gym.

It is also good motivation to push yourself. To keep constant progression

I do and have since day 1. I write info like rest period between sets, reps, weight, and there is a notes section where i can write shit like “felt pain in my elbow doing this” or whatever.

I really recommend writing notes because when you look back a couple of months and say to yourself… “why did I only do one set here”? or "Why didn’t I workout for 4 days here? You are going to want these questions answered.

For the last 6 years. There’s nothing better than looking back at one of your first workouts.

Bodyweight on the top of the page- somewhere under 150

First exercise- DB benching on a swiss ball with 15lbs

Good times.


I do. I keep a list in Excel. It calculates volume and density for me.

Ok, I confess. I give every exercise a value: easy, average or hard and it raises the weight on the next training session with a percentage, based on that.

Ok, ok, already. I confess. I use an undulating training system so when I change the reps, it calculates the weight I should use.

Also, it takes into account what percentage of body weight to take into account, for deadlifts, squats, goodmornings and such…

I do, mainly because I can’t remember what weights and reps I use from one workout to the next.

I have done since I started training. I have my current training cycles planned out in Excel which I transfer across to a weekly schedule, print it off and stick it in my notebook, then scribble all over it with five bar gates, and notes on mood, technique, how strong I feel, anything I think might be important or useful in planning the next week/month’s sessions.

It’s also good to go back a few years once in a while and see the progress made, or to see exactly I was doing the last time I hit a good PR. The latter is especially useful if I ever get stuck in a rut and can’t seem to get a lift up.

There are about 3 people at my gym that seem to log their workouts. The rest just wing it, which is probably why they never seem to get any stronger or bigger.

In my opinion a notebook and pen is probably the most important thing in your gym bag.


It’s stupid not to do so.

How else are you supposed to know if you’re progressing from week to week?

For 3-4 years I’d print out workouts from this site onto spreadsheets and carry them around the gym. Finally bought a small, thick spiral notebook that so far holds 2 years’ of workouts with room still for several months more.

Pre-logging, I could fall into the trap of approaching an infrequent lift thinking “I think I can do __ # lbs.” With a log, I can flip back to the last time I did a certain move and see what I did and know where to start. Amazing how many years I simply re-did the same weights over and over due to poor memory.

My lifting partner has probably his entire 15+ year lifting career in notebooks.

I used to print out spreadsheets…as of December I have an old school marble notebook. I don’t see how you can progress without a log.

Im so glad I decided to start logging my training along with taking weekly measurements…Use to always thinks, na I remember what I did last week, but it aint the same, can follow your progress far better!

[quote]Professor Chaos wrote:

It’s stupid not to do so.

How else are you supposed to know if you’re progressing from week to week? [/quote]

From photographs? Or tape measures? Or the mirror and scale? Or how your clothes feel? There are lots of ways to measure progress. You don’t necessarily need a log to track your progress.

Now that I have said that, I am one of those that keeps a log, but I’m a strength athlete and need to know my strength is increasing. There are many that don’t need the absolute numbers, but the looks.

I keep three, you pussies.