Benefits of Keeping a Workout Log

I always bring my workout log with me EVERY single time I go to workout, here is an example of a page from my log back in November 2011. I just bought a small 100-page Mead notebook at Office Depot (I put my hand there to give you a perspective of the size). There are a lot of different ways to track your workouts, this is just how I like to do it. I used to print off the logs from but found that I never did a good job of keeping them in a binder and I kept losing the pages, which was defeating the purpose. I think writing down your weights makes such a big difference. I never used to do this and then the next week when I would go to do the same lift, I couldn’t remember what weight I had done the week before, and usually end up lifting too light. Plus, writing down your weights gives you something to do on your 60-second rests 🙂 Here are a few things I do that help me out:

-I always write my workout down before I get to the gym. Any exercises that I don’t feel 100% comfortable with I watch the video on right before I walk out the door so the proper form is fresh in my head. If it is an exercise I have never done before, I might write little notes about form, etc next to the name of the exercise in my log.

-I like to write “g.w” which stands for good weight next to the exercise if it is a good weight for me to start with the next week. If I didn’t get to failure on the last set I will write “Start with x lbs next time” or if I got to failure too quickly I will stay “start with less weight next time”….something like that.

-I might write little comments to myself like, “hard!” or “remember to wear gloves” things like that so next week I can flip to this workout and be prepared for the intensity, etc.

-For supersets I draw an arrow between the exercises and write “S.S”. For active rests I draw an arrow between the exercises and write “A.R.”

-I like to write the date and whether I worked out in the AM or PM on each page too (forgot to write AM on this page).

It is really fun to have everything in one consolidated location and to go back and see how much stronger you have gotten! Hope this helps! If you keep a log, what types of things work for you? I am always looking for other helpful tips 🙂

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  • Good ideas Natalie. I still bring printouts from BB and while on the bike I organize the routine. I also have about 8 freezer bags with cut out exercises from magazines and incorporate those into my workout, so every night I get out the baggies and take papers out for the next day. I post my workout on my fanpage on FB so sometimes go back to look it over. The best exercises are those beat boredom ones in Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness Hers has some good ones where I bring the whole issue.

  • Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward
    to new updates.

  • just started livefit and carry around the print outs at the gym. NO ONE else does this!!! i like it though.

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I’m Natalie

Ten years ago I started out in the online world in the fitness space. I started blogging, sharing at-home exercises, and offering easy recipes. This turned into writing eBooks — one of which blew up in a way I could never imagine!

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