Why Keep a Workout Log?
Keeping a nutrition log is one of the best ways to stay on top of your weight loss goals, and the same principle can apply to your workouts. By keeping a detailed workout log, you can keep unfocused workouts at bay, and have more targeted, specific, beneficial routines. A log will help you remember what you did and how it felt, so the next week/session, you can maximize your results.
- Notebook or Binder
- (Cell Phone/App)
Putting it all Together
Step 1: Determine your Medium
Choose a Notebook, Cell Phone/App or Computer to keep your log — or all three — or a combination (Apps like Evernote sync across several platforms making it easy to keep everything up to date). The most important thing is to find a method and stick to it. The more fun and simple this method is the higher the likelihood of consistency.
Step 2: Start on the Right Track
Start your journal recording your current stats and fitness goals. Record your starting weight, various measurements (hips, waist, bust…wrist?!), and any notes about your body (cellulite? arm jiggle?). Next, write down your fitness goals. Make sure they are SMART Fitness goals. Review this page of goals regularly, to help encourage and remind you why you are working out.
Step 3: Create Record Keeping Consistency
Dedicate a page to each work out day. Each row should include the exercises you performed and each column should include the sets and reps performed. Additionally, if you are using weights note the weight at which you performed each set. If you’re doing a single activity workout, like yoga or Zumba, just record the time you spent exercising.
Also it may be beneficial to use your workout days as weigh in days, and record your weight.
Step 4: Reflection
Take note of the conditions under which you worked out. When you did your cardio, was it running indoors on a treadmill or outside?? All can have a bearing on your performance, so they’re important factors to include.
Give insight on how you felt during the workout. If you did 15 reps of squats and felt great, you might need to increase your reps or add dumbbells next time. This way, your workout log can help you stay on track towards success. You will be better equipped to listen to your body, you will know when it’s safe to kick things up a notch or whether you are a little fatigued.
Step 5: Future Preparation
Be sure to consult your exercise log before each session, review your goals, and your previous session(s). Make sure you aren’t doing too much of one type of workout or focusing one area. Changing your workout routine can help blast through fitness plateaus.