Thursday, July 16, 2009

Workout Logs.

Wednesday, July 15, 2008
Everyone takes a different approach to workout logs. Some people don't use them at all. Others document not only every rep and plan, but also every other detail in their lives, in them. Some use good old-fashioned paper and pen. Others have moved on to some electronic form of record keeping. As with anything, there is value to all of these approaches--even no log at all.

Some people feel so intimidated and/or restricted by a workout log that if they felt like they had to keep one to "workout properly" they wouldn't do it at all. So, for them, that approach is perfectly valid. I, however, tend to fall more in the category of people who keep their workout log together with my record of life in general. I log the day, my weight that day, whether or not I work, and my workout every day. If a workout is particularly good or bad or has a pertinent feature, I write that down. If something in my life is bothering me or is just wonderful, I write about that. And I make general notes about my nutrition. About once a month or so, I write my measurements in a different color. PR's get special indicators, and changes in the program get notes. I have referenced my log quite a bit here lately, going through it to plan my workouts and when I need to advance myself to the next level. Doing that rather than depending on waiting for a point when my body felt as if I needed to move on, has led me to make advances lately in my lifting capabilities that I'm not sure I would have made otherwise. And by looking back, I've also been able to see just how far I have come strength-wise. I have also been able to track my weight and measurements to confirm what I felt was stagnation and compare what I was doing this time last year when I was a little lighter to what I am doing now. Because I have not detailed my nutrition but only given a general overlay, however, I am having some difficulty tracking exactly how that has played in without overlaying the paper log with my online food log. As a result, I am rethinking to some degree that way of keeping the info. Certainly, the personal notes in my log are not something everyone would feel comfortable doing. I believe, though, that they are crucial to the process. Life is not a vaccuum. Each aspect of our lives in intricately related to all of the other aspects, and to ignore the link would be unwise. And as I have reviewed what is going on in my life at any given point, I have been able to learn something about how it has affected everything else. Hindsight is 20/20, you know.

Another large value to a workout log is the ability to show it to a trainer or appropriately educated friend. Despite the clarity that time can provide an individual, we are still approaching any topic with our own biases. Fresh eyes can often find patterns and issues that we might overlook. Here, I suspect, many would balk at sharing a log with personal notes, and for good reason, I suppose. I have contemplated just this thing and decided that the benefits would outweigh the risks if I decided to have someone take a look.

I've been loving my workout log here lately. Some would call it a journal, and I suppose it is. The people at work think I'm crazy for writing in it as much as I do. It is tattered from being well-loved, warped from workouts in the rain, dirty from lying on the ground and smudged from sweaty hands. And it is worth every second spent.



3 5-rung ladders of
black and purple band-assisted pullups/elevated pushups.
After each rung, I did 1/1 partial pistols counterbalanced with the 12kg.
30 Challenge Burpees in 3' 46"


I'm consoling myself, saying my week lately is starting on Wednesday. So I took Sunday and Tuesday off last week, and this week will be Wednesday and Sunday. LOL


  1. So what type of book are you using? Right now my work out log (sitting on my desk at work for the first time ever) is a mead 5 star half note book.

    My log isn't as detailed. You've sen my blog where I talk about my workouts after the fact, which is more detail then the actual log.

    The log is really just to track what I'm doing at a given time in the work out. I have a blotter style calendar at home that lists the workouts I have to do on what day. For most of those workouts, I'll write down what the exercise is in the the log, and as I complete each set, I put a tick mark to indicate that set is done. I find if I don't, I have no idea how many sets I've done, and sometimes do more than required (like pull ups on Monday).

    Things like classes (boot camps, power core, and Tang Soo Do) don't get anything written down because I don't have time to pull the note book out write what I just did.

    Oh and the reason it's at work today. I'm actually planning the warm up section of TSD for tonight.

  2. Hey sister, how are you? Funny you bring up logs, just made an excel sheet to track what we are doing. I've found that I'll go through phases where I love em/hate em. You are right though, it is a great way to take a look back at biases, and weaknesses.