ISO: Formatting Tips for a Fitness Routine Record

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Sandy wrote with this request.

I need help!  I just recently started a vigorous fitness routine, and I desperately need help finding a way to track my workouts and my progress.  I don’t think I have enough space in my notes section of my 2008-2009 Weekly Notebook.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  My sister had an excellent suggestion (that I’m currently using) of breaking my workouts into 4 different categories, as I work out 2 muscle groups a day.  So, on each day, I write the workout category.  For example, Monday says “2 & 4” so I know that’s the workout I did that day.  But, where can I record the weight, number of sets, and the number of reps for each exercise?  Should I have a pocket size Moleskine for this information?  If so, what would that format look like?  I’d prefer to keep it in my Weekly Notebook, but at this point, I’m thinking it’s impossible.

*Anybody out there using this notebook for the same purpose?Please share your ideas.

8 thoughts on “ISO: Formatting Tips for a Fitness Routine Record

  1. The key phrase for me is “a vigorous fitness routine, and I desperately need…to track…” I disagree. All you need to do is learn how to stick with your program for more than a few weeks. Start tracking it only after it becomes part of your life.
    Every year for 20 years I’ve watched the newbies take over my YMCA. They’re mostly gone by the end of February. I’m not saying you’re in that demographic but I know why they fail: it’s harder than it looks to commit to working out regularly and they get bogged down in tracking their routines (only to find they’re not progress fast enough in strength gain or weight loss).
    a. Don’t use your precious planner. Don’t use a precious notebook for the gym. If you lose it or drop it in the pool, it’s GONE.
    b. Use a cheap spiral notebook. The cost of a mole cannot be justified for this task.
    c. Find a guru (“Body for Life” is reasonable, there are thousands more) and create a log to fit that unique program. All such programs have huge online support and user communities, just like us moleheads.
    d. Relax. Learn to eat differently. Start slowly on weights or resistance training. Start saving now for replacing your clothes.

    david boise ID

  2. sorry..i disagree.Im a marathon runner and use the gym to supplement my running. I use an M daily planner so that i can see my progress and what I did yesterday. I also use a planner when things become stale, I look at the good days and remmmber why im doing this. The planner gives me the ability to plan my year and my races. I can see them and plan for them in my head. I do agree to keep it simple and have fun. Go slow. enjoy your body transformation. Dont get to hung up on writing things down. I like writing more of how i feel, and how the run was, or how the day is…then how many sets.

  3. Thank you everyone, for your suggestions. Here’s a little bit of background so you know where I’m coming from. I’m already fit (28 years old, 5’7, 125 lbs). I’m training for strength, and to be honest, I wouldn’t mind if I saw absolutely no change in my body. I’ve been told I will, but that’s not the point. The point is that I know I’m living a healthy lifestyle. And on that note – it is a lifestyle and not a New Year’s resolution (because I don’t believe in them). This new strength training regimen happened to fall around the first of the year. I also happen to have an extremely poor memory. So, I’m writing everything down, because the second I walk away from a machine, I forget what weight I lifted. So, I really need to record it, so that I can remember what the weight was (and sets and reps)and not be clueless every time I walk up to a machine. I’m using approximately 6 machines per workout. Any suggestions?

  4. i agree with david in many points.

    since it´s part of my life, i´ve never really written anything down. my personal trainer tells me what to do whenever i tell him how i feel and what i want from my body. there are days in which i feel bad (flu, tired, so on) and if i wrote down what i did on these particular days, i would have recorded something that won´t help me in the future because the results are a consequence of a whole period, not days considered separately. that day on which i didn´t feel 100% is also part of the whole process.

    well, everybody is free, but i wouldn´t do that. i wouldn´t have fun with it at all.

  5. > So, I’m writing everything down, because the second I walk away from a machine, I forget what weight I lifted.

  6. After checking some weight lifting books and training record sites and considering the value of keeping a journal on the way to achieving a goal, I’ve actually got something tangible to add to the thread.

    You need space for the date, time, and day of the week (some folks do upper and lower routines on alternate days), general health (0-5) with room for a note (low energy, recovering from flu), general attitude (0-5) with room for a note (had to escape the office!), a line for each machine, and a column for each lift. Lifts are usually recorded as resistance/reps. The notes about time of day, health, and attitude are fascinating reading later when you assess your progress toward your established goals or try to figure why you have stalled.
    I think your best bet is a squared cahier, just pick a size. Do the layout in pen, your daily entries in pencil.

    david boise ID

  7. Last night, I purchased the squared reporter notebook… same size as my Weekly + notes planner. Being a larger size, there is plenty of space, and since it’s the journal format, I can get a lot of information onto each spread. I think each spread will have enough space for me to record 2 – 3 weeks at a time. I have sectioned off the notebook into 3 sections – Workout 1, 2, and 3. These 3 workouts target particular muscle groups, so by breaking it out in this way, as opposed to a day per page, I’m able to quickly compare my weights/sets/reps for each exercise over time. Interestingly, the last 20 pages or so are perforated, so I’m documenting my “various workouts” in this section. This was perfect for yesterday, when the gym was closed, and my workout at home included crunches, tricep dips, push ups and weighted lunges – no machines! I love have Moleskine has a variety of products that fulfill my every need. Thanks to everyone who helped me find my path!

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