Carrying notebooks to record workouts

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Carrying notebooks to record workouts
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 9:55pm
Since N (shesminetoo) brought this up below, it made me think about this. How many of you carry notebooks or something to record your workouts? If you don't, how do you remember what you did last? What do you record (weights, reps, exercises, thoughts?)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 11:17pm
I started out with a small notebook, a spelling tablet. I now have a three ring binder. In one section I keep my "master" sheets for working out. I try to remain VERY flexible in what exercises I will be doing. For example. Today was Back and Shoulders day. I have 9 weight lifting exercises that can be done for my back and 6 for my shoulders. I only do 4 exercises for large groups and 2-3 for small. So, I looked around, realized that about a dozen Marines were lifting back too and that the lat pull down wouldn't happen so I skipped it and chose something else. I have master sheets for each body part that I carry with me when I lift, along with a sheet for recording what I do/how heavy/how many reps/how I felt/any problems and more importantly when I reach a milestone or accomplish something:) I have my master sheets all the way back since December when I started working out (Beth designed them back then, I do now). They are helpful because if I go three weeks without using a machine or doing a freeweight exercise I still have what weights I "should" be using available on my master sheet. My notebook has a section with all of my goals from the start, it has been fun to watch them change over time. I also, of course, keep every daily log for what I do. It was fun to go back and look at what I was lifting in Dec. compared to now, a measurable difference despite my feeling "stalled" in the weight loss at times. For the week each month I record my food intake it is also in there, along with my master diet plan. Which, is not that strict as you all know. I just keep it in there to remind me when I start to slip that these are my goals for nutrition.

I swear by writing it all down when it comes to my workouts. Especially newcomers! There are some great books that you can find that double as training logs for the exercise challenged. Some of them have detailed drawings, tables and charts of what you should be doing and why and how to properly do them, and spots to record your growth. I HIGHLY recommend that anyone not comfortable in the gym starts there. And, really recommend that anyone familiar keep track of what they are doing. By not writing it down you risk the habit of "going through the motions". If you don't challenge yourself by adding weight/reps or intensity you aren't really going to get gains, how can you do that if you don't know what you've done in the past and where your comfort zone is? For example, today I did a major bump on my back row. I went from 95 being the max to 100 being my starting weight for a pyramid set. By the end I was lifting 140 (got 5 reps too!). I would have never challenged myself if I wasn't recording that I was getting nearly 13 reps on my last set and known that it was time to push myself a bit more.

So, in short (like I ever answer anything without more detail than anyone needs...) yes, I use notebooks, swear by them. I need a three ring binder though, because I pack-rat my info. In fact, I need a bigger three ring binder soon:)



Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 3:07am
When I started training with weights last summer, I had a little master sheet designed by the PT (I paid for 2 sessions to get someone to design a workout for me). At first I needed to use it just to remember what it was I was supposed to be doing. Then I started relying on it to tell me whether or not I should go up in weights (e.g. if I easily did 12 or 15 reps).

I don't write anything down on paper anymore. Because I am SUCH a geek, I actually keep an Excel file on my computer where I've broken down my workouts by major muscle group (legs, chest, back, shoulders, arms, etc.). I record my workouts there -- weight, sets, reps -- with notes on how I felt afterwards (like when I was limping around after my first day of SLDL), if I notice any problems (like shoulder pain during upright rows), if I feel like I need to work on form, etc. I also record cardio there.

I like your system, K! And all I can say for your rows is day-um. You're strong!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 7:19am
i tried the notebook thing but i felt like i was going to class. besides, i would always leave it somewhere and it would end up in the gym's lost-and-found - or worse, i'd get paged to the front ("attention staff, jane you left your notebook on the floor *again*...") to pick it up. i'm a little forgetful like that.

for myself, i really don't need one. i have a strict regimen i follow for bodyparts, but since i work out with my bf, we usually mix up the specific exercises. we'll throw in some giant sets and almost always finish with a killer drop set. he actually was the one who designed my original program - now we combine our workouts and it is way more fun and challenging. besides, it's always nice to have a trainer with me for each workout. he says i work out harder than he does, haha!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 7:50am
You and me, both! I would end up leaving on the front seat of my car. I'm still always going back for my gloves. You're so lucky that you bf is a trainer. Instant coach and partner! I change my routine every couple of months and I do different exercises each time. I'm going to start supersets this week.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 8:11am
You are so organized! I have to confess that I don't even use a calendar outside the gym. I just remember everything in my head which is really tough with my son in taekwando, tennis, skating, rock climbing, soccer, and my daughter in taekwando and skating, my skating and hiking (before we moved), all appointments and when they're due and unusual events like this past move. I also keep my lifting in my head, so I just remember the last weight I did. I don't get the history that way, though, so I couldn't tell you how much I was lifting a couple of months ago. I do move up when I'm not being challenged and change routines regularly. Wow, and I have to ditto what vanessa said--you're strong!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 9:03am
I did when I first started lifting again, I would write down seat positions, what weight, and how many reps. I stopped doing it when I started remembering from workout to workout what I did last, and it helps me to try to keep the numbers of reps consistent and just focus on the weight that I'm lifting. I don't need it now, but if I took some time off or started doing different lifts, then I'd probably need it again.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 1:48pm
No, I don't record my workouts. I think it's a good idea but really not my "style." I just keep mental notes and push myself based on how I'm feeling that day.