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workout log

How to Keep a Workout Log

Despite how it sounds, a workout log isn’t a cylindrical piece of wood used for doing clean and presses in the woods (though I wouldn’t advise against that). I’m talking about a cheap, simple tool, which could do more for your training results than any gimmicky supplement or exotic bosu-ball exercise ever will.

workout log

Simply put, a workout log is a record of every rep, of every set of every exercise you do in the gym.

Think it sounds tedious and time consuming? Think again.

A workout log can take a few seconds to fill in, and besides it’s not like you’re doing anything productive between your sets at the moment is it?!

To create an easy to read record of your workout, simply write the name of the exercise, with the set number, followed by the amount of reps you did, and underneath that, the weight you used for each set – something like this;

workout book

If you think writing numbers down in a diary isn’t going to help you squeeze out that last rep right then and there, you’re right, but a workout log will benefit you in the medium and long term. In fact when I say medium term, I mean within a week.

A workout log allows you to see exactly how many reps and sets you did, and what weight you used, so next time you train the same muscle group you can strive to improve at least one aspect of your workout.

Make no mistake, a workout log won’t see you going from benching 50kg to 300kg in weeks, but it will help you strategically progress over time… And give you something worthwhile to do between sets!

N.B. Yes, I know, there are hundreds of mobile apps out there that will help you log your workouts on your iPhone, forget that; use a sturdy notepad and a pen. Phones have no place in the weights room.

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2 thoughts on “How to Keep a Workout Log

  1. Hey Joe,

    I agree with you and I prefer a real book over a mobile app any day…

    My fav note books are called “Moleskins” a little bit smaller than the one pictured but these I find can fit into a jacket pocket a bit easier…


    James Davis AKA The Fitness Blogger

    1. Glad you agree with me! I used to use a slightly smaller book than that, but I found I couldn’t fit all my exercises in there neatly – probably just my large handwriting!

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