The key to success in any exercise program is consistency and control. You must exercise regularly, have a plan, and stick to it. And, nothing will facilitate consistency and control like a Workout Log.
Weight training is one of the most popular types of exercise programs. Here, there are so many different types of exercises to do, each one tempting and gratifying in its own way, that it very easy to lose one’s direction, succumb to randomness and accomplish very little. A Workout Log is essential to anyone involved in weight training.
A Workout Log for weight training may assume three sessions per week, which will fit on one paper page. Each of these three sessions will have a place for the date, the day of the week, and the time the session started.
How to Use a Workout Log
The first column of our Workout Log will be to specify the target area for one or more exercises, such as the legs, back and chest, abdominals or the arms. The next column will be for the name of a specific exercise.
A “set” is defined as the number of times you perform an exercise without stopping for more than a moment between movements. The number of extra columns you will need to include on your Workout Log is equal to the maximum number of sets that you plan do in any exercise. As an example, if the maximum number sets you plan to do is six, then you must include six columns, Set 1, Set 2, Set 3, Set 4, Set 5, and Set 6 to the right of the Target Area column and the Exercise Name column.
If, for example, you plan to do four exercises for your abdominals, you must devote four contiguous lines for them. A similar pattern will be followed for each of the other body areas. The next column will be for the name of a specific exercise.
If, for example, you plan on doing your four abdominal exercises first, the first entry under the first column will cover four horizontal lines and be labeled “abdominals”. The next column, labeled “Exercise”, will name each of those four exercises, one to each line, with the first one you will do on the top line, and each subsequent exercise in the line immediately below it.
If your first abdominal exercise is the ever-popular crunch, and you do two sets, enter the number of repetitions you do in the first set in Set 1. If you do a second set of crunches, enter the number you do in Set 2.
Later on, as you progress to weight-bearing exercises such as the bench press, you will also enter the amount of weight you are lifting as well as the number of times you perform each movement under Set 1. If you do three sets in total, you must fill in the weight and the number of movements for each subsequent set under the Set 2, and Set 3, respectively.
One of the best things about using a Workout Log is that you will see written proof of you progress, and, with help from your trainer, you will be able to judge how to make modifications in your training to assure continued progress.