Recording Workouts

Hey gang,

I thought I'd take a moment to ask you about how you record your workouts, or if you even do!

Mine looks something like this:

I like to keep a record of exercises I've done, how many sets, and many reps. This is an easy way for me to keep track of my progress.

This was a different workout for me. I usually don't do chest, shoulders, and biceps on the same day. I missed my bicep workout last week, so I added it this one.

As you can see I use a chart. I find this is the easiest format to read.

  • Column 1: exercises
  • Column 2: set 1
  • Column 3: set 2
  • Column 4: set 3
  • Column 5: set 4
The numbers in the columns are the weight and the reps (ex. 30 lb/15 reps). When you see the ", that means that I did the same amount of weight or reps as the last box. 

Do you guys use something similar?


On another note, I'm picking my sister up from the airport today! I'm so excited, I hardly slept at all last night. She's been in Seattle since the end of August. I miss her so much. We're planning to finish up our Christmas shopping together, and then meet the rest of the family for dinner at my parents house.


  1. Unfortunately, I don't record my workouts IN the gym. Most of the time I actually record them on my blog but of course that leaves room for error. I should start bringing a notebook in with me!

  2. I use something similar but I am so scribbly/messy with mine that only I know what I'm talking about! Ha! I write down what exercises I have planned and how much weight and reps I did last time, and then I write down as I do them how many reps/weights I use the next time, hopefully more than last!

  3. Is the weight per arm or total?

    I record similarly to you....when I am good and record, but if I am short on time or forget specifics, I just go with a qualitative description and indicate which body part(s) I worked. This means that I literally have entries that say run the gamut from "really hard leg day today, you cried, and wanted to vom a few times, good job" to "only 40 minutes sh*tty shoulders today, you suck"

    yeah, I know the editorials about "good" or "bad" are totally inappropriate but.... :)

  4. i love your notebook. i wish i had the patience to do that!! I store it all in my head :)

  5. Julia - the weight is a total unless I specify otherwise (like in the last row). Love your comments to yourself!! Made me laugh out loud at the airport when I read them LOL.

    Thanks for your comments everyone! Love them :)

  6. I don't log my workouts, but I am (trying to get) determined to do more strength workouts. I just tell myself I get too bored with weight lifting...

  7. Two summers ago, I worked with a great gal from Hollywood, Rachel Nichols.
    Rachel did some TT workouts while filming a movie up here in Toronto.

    That's about it for me in terms of training Hollywood actors or
    actresses in person, but recently I was asked, "Imagine you're
    working with a major film star who has eight weeks to lose 30
    pounds of fat and build some muscle in preparation for the lead
    role in the latest Hollywood blockbuster. What do you do with them?"

    Here's my answer...

    I would have control over every single thing that they eat. That's
    the biggest ticket to success here. No booze, no excess sugar, and
    just giving them enough reward to stick with the program.

    If this "star" is a typical overweight, sedentary individual, we'll have
    no problem getting rid of 20 pounds of fat through nutrition.

    As for exercise, we need to be consistent, and stick with our intensity
    principles. We would do 3 hard workouts per week using strength
    training followed by interval training with the program being centered
    around basic movement patterns done with free weights.

    Everything is done in supersets in the workout to get more done in
    less time. For example, we might do a squat supersetted with a
    pressing exercise. I also like to pair free weight exercises and
    bodyweight exercises in supersets, for example, a dumbbell split
    squat paired with a decline pushup.

    We'll do 3 superset pairs, each for 1-3 sets, and stick to 8
    repetitions per set. Then we'll finish the workout with 6 hard
    intervals of 30-60 seconds (with 60-120 seconds rest between each).
    This way, we are in and out of the gym in 45 minutes.

    On "off days", we'd still get at least 30 minutes, if not 60
    minutes, of low-intensity exercise. But it wouldn't just be slow
    cardio. Instead, we'd focus on low-intensity bodyweight training.
    For example, if the actor can do a maximum of 25 bodyweight squats,
    15 pushups, and 5 chinups, we would use easier versions of those
    exercises in circuits.

    Here's a sample 6 exercise bodyweight circuit that we'd do at least
    3 times, doing 10 reps per exercise.

    Wall Squat
    Kneeling Pushup
    Beginner Inverted Bodyweight Row
    Stability Ball Leg Curl
    Mountain Climber

    After that, we might cross train with a variety of cardio exercises
    to avoid overuse injuries that occur when you repeatedly do the
    same activity and nothing else.

    So that's pretty much it. If he (or she) sticks to their nutrition,
    we're as good as gold and the actor will be ready just in time.

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    Craig Ballantyne, CTT
    Certified Turbulence Trainer
    Author, Turbulence Training

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    "Craig's workouts were fun and challenging - I didn't dread going to the
    gym and I wasn't overly sore after our sessions. Much like my trainer in
    LA, Craig's workouts were always different: the exercises, the supersets,
    the weights...the combination of elements always varied and, therefore,
    I never got bored or felt like I was in a workout rut. And my co-stars
    couldn't believe how great my arms looked, thanks to Craig helping me
    do my first chin-up. Thanks Craig!"
    Rachel Nichols, actress

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    Nick Walters, New York, NY