Why You Should Keep a Strength Training Journal & How

Some don’t keep a training journal and will tell you they’re unnecessary. Whatever. If you’re successful without one, continue. But know the benefits:

  • Motivation. Looking back at where you come from is inspiring.
  • Awareness. You get an understanding of what works for you.
  • Experience. You learn from your errors: injuries, stalling, etc.
  • Confidence. You’ve got a plan when you go to the gym.

I used to keep my workouts on pieces of paper. The problem: it was a mess. I couldn’t find back information. Then I started to keep a real journal. I write exercises, sets, reps & weights before I hit the gym. I take my strength training journal with me in my home gym & fill it in while working out.

How to Use Training Journals.
Get an A4 notebook. Composition books will last years. Don’t buy a spiral bound notebooks, they wear out too fast.

  • Write your goals on the front page.
  • Use a column format: write from top to bottom.
  • 9 to 12 workouts fit on 2 open pages which equals 3 weeks of training.
  • Put similar exercises on the same line, easier to track progress.
  • Mark personal records with stars. This acts motivating.
  • Add comments: injuries, pain, intensity, overall feeling, etc.

Practical Example
. Here are some pictures from my strength training journal. Workouts from September 3rd until September 22nd. Notice the column format. The journal is dirty: sweat.

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