Not logging workouts is probably one of the biggest mistakes for those that are dedicated and motivated to make physical change in their life. I have been asked by people how I log workouts. It really isn’t an easy answer. I started on paper, graduated to a Word document, then to Excel, and then to Google Docs. I’m constantly trying new ways of logging my workouts with these goals in mind:
- Ease of use – cumbersome logs does not provoke desire to log
- Easy to track/search/review – Google Sheets are great for this.
- Something I can change on the fly, or refine with my programming
It can be a bit tough to log into a computer every day, open excel and try and track a workout, especially when traveling. Google Docs is a 1up in the sense that if you are traveling you can jump on a buddies computer and get it done. Also, they have apps for iPhone and android which allow semi-ease-of-editing within the sheets. I can use this functionality in a bind, but my first choice is to use their forms. I’ll keep this short for now, but If you need more clarity on how to do this, leave me a comment. Within the excel sheet you can create a new form. Mine looks like this and I have it saved to the home screen of my phone:
Pretty simple right? This is an example of the output after 2 weeks of filling out this form. (I added the colors to separate weeks)
List of things I track in the excel sheet:
- Lift #1 & Weight
- Lift #2 & Weight
- Lift #3 & Weight
- Lift #4 & Weight
- Lift #5 & Weight
- Hours of sleep at what quality percent (Obtained from the Sleep Cycle App)
There is a lot more you could probably track, but this is a good way to start. I have tried different varieties of forms for the past two years and they are great! I am mainly working on strength/Olympic so that’s my first priority, though this form can be made to log CrossFit workouts as well. Once you have data you can start looking at volume trends, see what kind of workouts you are doing the most and what you are missing. What time domain you perform well in, or what you decided to not include in your programming at all. This is a sure fire way to plan and critique your training better.
You may ask why I am separating the cells for Movement and weight, I didn’t have to do this, and I still may delete it, but I wanted to get some general volume numbers down for the cycle that I am currently on. In another sheet (in the same file) I have a volume calculating tab where I can track volumes from everything I am doing for the cycle.
That’s all, and I will consider that my 2nd week training update.