A Training Diary is a quite useful resource in order to document our progress and evolution in the gym.
It is easier than you believe
We tend to become obsessed when we reach a stagnation point. We focus on the routine, we try to change the rep number, the series number, the weight that we lift… Sometimes, we blame the diet or the macronutrient distribution… “What if I ate 37 minutes after training, maybe I will recover better”.
Nevertheless, we forget about the simplest things such as documenting our progress.
Documenting your progress will be indispensable.
We can see it in all high performance sports, since it is a way of recording all the marks and workouts. In fact, it is even useful to take notes about feelings or observations that may be relevant when you look back. Therefore, you will see clearly if what you did worked or if there is something you have to change.
Notebook of a Chinese Weightlifter
How to do it
So you want to start documenting your progress, but how?
Notebook and pen
Most certainly, it is the most common method and the most used one traditionally. It is fast and easy.
Put it on your gym bag, do not worry about it running our of battery or breaking it (the one from the picture has lasted me for a long time).
- Write fast, specially if you are not familiar with mobile keyboards.
- Cheap (2€ and it lasts several months).
- Easy to use. Leave it on the gym bag and do not worry about it.
- You can lose it, break it or wet it.
- It does not have online synchronization.
- It will not last forever.
- It will take some space, specially if you have been training for years.
Smartphone and apps
Everybody has a smartphone nowadays, either iOS or Android. There are thousands of apps for the gym, nutrition… that can be useful when it comes to taking notes about our workouts.
Even if there are specific gym apps that allow you to create your routines and workouts; I personally prefer using minimalist apps, similar to spreadsheets or notes.
Right now I am using Google Drive, which is the hard drive in Google cloud. More specifically, I am using a sub-app for spreadsheets called Google Sheets.
It is also very easy to use in the mobile phone and it will synchronize with your Google account or iCloud, depending on the service you use.
- Unlimited virtual storage.
- PC-mobile synchronization.
- Endless apps.
- Free once you have a mobile phone.
- You may not be used to writing.
- You need a device and internet for most of them.
- Be extra careful or you may break your phone during a workout.
Links to the apps:
- Routine at home: Exercises to stay fit
- Planning a strength workout for beginners
- Strength workouts for beginners