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Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

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Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Dave on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:39 am

Whether you are training for strength or muscle gains, fat loss, increased flexibility or specific strength, martial arts, tricking or gymnastic feats, the benefits of keeping a log are many and the impact on your progress profound.  Who plans to reach a destination they have never been to before without first mapping out the route and keeping track of the journey?  Many people try to do this, I think, but how far will they get?  Even if you are training solely for maintenance and general fitness, keeping a log is a great way to stay motivated.  Add an online community of motivated and positive individuals to the mix, and you have a recipe for success!

Please pipe in with your arguments for the benefits of keeping a training log and how it has helped you.  Thanks!
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Journeyman on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:53 am

Benefits--
1. accountability. If you like to set up a plan beforehand, following it out and keeping that mapped out in a tangible manner can help.
2. tracking. Even if you're the sort to avoid set plans, tracking trends and progress over time is pretty much necessary.

Benefits to keeping said log online--help and advice (depending on the community), accountability and encouragement, ego fulfillment.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Dave on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:29 pm

Thanks Jman!  More comments, experiences from anyone else? Suggestions and advice on how to organize your log, what to track and so forth would be great. I believe everyone has something of value to offer. The more voices in this thread, the more likely our new members and lurkers may be to consider regular log posting.  :idea: 
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Journeyman on Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:00 am

Dave wrote:Suggestions and advice on how to organize your log, what to track and so forth would be great.   

This is an interesting topic. I've always personally just done something like

Lift: weight x reps x sets
or
lift: weight x reps/time

But there are other ways to go about things too. For someone who uses circuits/alternating sets a lot, something like this is good:

A1. (exercise one)

B1. (exercise two)
B2. (exercise three, alternated with exercise two)
@60s (rest interval in between)

Which could look like this:
A1. pullup x5x3
A2. dip x10x3
@120s

or maybe

A1. press 24kg x6/6, 5/5, 3/3, 3/3, 2/2
A2. wtd. pullup 16kg x5, 4, 4, 3, 2

For people who confuse themselves with 'sets x reps' or 'reps x sets' this can work:
weight/reps, sets
So...

Squat: 140kg/9, 3


Or simply listing all the sets out.
Bench press 225x2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2; 165x6,6,6
Overhead press 145x2,2,2,2,2,2,2; 105x6,6,6

Also, things to keep track of: bodyweight, time of day, how much sleep the night before, how many hours since eating (and eating what), mindset going in to train.

Finally, if you want to track actual effort expended using the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) method might work. 10 is an all-out set, 9 means you had a rep in the tank, 8 means two reps, etc. etc. (I think). Josh has been using this and reading a lot about it recently.

Personally, I rarely log stuff like that because I usually remember it, but it can be very useful for people who want more detail in their logs and/or have trouble remembering how a particular session went down.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Dave on Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:32 am

Thanks for some more great input. I've bounced back and forth between few of those formats myself.  Some people like to post their before and after nutrition, supplementation and hydration as well, and how much sleep they had, the quality of it and so forth.  Helps to dial in every variable and see which things were conducive to better results and what things may have hindered them.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Iliander on Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:05 am

usually i just do something like this lol:

exercise: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 (60 sec rest)
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by ccheatum on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:02 am

There are several reasons that I log workouts. First, it is a good way for me to be able to look back at what I have done and understand patterns that have lead me to where I am, whether for the better or worse. Second, it is a great tool of accountability because I know that others will be looking for my post and will eventually notice if I stop posting. Plus, if I put up weak workouts, I will get called out. Third, logging my workouts and some thoughts about what I thought about those workouts right after doing them is a great way of remembering. I will go through phases and eventually "forget" about wonderful routines that I enjoy. The log gives me a way to jog my memory. Finally, and perhaps most important, is that I can get input and advice about new ideas for things to try from people who know more than I do.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Cesar on Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:37 pm

I agree. Accountability to myself and the support of others, keeping track of what I have done, what I plan to do and what I've accomplished.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Brahma Bill on Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:25 pm

My progress has been sporadic and slow. With a training log I can look and back and say "dang, I really am improving after all"
So it keeps me motivated to keep going.
That and the knowledge that you guys will talk smack if I don't get any work in  :D 
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Avocadoshake on Sun May 04, 2014 8:47 am

Leaves no room for guesswork - how many reps/ weight did I do the last time? Here it's written down.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by hedwards on Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:26 pm

I have mixed feelings about exercise logs, I think overall they're a potentially good source of motivation, however, I also realize that if you're barely increasing workout to workout that it sometimes makes sense to selectively buried pages out of the sheet so that you're emphasizing how far you've come since you started rather than the barely noticeable change workout to workout.

Personally, I don't bother with logs unless I've hit some sort of a plateau and need to do a reality check of what I'm really doing versus what I think I'm doing. I just find the process of keeping logs to be a sufficient turn off to working out that I'll often times not bother to work out at all to avoid having to do the logging.

But, I'm a bodyweight guy, weights hurt me quite quickly whereas bodyweight work I can just focus on doing however much I can that day, and I don't typically wind up with problems with overdoing it or underdoing it. With weights though, I have to log because I can't just push myself as hard as I'd like, my connective tissues just can't take it.

Likewise, I don't usually bother paying too much attention to how much I'm eating, so long as my body composition and strength are going the right direction. But, if I'm getting fatter/weaker or I'm not seeing any gains in my strength, then I'll break out the log books and see where it is that I"m cheating.

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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Alexandra on Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:11 pm

I do have to say that posting my workouts and being part of things here since 2011 has helped tremendously, because more than once I've gone to the gym when I didn't want to because I wanted to post in my log. Also, more than once I didn't eat badly because I didn't want to have to say that I gained weight in my log.

-- Alexandra
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by itlives on Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:02 pm

The Books of Pain are not really logs of day to day workouts but more a collection of different workouts. As CC said or implied ( or inferred, I get mixed up on those) I'd forget some wonderful workouts if I hadn't written them down. Going back to some long ago workouts keeps me from getting stale or bored.

My day to day workouts have always been logged online. But as BWC has proven, that may not be the best thing to do!

I will  -thanks to this thread - start a day to day journal.

Hedwards- I always had the same problem with connecting tissue. I have a few more miles on my joints these days and I can assure you, there's nothing like weighted workouts. Connecting tissue takes a long time improve if damaged. My suggestion is to start adding weight VERY slowly.
I think pride gets in the way of many BW only exercisers (not saying you) in that they might not want to just do squats with the bar only when you read about Dave (an abnormality all by himself -lol) can squat like 9,000 lbs 50 times in two minutes.
I had to squat bar only starting this year.
I'm now up to 70lb.s (bar included). I'm trying to build back a damaged knee and surrounding tissues.

It takes a long time but the benefits are well worth it.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Dave on Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Ha, Mike, thanks for the shout out.  The best I did was [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].  I have yet to go for 225 x 50, which is a long time goal of mine now.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Avocadoshake on Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:53 pm

Hey Mike, I'm squatting 72.75 lbs also atm.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by itlives on Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:20 pm

hey Avo! I'll have to catch up on you!
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Cesar on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:10 pm

Dave wrote:Ha, Mike, thanks for the shout out.  The best I did was [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].  I have yet to go for 225 x 50, which is a long time goal of mine now.

nonstop with rest at standing or reracking, Dave?
That sounds like fun.

I have not played around with the sandbag and will soon. Going to stick to the swings/pull ups and Goblet squats (alternating days)/burpees. I want to TGU - 24kg was too much. Going to have to ue the 16kg until I build the shoulder stability and strength.

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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Dave on Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:23 pm

The video is in the link. There wasn't a rack anywhere near me.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Cesar on Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:15 pm

Got it. I am at work and not able to see any youtube videos. We are in the middle of a transition to a new outlook program and microsoft office so i believe that all gates are opened leading to being able to see the video today. Nice going Dave. Solid ATG squats.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by itlives on Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:16 pm

Cesar wrote:"Dave"185 x 50 in 3:40.

That sounds like fun.


Ummm.....Cesar....I think you are one sick puppy.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Cesar on Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:21 pm

I think it is BURPEE Brain, Mike!
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Rix on Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:02 pm

Best case for keeping a log - assess to progress!
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Dave on Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:39 am

Dave wrote:Even if you are training solely for maintenance and general fitness, keeping a log is a great way to stay motivated.  Add an online community of motivated and positive individuals to the mix, and you have a recipe for success!

Okay I guess this guy has a point.
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Rastaman on Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:25 am

Very good point! 

 Don't worry if this guy had of stopped keeping a log, he would  have got sick of my bombardment of PM's :D
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Re: Let's Make a Case for Keeping a Regular Training Log

Post by Dave on Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:46 am

LOL!!!
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Great expectations!

Post by Dave on Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:47 am

Chinups morphed into chinups, sporadically with hanging and some movement. I need it because my legs are always being curled and my hips tiled back or forward, otherwise I am kneeling on the floor to my bedroom. Having done these moves only sporadically over the years, my competency is low. But I have always remembered them eventually and for a time. So I fatigued quickly and lost form in the HeSPUs after not even one round. Afterwards I was a little clumsy. This was two rounds. Another hang session with rest periods. At this point, going onto my hands was quite taxing, so I adjusted my workout expectation. This did come after a (probably still too brief) warmup and working up to a few heavy lifts. I think I'll add in some wheel rollouts to the best of my ability as rest paused singles. Instead of my workload, it will evidently be my GOAL of the challenge to achieve EMOTM by the end of the month! I don't know what I was thinking! A more gradual and GTG approach feels better here, and I have a little more freedom to vary my schedule, so, for at least the first few days, I will be hitting GTG for some GPP.
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