How do you record your workouts?

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    Mar 16, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    I'm building an online workout tracker for use at the gym. It will run on your phone of choice with a slick finger-friendly interface (yeah, I know...). For the tech types out there I'm using ASP.net 4 with a MySQL database.

    Anyway, I record my workouts like this:

    BENCH PRESS
    185 LBS * 10reps
    225 LBS * 7 reps
    245 LBS * 5 reps
    265 LBS * 3 reps
    275 LBS * 1 rep
    285 LBS * 0 rep (attempted)

    SHOULDER PRESS
    115 LBS * 10 reps
    135 LBS * 6 reps
    145 LBS * 3 reps

    ...and on and on for each. I was thinking of implementing build-it-yourself templates as I like to build my auxiliary exercises around my main exercises (bench, squat, deadlift, and powercleans).

    So my question is this...how do you track the progress of your workouts? Do you have a special format that you use? What about planning? I'm aware of other apps out there (iFitness, etc),,,
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    Mar 16, 2011 11:31 PM GMT
    inkedeagle saidHow do you record your workouts?
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    Mar 19, 2011 5:34 AM GMT
    I log it into an Excel spreadsheet when I get home from the gym. Spreadsheets are nerdy, I know. :B

    The phone app you're developing sounds cool as long as it's pretty easy to use and customize. The ones I've downloaded haven't been easy to use or customize. Sounds like you've got a great idea.
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    Mar 19, 2011 5:38 AM GMT
    I print out a spreadsheet that I make in excel, and pin it to the wall next to my fitness equipment with a mechanical pencil on a string. It's barbaric, but I derive some visceral satisfaction in scratching a new weight or rep improvement onto the board. And as the weeks go by, the paper piles up behind it showing as evidence of progress or lack thereof at a quick glance.

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    Mar 19, 2011 6:00 AM GMT
    iFitness works really well for me.
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    Mar 19, 2011 6:11 AM GMT
    I don't keep a journal. I keep mental notes. Not really sure why people need complicated exercise specific apps and software to keep track of this stuff. Plenty of simple ways to keep track of your workouts..

    Google Spreadsheet -
    Online spreadsheet. Available through any web browser.

    MS OneNote -
    Probably the best note taking/journal program. Available as a desktop software for Windows. Also available for free as a smartphone app for Windows Phone 7 and iphone.

    Evernote -
    Second place to OneNote. Available for all desktop platforms and smartphones.

    Pen and paper -
    Keep it simple, right? icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:01 PM GMT
    I'm hearing a lot of Excel and I'm hearing that the phone idea is convenient for a couple of you.

    What kinds of statistics are important? Do you ever look back at your previous workouts and build off of what you did?
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:29 PM GMT
    I just bring a little piece of paper with my intended workouts and a goal weight written next to it. Then I had some blank columns where I wrote actual weights and reps done of each exercise. I transferred the results into a google docs spreadsheet when I got home.

    I use the historical data for each exercise to see if I am progressing. I also use the data to set my goal weights for the next workout. If I have been at a given weight for a while, I'll bump up the goal by 5 or 10 pounds for the next workout.

    I tried to use an iPhone app once but I really just like to leave my phone in the locker. I find a little piece of paper much easier. Same thing with a grocery list... a sticky note and a pen are way easier to use than some electronic list on my phone :-)
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:40 PM GMT
    Has everyone forgot how easy it is to take a pen and a booklet with you to the gym and take notes?

    TAKE NOTES PEOPLE. Stop being lazy.

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    Mar 19, 2011 5:22 PM GMT
    First of all, the fact that you use MySQL to track your workouts is a huge turn on! Seriously. I admire computer guys a lot... wish I knew more about that stuff. Your good looks are an added bonus. Anyway, I've been using spreadsheets to track my workouts (amount lifted and reps) since I started working out in '92. So I have almost 20 years of data! I take the paper copy to the gym and record it there, then add it to the computer spreadsheet later. It was kind of double the work though, so I just recently started using the iFitness app on the iPod. It's pretty good, but it doesn't have some of the standard exercises I use. It keeps a nice graph of your progress and you can export it to a spreadsheet.