To make serious progress in the gym you should be tracking your lifts, Keeping an eye on weight, reps and sets of certain lifts and what days. However, this task can seem daunting to some people as they have a few questions about it and don’t know how or where to get started. So I thought it would be wise to go over how I track my lifts.
So in this article, we are going to go over how I track my lifts, some of our top tips for tracking, what to track and how to go about tracking! I will be using my own experience for this as well as some tips I have learnt from other people and what they do. So, let us start with the first question most people have when they start tracking. What should I use to track!
WHAT SHOULD I USE TO TRACK
So there are a few things you can use to track, The most basic is a notebook. Just head to your local shop and purchase a diary. you can get a standard notebook but a diary will be pre-split into days. From there you just fill out each day as you go. The good side of these is they are pretty easy to use, accessible to everyone and easy to find and navigate. The downside is, it is something else to have in your gym bag, once you fill it up you need to buy another one and of course, you will need to carry around a pen!
The other option is using your phone. you can either create a note or a document and begin to fill it out (use excel or something along those lines) or you can use an app designed for it. It just so happens that our App has a feature designed for this! Weight tracks for exercises and body weight as well as a daily planner! The good about using an app or your phone is it’s always on you, ultimates storage and quick set up. The downside is you might run out of battery and you also have to learn.
Luckily the Sets & Reps Exercise diary is really simple to use and easy to set up and highly customisable. It is part of the Membership area (which include so many other features and tools). I have been using the feature to test it before we went life and have since continued to use it after! it is just so simple and quick to glance at your last lift. If you want to give it a go you can download it here.
WHAT DO I ENTER
So what do you enter? Well, as much as you can, How your day has been, bodyweight, weight, reps and sets! The more you track and write down the more you will be able to improve! You could even go as far as writing down your rest period! I even diary my day, Track my food, my mood and overall how my day is going.
The aim of writing down is to see how and when you need to improve and to make sure everything is as consistent as possible. If you look and you performed 20kg for 3 10 reps for 3 sets. Then you know to beat it and progress you need to either increase the weight, Increase the reps or do another set. We will talk more about how to progress shortly.
WHAT IF MY PROGRAMS VARIES?
People always say, how do I track if my program varies? Well, the first thing is that you want to try to stick to a program for as long as possible! Gaining and building muscle takes time and consistency! The second thing is even if it changes make sure you track. If you are doing Chest and you want to throw in Incline Smith Press, track it! Because you might come back to it in another workout and you can try to progress it! Try to write down all your exercises and lifts! This way you will have a record!
HOW TO GET STARTED
So how do get started? Well like we said above, start by writing down as much as you can for all your workouts. Then when it comes to doing the same workout again, You will look at what you did and try to beat it somehow. The more detail you write down the easier and more detailed it will be to progress.
For this example, we will use the Sets & Reps Exercise tracker in the membership Area. Open up the tracker, and you can create a new record for the exercise you want to track. After inserting the exercise, it will open up the next page. Which is where you record your lift. Perform your lift and then write down what weight you lifted, how many reps and how many sets. If you drop the weight or perform fewer reps on the next set, Just input two entries.
Then the next time you come to do this exercise, open up the exercise look at what you performed (try to keep it set for set) and then try to beat it. Maybe we should do an article on how to progressive overload and increase weight and reps.
- Be detailed, write as much information as you can and this will help each workout be consistent!
- Even if you go off the plan, Write down your lifts because if you ever perform that lift again you can still track it.
- Try to track supersets and drop sets just as you would! More detail means it’s easier to progress!
- When I track my lifts I write everything, even if it is a spur of the moment movement, still track it!
- Always remember your progress is your progress! Don’t compare your logbook to anyone else!
So that is how I track my lifts and make sure I am making progress. We will do a more in depth walk through on how you can set yourself up and begin to track. It is very simple and will hold amazing benefits. Tracking your lifts and sessions is a sure fire way to make progress, however it also had a great motivation effect. Seeing numbers going up, and writing down each session will give you a visual boost!
We have article covering so many areas of fitness and dieting! So if you want an honest answer to any question you might have you can head over to your blog! I am sure you will find the answer to it.
Written by Kieran Blacker
Kieran is the CEO and Founder of Sets & Reps. He decided to make an application that helped people get a gym workout when not at the gym. He designed, Coded and built the application himself.