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Use a chart to track your exercise performance each day.
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To lose weight or to successfully increase your strength via a regular fitness program you need to know which exercises to do on which days, how much weight to use for weighted activities and how many repetitions and sets to perform of each exercise. You also need to keep track of your past results so you can see how well you're progressing. Creating your own workout chart lets you organize your sessions and keep an eye on your progress.
Draw the Chart1.
Write the days of the week in a column on the left side of a sheet of paper. Alternatively, type the names in a word processing program or a spreadsheet.2.
Place the names of all the exercises you do across the top of the page. If you perform total-body workouts, put all the exercises on the same page. If you do different programs on different days -- an upper-body workout one day and a lower-body session the next, for example -- use a new page for each different workout. Add one box that says "notes" or something similar.
Draw horizontal lines across the page, midway between the name of each day. Draw vertical lines to separate each exercise name.
What to Include in the Chart1.
Take your resting pulse rate before you do your first workout each week. Write the number in the "notes" section of the chart for the appropriate day. If your program is effective, your resting pulse rate should decrease over time. You can also check your pulse rate at the end of each workout and list that number in the daily "notes" column as a measure of how hard you worked, along with the amount of time you exercised.2.
Write down the basic statistics from each exercise in the appropriate box. If you do barbell squats on a Monday, for example, find the box that intersects the column labeled "barbell squats" and the date labeled "Monday."3.
Include the number of sets that you performed for each exercise, along with the number of repetitions per set and resting time between sets. If the column is simply labeled "squats," also write down the equipment you use, such as a barbell or dumbbells.4.
Chart the amount of weight you lifted for all weighted exercises. Write the number in the same box as the sets and reps. Make a special notation for warm-up sets, such as writing a "W" next to the amount of weight you lifted.5.
Weigh yourself at regular intervals -- such as the same day each week -- and write the number in the "notes" column. If your goal is to lose weight the number should decrease. If you're trying to add muscle the number should increase a bit.6.
Measure key areas of your body weekly and include the measurements in the "notes" column. For example, measure areas you're trying to grow, such as your biceps or chest, or areas you want to trim, such as your waistline. If you're trying to simultaneously lose fat and become stronger, the measurements may offer a better barometer of your progress than your weight.
- Computer program
- Keep your charts for at least the previous month so you can track your progress.
- You'll find many printable logs online.