Anvil or Hammer

Another way to log

Posted in Technical Update,Toys and tools by Mike on December 12, 2006

I started this log a while back as an attempt to keep a training journal. I stayed with it because I found that it worked exceptionally well for me. I’ve tried most of the usual approaches, buy a workout in a magazine and follow along, write it in a notebook in journal form, write it in just a set/rep breakdown and a couple others. I found that, for me, the blog allowed me to do either or both. It also kept a long term record so I could go back and look at my progress. If I wanted to I could even chart it. It offered me three things that a normal training journal didn’t typically give me:

  1. I can’t lose it – well I can but it’s hard. When I was on gripboard this was especially true. When I took responsibility for myown space, it required a little more maintenance but I still like it
  2. Tracks more than the bare minimum – a lot of times I would barely get my sets and reps written down, so I really had no idea if it felt good, if I wanted to increase next time and so on. In this format, I feel inclined to do a bit more of a narrative, partial because I feel there may be some kind of audience, who wasn’t there, that wants to know. In truth, it has been incredibly helpful to me when looking back at old workouts and planing my next one.
  3. Accountability – I’m sure there are probably some posts that have never been read or aren’t read much. That is ok. I feel like there is someone who has their eye on it so I feel like if I skimp or cheat someone will know.

That said, this blog has a couple shortcomings. The greatest of which is that it’s not that easy to take into the gym so I have something telling me what I’m shooting for today and somewhere to record my totals. Not too long ago, I added a new element to my logging. It was actually started by my inability to see my domain from work but has worked out well so I keep it around.
Google Spreadsheets. I use a lot of google products and this is one that when it came out, I thought it looked useful but couldn’t figure out how. So I left it alone. I experimented with a couple different things and nothing took. Then, one day, I wanted something¬†on paper to take with me to do my workout out. I actually did it in Excel first, which worked really well. Then I realized Excel didn’t quite have the portability I was looking for. So I popped it into Google Spreadsheets and that does the trick. I can work on it at home or the office. Shape it up and print it out.
I built into it formulas that point to each other and calculate pounds of kilos, whichever I don’t enter. It gives me space to record and a clear plan to work from. I haven’t yet closed the loop. I need to go back and record what I did but for now this is working.
I’m not trying to sell anyone on GSpreadsheets. As cool as it would be, I don’t work for them. It’s just another tool that has done the job for me and is available to whomever free of charge. The right tool for the job is very important.

My training spreadsheet


UPDATE: I’m trying my spreadsheet link again. I may have had to “Publish” it first for it to be available to see. When I did that, it changed the URL. Someone let me know if you still can’t see it. Also, it opens to the first page which is my blank page, if you click through the tabs, you can see some pages I actually have filled in.