Staying fit involves many aspects that contribute to attaining the goal. The most important aspects are nutrition and regular exercise. But many people find it difficult to stay fit, especially when it comes to working out. Even if you try to follow a fitness program, you might still have trouble getting results. Fitness enthusiasts know that when beginning a new regimen, the first week usually involves planning and writing down every action you’ve taken. A very important part of a successful program is to keep track of your progress with a fitness journal or a workout journal template.
Fitness Journal Templates
What is a fitness journal template?
Often, getting fit feels like an overwhelming undertaking. But with a printable fitness planner, you can keep track of your progress. Writing down progress notes might not be the easiest task but if succeeding is the goal, it’s important to keep track of what you do and how you feel about each exercise. After some time, you’ll see how much improvement has happened. The main goal of having a fitness program is to see find out things like weight loss, toning up, or gaining muscle, which might not happen without having a plan.
With no direction on how to get from the starting point to the end goal, you won’t feel motivated. To achieve your goals faster or even exceed them, a plan should be in place. This prevents feeling frustrated when you feel like progress isn’t happening fast enough, which eventually causes thoughts of giving up.
With a fitness journal template, it’s easy to plan ahead, review the progress, find out what works and what doesn’t, and have a good idea of what to do each day. There won’t be a need to keep guessing what to do next, which maximizes the results. By keeping a fitness journal, everything that happens will have a purpose.
Workout Journal Templates
Benefits of keeping a fitness journal
Keeping a fitness journal is a simple way to help you focus and stay motivated while moving toward the set fitness goals. Here are some of the reasons why using a printable exercise tracker could help in achieving faster results:
- Promotes honesty
Some questions might come while trying to analyze the exercises in the fitness routine. For instance, some questions are:
- What type of workout should I do today?
- Did I complete my last workout efficiently?
- Did I skip some exercises because I didn’t feel like doing them?
With a fitness journal, writing down the details of your workouts ahead of time makes you more honest so that analyzing progress becomes more effective.
- To create more effective and realistic goals
It’s not a good idea to set unrealistic goals. It’s good to set ambitious goals to challenge yourself but it’s not okay to have massive unrealistic goals that might cause feelings of demoralization or discouragement. The progress made as recorded in the workout log provides you with the feedback needed to set realistic goals to keep up the motivation throughout the process.
- To feel inspired
The ability to regularly evaluate progress through the journal is one of the most rewarding parts of keeping a fitness journal. You will see the results of all efforts, which can increase feelings of inspiration. Any accomplishments reached will fill you with pride and serve as a reminder of how capable you are. It also helps keep the fire burning until you finally achieve all fitness goals.
- To discover patterns in your workout routines
If you’re observant, you’ll notice the emergence of patterns for why you feel like an unbeatable beast on some days, and on other days, you feel like you’re just shuffling along without any interest in the simplest routines. This is when you may discover a certain number of days in a month when you don’t feel strong enough. In the past, you would have just shrugged these feelings off without bothering to think about why they emerged in the first place.
Often, people do this because they don’t notice that it happens regularly. But with the journal, you might find out that these days happen when you didn’t sleep well, didn’t eat enough before working out, and more.
Gathering all of this information helps establish patterns to maximize the days when you feel at the top of your game and minimize the times when you’re not feeling strong enough. The journal contains the feedback needed to maintain an awesome fitness regimen.
- To motivate yourself to exercise harder
An important part of maintaining a fitness journal that a lot of people overlook is the desire to write about their good workout days. The idea of writing about a bad workout day prevents feelings of motivation. This makes people feel a lack of focus and drive. But by also writing about the milestones and achievements achieved, this will encourage you to double the workout efforts each time.
- Serves as a clear plan
The fitness journal helps you craft better goals while serving as a blueprint for achieving those goals. Whether they are short-term or long-term, you can monitor and measure the in the journal.
- Serves as a way for you to vent
Aside from keeping track of a fitness routine, it’s also possible to use the journal to write how you felt during each workout including mood, other factors that had an effect on the workout, or anything else that comes to mind. The journal gives you the chance to vent to feel better even after having a bad workout day.
Printable Fitness Planners
What items should be included in your fitness journal?
We all have different bodies and distinct health goals. As such, there is no standard way of making a fitness journal. Since there are many ideas to create a journal, it’s recommended to adopt journaling practices that you find useful. For instance, using a binder allows the addition or removal of pages as needed. Although it’s possible to choose a journal with a predetermined system or format, a binder gives you the option of trying out different things. After choosing the type of journal to use, make sure to include the following information:
Log the following information at each workout:
- Date and day
- Starting time
- Finishing time
- The exercises performed
Recording this information helps you find out whether you perform better at certain times of the day or days of the week. This information is also essential when measuring how often workouts occur. Make sure to keep track of the exercises performed to determine the intensities of the exercises while finding ways to divide the workouts into various muscle groups every week. Any information that you may include about workouts depends on what exercises you do.
Notes about each workout routine
The numbers recorded in the journal are just one part of the whole story, which is why it’s also a good idea to write down notes about the workout routines. At some point, you might discover that the total miles you’ve run or the weight-lifting numbers have reached a plateau. If the records show that running or lifting weights feels too easy, this is a sign of improvement, even if it doesn’t feel like anything significant happens.
It’s also important to note down any significant details about the external circumstances or bodily changes. For example, one important factor that affects performance when running outside is the weather.
Other factors that influence strength and endurance are minor illnesses and hormonal cycles. Writing down notes about these factors as they happen helps you notice the emergence of patterns as time goes by. Taking down notes also prevents the creation of incorrect conclusions like thinking you regressed when an external factor has caused a significant change.
It would be too challenging to keep track of training or workout progress if you have no goals. There are different goals to set for varying time periods. It’s possible to set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals with regard to:
- Processes including new exercises or adopting more challenging progressions of a certain exercise
- Outcomes like lifting a certain amount of weight, hitting a specific number of repetitions, or running at a certain speed
- Body like when you’re either gaining or losing weight
Integrating rewards into the workout program is a wonderful way to create milestones and keep the enthusiasm up. Include rewards in the fitness journal and give yourself a pat on the back when you achieve each goal. Also, write down how you enjoyed the rewards on the days when you got them.
It’s also important to keep track of body metrics to help you identify whether muscle and fat loss or gains are regularly happening. For many, body metrics are closely tied with their fitness goals. Here are some body metrics to measure in the journal:
- Body measurements including waist, chest, upper arms, hips, and thighs
- Body fat percentage
- Calories you have consumed each day
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
Printable Exercise Trackers
How do I create a fitness journal?
If you plan to work towards achieving a new and improved lifestyle, remember that there are some things to consider throughout the fitness journey. Consider your goals, time availability, emotions, and the exercises performed. There are several tools to use to keep track of the whole journey, the best of which is a fitness journal or workout planner template. To create the fitness journal, follow these steps:
- Choose a journal you know you’ll use. If the journal is too big, you can’t carry it around. If it’s too small, you might lose it or there won’t be enough space to write all the details needed. It’s also an option to go digital by downloading an app to keep track of fitness progress. Whichever medium you feel comfortable with, try sticking with it.
- Write down your goals. Whatever goals there are for starting a new fitness program, make sure to write them down in the journal. If you know the goals, it’s easy to go back to the notes in the journal to help keep up the motivation. You need to know where to go before keeping track of the progress made.
- Include your food goals too. Recording food goals and habits in the journal helps you realize how nutrition affects the fitness program. For example, having two bars of chocolate to go with lunch doesn’t sound like a bad thing until you realize you’ve had this 3 to 5 times a week! By adding all of those chocolate bars up, you will realize how much you’ve consumed, which is too much. This provides a new perspective on one of the eating habits to change. Keep recording food goals and habits to discover patterns like these.
- Keep track of the exercises performed. This is an important aspect of journaling. For example, when training for a 10K marathon, writing down the daily running times will help you reach all fitness goals until the day of the marathon. If the goal is to lift more or heavier weights, keep track of the daily weight lifts. There would be days when you perform better. Focus on these. Reviewing the fitness journal shows which are your best workout days.
- Take note of your emotions. Jot down how you feel before and after the workout routine. Also, take note of how you might have felt tired or sluggish after eating a certain type of food. Writing details like these will help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
- Make your journal visually appealing. This step makes journaling more fun instead of treating it like a chore. Make the journal inspiring and fun using brightly-colored pens when writing significant details like inspirational quotes. It’s also recommended to add some magazine clippings or fun stickers to help you feel happier about the progress made.
- Include journaling into your workout routine. Make the activity part of your weekly or daily workout routine. When you have developed the habit of writing in the journal, doing so becomes much easier and more enjoyable.