How to Build Your Own Workout Layout Sheet


A workout layout sheet, or log, provides motivation and helps you stay on track with your exercises. You can make a simple workout log using pen and paper, a computer program or you can download a template from the Internet. Having tangible evidence of your workout plan in place -- and being able to easily update it after each workout -- helps you chart your progress to stay consistent in your workouts and ultimately meet your fitness goals.

  • Create a log using a method that works for your lifestyle. A notebook and pen suffices for a start, though a spreadsheet program enables deeper analysis. If you go the pen and paper route, a simple notebook will work fine. Divide the pages into single or multiple days, noting the date and the activities you plan to do. If you opt for an electronic-based log, a computer with a spreadsheet program works efficiently for recording your exercises and progress. You can pre-fill days with broad categories, such as core or lower body, and then detail specific exercises like crunches or squats as you complete them.

  • Set clear goals when you build your workout layout sheet so you can tailor your exercises to meet those goals. Note your objectives on the first page of your log where you can easily see them and adjust them as your fitness level improves.

  • Outline a workout plan with your goals in mind. Include activities you enjoy that will help you meet these objectives. Create a plan that is flexible and can adapt to unforeseen changes, such as bad weather, vacation or injury. Include all three major elements of fitness -- cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises -- which the American Council on Exercise recognizes as part of a well-rounded exercise program.

  • Update your layout sheet to record daily activity. Indicate whether your workout was based on cardio, strength training or flexibility, and note the duration of the exercise. For strength training activities, document how many repetitions and sets you did of the exercise, as well as the amount of weight you used, if any. Once you’ve reached a goal, note it in your log, then adjust the goal as necessary. For example, if you met your starting goal to lose five pounds and be able to do 10 push-ups in a row, your next goal might be to lose 10 pounds and do 15 push-ups.

  • Add more information to your log by purchasing a pedometer or heart rate monitor to capture more specific data about your workout and how your body is responding to it. Establish an extra page or section to your workout log to use as a food diary, where you record what you’ve eaten each day. Diet is just as important as exercise in an overall fitness plan, and tracking your food intake can help you make better nutritional choices.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always consult your general physician before embarking on any exercise program.

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