Use This Free Printable Workout Log To Keep Track of Your Exercise and Fitness Training & Progress in the Gym
Keeping a regular workout log or exercise log sheet is one of the best ways to make sure that you are constantly making progress toward your fitness and exercise goals in the gym.
Regardless of your goals or fitness experience, recording your workouts, cardio, and weight training in a daily exercise log can help you make sure that you are always moving forward in beating your last workout, as well as let you identify possible sticking points in your training before you hit a wall or plateau.
As Ive mentioned before in previous articles, one of the seven habits of highly fit people is that they keep a log of their workouts and exercise to not only make sure they are always progressing, but also to hold themselves accountable. Writing down your daily exercise in a log makes you mindful of what you are doing and allows you to review your progress after each workout or training session. It also lets you build on each subsequent workout, so that you are always pushing yourself a little harder each time you hit the gym.
Why I Created This Free Workout Log
There are a number of free printable workout and exercise logs available on the Internet, as well as some excellent exercise logs that can be purchased at your local bookstore. However, after taking a look at the dozens of free blank exercise log sheets available on the web, I generally found that they didnt treat exercise holistically enough.
Most of the workout logs used the generic Exercise/Weight/Reps/Sets formatting, and didnt take into account other key factors that you need to keep track of, including rest periods, pre-and-post workout nutrition, training and fitness goals, sleep, duration of exercise and mind-body factors. All of these variables can impact your training performance and progress, regardless of whether you are a beginner or an advanced bodybuilder.
I also found that the formatting and visual presentation of most free printable workout logs left something to be desired. Having kept regular exercise logs for nearly five years, I know first hand the usability factors that can impact how easy it is for a person to consistently and effectively keep an exercise or workout log in a busy gym environment.
For example, most exercise logs (especially the ones purchased at bookstores) dont give you a enough room to quickly, legibly and thoroughly record your exercises, weight, sets, reps and rest (as well as additional related workout and training notes.) This can be especially frustrating when you are trying to move quickly between sets and record your performance often with a shaky hand from the exercise you just performed.
Also, the lack of shading between items can make it difficult to quickly identify where you need to go on your workout log, eating up valuable time.
Finally, while some free printable workout and exercise logs are available in formats like Microsoft Word or Excel (which allows you to customize the workout ahead of time), they are not always available in easy-to-print formats like Adobe PDF.
A Better Free Workout and Exercise Log
Since necessity is the mother of invention, I decided to take a crack at developing my own blank exercise log that you can customize in Word, or simply use as-is and print-off.
Ive tried to take the best elements of the workout logs Ive seen online and at the bookstore, add in a few additional items that I think will be helpful, and create an easier-to-use, but more comprehensive workout log. Im also excited because I can use this log to create pre-built workout schedules to accompany the exercise and workout routines on Answer Fitness.
I also decided to create a separate weekly exercise summary log that you can use in conjunction with the daily workout log to track week-over-week progress.
In terms of the formatting of the workout log, Ive included areas for you to record:
- the date of your workout
- time started and finished
- vital stats for the day like your scale weight and body fat percentage
- how many hours of sleep you got the previous night
- cardio and conditioning training
- weight and resistance training
- diet and nutrition info (specifically pre-workout and post-workout nutrition and any supplements you might be taking)
- your overall workout rating on a scale of 1-10
Also, I tried to provide plenty of space for recording weight, sets, reps, rest period and especially training notes.
What I like about this printable workout log is that its very flexible, and will meet the needs of both beginners and advanced trainees and bodybuilders. I also was able to get it all on one sheet, which makes it more convenient to take along to the gym.
Finally, I attempted to make the workout and exercise log goal-focused and added in some small things like body parts trained, fitness goals and mind-body workout notes to get you there.
Ive also set the page up to use a standard 8 x 11 sheet of paper, which you can then hole-punch and place in a three-ring binder.
Is this the perfect workout and exercise log? Probably not. But its a first crack. Im looking forward to any feedback or additional ideas on how to improve it. Its a work in progress.
How To Use This Workout and Exercise Log
- Choose which format you want the workout log to be. Ive provided Word, PDF and HTML.
- If you want to customize the workout log so that it will contain pre-set workout routines, use the Word version, which will allow you to type the exercises into the blank workout log file. You can then pre-print the sheets for the upcoming week or for the duration of your training cycle with the particular workout plan. For example, if you are on my full body workout routine, you can go in and type in the exercises for each workout, so that you dont have to fill them in at the gym (or print off the routine from the website.)
- If you just want to print off blank exercise logs and fill the details in at the gym, then youll want to use either the PDF version or HTML version of the log. If you are exercising daily, youll want to print off seven copies for the upcoming week, along with one copy of the weekly exercise summary.
- You can either hole-punch the sheets ahead of time and put them in a binder to take to the gym or keep them in a folder (staple a weeks worth of workout logs together at the end of each week to keep your exercise and workout logs in order chronologically.)
- Try to always bring your previous workout log sheets with you to the gym, since youll want to reference your last workouts in order to increase your weight, reps or sets each workout, which is critical to progressing in the gym. This is why a binder is ideal.
- When you arrive at the gym and start your routine, make sure you fill in the date and time you begin your workout. Also, if you weighed yourself or took a body fat measurement, fill that in. Other items you can note on the daily workout log are your overall fitness goals for this workout cycle, as well as how much sleep you got the night before.
- Circle the body parts you are training for the day, as well as any cardio you performed and your pre-workout meal and/or supplements.
- As you perform each exercise, write down the name of the exercise and what equipment you used (i.e. chest press machine, dumbbell chest press, bench press, etc.)
- Record the weight used, the reps performed and how long you rested between sets. Once youve completed an exercise, count up the sets you performed and record them in the sets column. Also, keep track of any additional information about your performance in the notes area. For example, note details like whether you felt unusually weak or strong during the exercise, any variations on the exercise that you might have performed or some words of congratulations if you have a great lift.
- Once youve completed your training, note the time you stopped, give your workout an overall rating on a one-to-ten scale and make any additional notes about your performance.
- Place the completed sheet in your binder or folder
Can I Offer This Workout Log On My Website or To My Clients?
If youd like to offer this printable workout log on your own website or if you are a personal trainer and want to use it with your clients, feel free to.
However, I do ask one thing: Please link directly to to this article and do not place the downloaded files on your website. If you are using it offline, please keep the credits intact on the workout log sheet and if you have a happen to have website, a link and credit to Answerfitness.com is appreciated.
How To Download Your Free Printable Workout Log
The daily workout log is offered in three versions, which you can download below:
- Free Printable Workout and Exercise Log (PDF)
- Free Printable Workout and Exercise Log (Microsoft Word Customizable)
- Free Printable Workout and Exercise Log (HTML Accessible via a Web Browser)
The weekly exercise summary log is also available in three formats, which can be downloaded here:
- Free Printable Weekly Exercise Summary Log (PDF)
- Free Printable Weekly Exercise Summary Log (Microsoft Word Customizable)
- Free Printable Weekly Exercise Summary Log (HTML Accessible via Web Browser)
Great work! I like what you incorporated into both the daily and weekly logs. Ill try out a little customization to add a bit more room for nutrition notesperhaps a second page so you can print off daily food stuffs on the back of the same day?? Awesome!
Hey FitnessGal4Life, thanks for the feedback. Im thinking I can add a second page into each exercise log file to include a food tracking sheet. That way you can print on both sides of the paper if you want one side with your daily workout and the other side with your meals, calorie count, and nutrition notes. I personally use a calorie and food tracking software application on my laptop (Calorie King) to log my meals, so a printed nutrition or diet journal isnt as critical for me. But I could see how it would complete the log for other people who like to track meals and calories the old fashioned way. After youve had a chance to use the exercise log, let me know if you have any other improvements or suggestions. Also, Im wondering what people would think if I created a exercise sheet for each day of the week, prelabeled Monday, Tuesday, etc., and then wrapped them up in a single PDF of seven sheets that you could print out. Does anyone have any interest in that? Seems like it might be more convenient.
OMG this is exactly what i was looking for. ive been using these junky training logs workout logs .. whatever that my personal trainer gave me (i dont use him anymore) and everything is too small! i printed off a whole bunch of copies and just put them on my clipboard and stuck them in my file at the gym so I have extras around. i agree with fitnessgal. it would be nice to have a food journal or diary on the back along with the workout routine stuff on the front. nice work! julia
Hey dude thanks for putting this together. Ive just been keeping my workout log in a notebook but its pretty messy and doesnt have any consistency to it. Im doing your full body workout and I just type the routine into the sheets in ms word and print off a bunch of copies. It saves me from having to write in the exercises while Im working out. Any thoughts on just putting the exercises from the workout into the sheet and offering that along with the workout routine? Just a thought thanks jake
This is just what I needed to get a few friends working out with me. I am trying to get my team in shape for basketball season. This is just the way to get them working early for the season.
Gina, thanks for stopping by. Glad this workout log helped you out. Let me know how things go with the the basketball team. Keep us posted.
Im training for my first womens figure competition in the January and have been looking for a better way to keep track of my progress. Ive just been using a notebook so far. This exercise log is definitely one of the better ones Ive seen. I like that there is lots of room for writing down the exercises and the supplemental stuff like hours of sleep, post and pre workout meals and supplements is really useful. You pretty much captured everything you would want to keep track of with an exercise journal. Nice work! Thanks
Thanks Amber! Im glad you liked the free printable exercise log. After youve used it a bit, stop by and let me know if you have any suggestions for how to improve it. Again, good luck with hitting your prep goals for the figure competition. If you win, it would be cool to know that maybe the workout log played a small role in your success.
GREAT exercise log, Matt. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT.
I never really thought about using an exercise log until I read your site. Mostly I just go in and workout and dont really pay much attention to what Im doing. You definitely opened my eyes to some of the reasons why keeping track of your exercise is important. I downloaded your exercise log and cant weight to try it out. Ill let you know how things go! Thanks!
LOVE this. Im a personal trainer and this is definitely one of the best overall printable exercise logs Ive seen online. Thanks for taking the time to put this together! Im also totally with you on the importance of keeping a workout log. How can you ever get better if you dont know what your best is? Great job. Fantastic website, btw. Im jealous. Would you like to build one for me?
oh this is good. do you have exercise logs that already have specific workouts built into them? that would be nice. you know, like they put in the magazines that you can just cut out and take with you to the gym when you workout?
Hey Matt, do you REALLY write down every exercise you perform each workout in this exercise log? Im impressed. I weight train a couple of times a week in addition to my running, but I just cant see myself being that disciplined (I was going to say “anal” but I didnt want it to come off as being negative) to actually write everything down.
How much extra time do you think that adds on to your workout? Its hard enough for me to carve out the 60 minutes a couple times each week, so time is really at a premium. The printable workout log looks great though if I could just get myself to actually use it.
Believe it or not, I actually do. Exercise logs are one of those things that I just think are so fundamental and game changing for people. Thats why I keep harping on them.
I was actually blown away recently when a friend told me her personal trainer wasnt keeping a written log of the exercises, weight and reps she was performing during her training sessions with her. I just couldnt imagine how he or she could possibly gauge her progress without keeping some kind of exercise log each session. There is no way a trainer with multiple clients could keep that straight in his head.
I also dont think most people unless they have a true photographic memory can do it as well. One of the added benefits to keeping a printable exercise log on paper is that you can go back and look at your progress over a month or year and get the satisfaction of seeing how far youve come. People need that from time-to-time to stay motivated.
In terms of the amount of time it takes, Ive never really tallied it up (maybe I will.) My workouts are usually about an hour and I typically do a full body that comes in at around 30-40 total sets, depending on the workout. I superset nearly everything, so that trims time off between sets when other people sit on the machine or bench and gaze at the ceiling. So even if Im spending 5-10 minutes total keeping detailed notes in my paper exercise log, I pretty much regain that by trimming down my rest periods.
Truth be told, its really not that much of a hassle. I always keep my last couple of workout sheets on my clipboard so when I go into the gym, I have no doubts about where I need to start off in terms of weight. This takes the guess work out of things, and actually saves time, IMO, because you are more productive in the gym.
I would really encourage you to try this out for six weeks. Id be willing to bet $100 dollars that you see better results. Thats how serious I am about this, based on my own experiences (and feedback from others who have tried it.)
Also, for this free printable workout log, Ive made changes to it to optimize it to make it easier to keep track of all of the related-vitals. This saves time over some of the other workout logs Ive used in the past.
Just try it. I think once you see the results, youll make time to record stuff.
By the way, Ive also tried a bunch of electronic/software programs for PDAs and cell phones to track exercise and found that in those cases, you WILL generally spend way too much time trying to navigate the menus to record your workout. Thats why Ive basically reverted to printable exercise logs on paper. There are some times when technology just doesnt save you any time.
Thanks for stopping by and participating.
matt. I just left a comment on the full body workout article. But I also wanted to let you know that I think this exercise log is one of the big reasons that Im getting such good results with your workout. I printed off this exercise log when I started your workout because you said it was really important. At first it was kind of a pain to get used to writing every thing down, but it really has helped. Thank YOU!
I just recently decided to crack down and start following a workout regimen and healthy diet. I have problems sticking to working out (I am one of those that goes on exercise kicks). That is why I decided to try to keep a workout log. But when I searched for some templates online, none of them struck me as particularly good. Then, I came across this one. It is by far the best free log I have seen.
I cant wait to try it out! =)
Good workout logs you got going on there. Thanks
This is a great idea, i provide great fitness info, but nothing like this, mine is more about information about fitness and health, so thanks for the good stuff and keep them coming,
Emily B, BootCampVancouver
great workout logs Matt! have fallen off of the fitness wagon and need all the tools to help get me back on track. I lost my job a year ago and have put on an extra 15 pounds.yuck!
Im looking for a site were i can find a printable work out plan. I started going to the gym but im not sure were to start or what part of my body to work on first. If anyone can help that be great!!!
Hey My Name Is Haylee. I am 55 and weigh 120 i want to weigh 100 pounds or less could you help me and give me a plan to workout with? i workout every night but. . . no changes. Can you help? Please?
My main man, Matt! Hey thank you for this workout log! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for in helping my clients track their workouts when Im not training with them. And Ill be sure to send my clients to your site as Ive checked it out and definitely see valuable information. Also feel free to send me an email and Ill return the favor with some information that may help your clients, at least I hope.
Thanks again for posting this,
i am a woman who needs to push herself alot harder, but she always backs out. I am also someone who brings herself down when it comes to seeing other girls that are so beautiful:)
please help me out
Hope you still check this blog. This workout is great! It is so very basic and core. So tired of the Mens Health type workouts that give you 17 different excercises for your abs, but dont give you anything that you can use for the whole body, functionally, systematically, without spending 3 hours/day in the gym. Hats off to you, bro!
Thank you so much-found what I needed on the first google website I clicked! Wow! I need this to keep up the daily pace!! Im not trying to lose weight just to tone up
I have been doing light cardio 30 minutes 2.5 miles per hour with a 4 on the incline (Morning and Evening). I love the treadmill it is great for stress relief! I am 35years old, 56 and 150lbs. My goal is to TRIM AND TONE my entire body. I am also a PEAR shape so have a lot of FAT accumulated on my Belly, Inner thighs and backside. Would your program work for me. I plan to continue with the cardio 2wice per day 5 times per week!
Matt, this is quite AWESOME! Exactly what I was looking for and I didnt even have to spend hours formatting it on my own. THANK YOU for sharing!
Thank you Matt for sharing these workout logs. I was looking for one and found this one to be the most userful. You just made my workout more simpler and easy. Thank you and best of luck.
Thanks for the workout log. This will save me a lot of time that I would otherwise spend making my own. Tracking your progress is incredibly important for fitness success, so thanks again for the log.
Thank for the workout log! Ive been looking for something to help me keep track of my progress.
Im in great shape always have been, my deal is im always on the go, always outside, I play with the kids like a kid, and I exercise for 20 30 min , 2 -3 times a week after work. I do not write down every little thing, I dont have time I have a life I personally know people who do this and what ive noticed is that they spend more time writting in their log than they do exercising. If you want to be in shape and healthy and look good, it is all in your mind, and a little bit of will power and commitment. That is all you need. People do not waste time and money on things that are not needed these people have surgery done, fake body parts, and they only want your money so just do it yourself. heck if you ahve to write it down buy a 50 cent small note book and call it good.
Hey Matt, thanks for the workout log. Ive been looking for something like this. So far Ive just been taking a yellow pad with me to the gym. It looks a little tackyas you might have guessed. ha!
Thanks for sharing Matt ^_^
Thank you for the exercise log! I was looking for something to record my jogging routine. With a few tweaks in the Word file, your log will be perfect. It also introduces things like calorie count that, ahem, a beginner should know about.
Hi! Wow these training logs are awesome. Has space for all the things i need to record, especially love the summary page. many thanks!
hi this was great for my friend his in jail and find this very usefull thanks , its great u can customized it
Hey Matt, thanks for this workout log template, it looks great. Ill try it out for my next few workouts and see how it goes. Maybe ill use it for my own clients if it works good.
I created a few for myself a long time ago, but was never happy with the layout, so I went back to just taking a notebook with me and writing down sets/reps/weights/times, etc on it. Thing is, its still a bit hard to read, and surprisingly, Ive gotten my notebooks stolen a few times when I forget them (seriously, who steals a notebook?).
I encourage the readers of my treadmill review site to track their progress. Studies show those who track are more likely to reach their goals. In fact, several manufacturers are offering treadmills that can store stats and later download them onto a customized online account. For those machines without that feature this is the best alternative.
Nice work. There is a big benefit when using a workout log. I usually get the best progress when using one. I usually add reps or little weight once a week. Allways try to do more work than the last time. Thank you.
Aw, it was an incredibly good post. In concept Id like to put in writing such as this also – taking time and actual work to have a really good write-up
The second circle pad is completely unnecessary. I thought the original design was good enough. Now Ill look like a complete idiot out in public with that big plastic thing under the 3ds.
How come you cannot offer us a PDF so we can print out?
How come you cannot offer us a PDF so we can print out?