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  1. #1
    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    Why doesn't anyone write their numbers down?

    Every time I'm at the gym I am literally the only person there writing down all my numbers to track my workout. I'm sure a few people have apps on their phones, but with the specific workout I'm doing I just haven't found any app that could do the job as straightforward as the old pen and paper. There is no way you would be able to remember all the numbers that go into adequately tracking your progress, so it just blows my mind that I never see anyone doing this. I also see plenty of people who never pick up a phone so I know they're not tracking anything. What gives?
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    Registered User Anthony21's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TonyM78 View Post
    Every time I'm at the gym I am literally the only person there writing down all my numbers to track my workout. I'm sure a few people have apps on their phones, but with the specific workout I'm doing I just haven't found any app that could do the job as straightforward as the old pen and paper. There is no way you would be able to remember all the numbers that go into adequately tracking your progress, so it just blows my mind that I never see anyone doing this. I also see plenty of people who never pick up a phone so I know they're not tracking anything. What gives?
    Why do you care so much about others in the gym? Do they effect your progress in anyway?

    Who cares what they are or not doing.
    My training log: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=178464441
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Anthony21 View Post
    Why do you care so much about others in the gym? Do they effect your progress in anyway?

    Who cares what they are or not doing.
    Mostly this ^

    But more importantly how would you know they aren’t tracking?

    I know a few people who can literally remember everything they did during a session.
    Age: 29

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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    RPE 10 all the time. Nothing to write down.












    Seriously though, if you're in a commercial gym most people don't have any set program. Why would you care what they're doing or tracking?
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    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Anthony21 View Post
    Why do you care so much about others in the gym? Do they effect your progress in anyway?

    Who cares what they are or not doing.
    I knew this comment was inevitable and I totally get it. I've trained on and off for probably 20+ years but it's only been within the last year when I've gotten on a solid program, got my diet on point and just have been completely consistent that I've experienced dramatic gains compared to every other time I've trained. I hate to see people wasting their time and spinning their wheels. I'm also just trying to understand the mindset of just going in with numbers in your head or whatever. I see people of all levels doing it and I'm just curious.
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  6. #6
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    I don't. I'm lazy, undisciplined and ... I just don't care. For me it just adds another hurdle to getting to the gym and having a good workout / good time.

    That said I do sometimes envy those who track their workouts with apps and/or log books. There are days where I wish I did track but ... the mood quickly passes :-)

    It's not very uh scientific but I can kinda tell when I'm having a good day, a bad day, when I'm pushing myself, when I'm coasting. If I have a string of bad days I make some changes. I'm an amateur and I plan on staying an amateur. I try to put a little Fun in my workouts. A log book makes it sound like a job.

    (But, to your point, I do see some people making NO progress. Same weight, same rep count and not even breathing hard when they're done ... everyday. I'd say that is fine, they're doing something, they're maintaining until ... they COMPLAIN that they're not making any progress! Now "they" might well benefit from one of your log books.)

    That said I do wish you well. A log book is a great way to track your progress and, more importantly, keep yourself motivated. (I envy you but ... again, the mood WILL pass :-)
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    I once watched a guy doing what I assumed was intended to be EZ bar curls. I don't want to watch other people work out but he was hard to ignore. It started out like an RDL, turned into the curl then ended with a sissy squat. When he put the bar down between sets, he'd pick up his notebook and scribbled into it. If he didn't write down RPE 12 for each set, he was doing it wrong.
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    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Mostly this ^

    But more importantly how would you know they aren’t tracking?

    I know a few people who can literally remember everything they did during a session.
    They can remember how much weight and reps for every set for 5-10 different exercises, with maybe 3 or 4 different workouts? I'm no super genius but somehow this seems a little extreme.
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  9. #9
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TonyM78 View Post
    They can remember how much weight and reps for every set for 5-10 different exercises, with maybe 3 or 4 different workouts? I'm no super genius but somehow this seems a little extreme.
    I used to do this. It was pretty easy when I was doing straight sets for everything or even when I was on 5/3/1.
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    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    I wonder the same thing. It doesn't bother me, but it does confuse me. When I see another guy or girl with a log book I notice because it's so rare.

    keeping a log takes maybe 20 seconds extra time. A little spiral notebook with 100 sheets and a pencil clipped into the spiral lives in my backpack (a.k.a. gym bag) for 200 workouts. Go to first station, open to blank page, write date at the top, first lift, and just write down the numbers between sets. Maybe jot down bodyweight if I'm cutting, or make a not at the top for new max, or feeling crappy or something else out of the ordinary.
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  11. #11
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jademonkey View Post
    I wonder the same thing. It doesn't bother me, but it does confuse me. When I see another guy or girl with a log book I notice because it's so rare.
    I used the old school marble composition books back in the day. Now I just use the Notes app on my IPhone since I can write down data however I want as opposed to a customized app. It looks like I'm playing on my phone between sets... kinda don't care if people think I'm not logging my workouts the same way I don't care whether anyone else does it either.
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    One day, I thought I hit a rep PR. I punched it into fitnotes and it told me I hit the same weight and reps a couple of months back. I don't know how I'd manage to find anything if I kept records with pen and paper.
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    Spiral notebook user here.

    I flip back and forth between the previous and current workout and my goal is to increase each set by 1 repetition. I also reload shotgun shells between sets. Also shoot at trash birds from my garage door with aforementioned shotgun shells between sets. Some people say I'm crazy, but they are proletariots.
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    Registered User RamonHolder's Avatar
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    I wonder if a lot of people are just more casual than that. I know gym-goers that aren't really working towards a specific goal.
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    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RamonHolder View Post
    I wonder if a lot of people are just more casual than that. I know gym-goers that aren't really working towards a specific goal.
    I'm guessing most people on a bodybuilding forum are a bit less casual than most gym-goers.
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    April 2021.................16 week cut.................168 lbs
    2020......................375 / 285 / 505..............186 lbs
    Pre-COVID..............335 / 295 / 499..............185 lbs
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    Late April 2019.........285 / 275 / 440.............178 lbs
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    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    I find if I stop after each set to log pr's, I lose the burn/pump i've got going on so I never write anything down until after the session is complete. I can usually remember what I did at that point, because the memory and feeling of what I did is still fresh in my mind. I do think logging is important, as something to look over later and gauge progress. If you don't know where the gas station is, how will you know where to go to fill up, ya?
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  17. #17
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    If I'm following a written program, I usually bring a sheet of paper and manually write it.

    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Mostly this ^

    But more importantly how would you know they aren’t tracking?

    I know a few people who can literally remember everything they did during a session.
    If not, then this. I plan out the kind of workout I'm going to attempt and remember the sets, reps and exercise selection. I record everything I did afterwards in my training log when I get home, whether I used a temporary scratch pad or not.
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  18. #18
    Bands and chains FurtadoZ9's Avatar
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    I use google sheets and log on my phone. Sometimes I'll forget at the gym, but even if it's later that night I can recall all my working sets.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Most people dont actually train...

    Most are doing gpp or exercising

    Now I'm not saying this is bad in any way!

    For health benefits and quality of life? It's probably more than enough anyway.

    I usually just log after my session tho.
    FMH crew - Couch.

    If a post sounds like N=1 and that they have no experience coaching anyone but them selves?

    Do the math. You ain't that person, their experience probably isn't going to be yours. Can still be useful for inspiration - try things, follow athlete response and track trends In your training.
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  20. #20
    Masstrophysicist Camarija's Avatar
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    I'm one of the many people on their phones at the gym

    I have the timer app going between sets

    And this is what my notes look like

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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    I find jotting down what I do real-time to be most useful in helping me remember what I'm supposed to be doing on any particular day. Even then I zone out sometimes & do a diff variation or weight than I was planning. Not a big deal when it happens but prefer to be consistent.
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  22. #22
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    I write down everything I do, as it's a great resource when looking back and planning the next block of training for specific events. You get to see what worked well, what didn't, where you need to focus more, etc.
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  23. #23
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I write down my most recent numbers in each lift only. I assume some kind of first order Markov chain.
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  24. #24
    Registered User safcpaul's Avatar
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    I track everything on my phone at the gym and use the timer on my phone between sets aswell
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  25. #25
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    I now only track a push, a pull and a squat.

    As long as those three things are moving along, I’m happy. I have tracking sheets on my lap top and can tell you rep PRS from a single rep to all of the way up to 20…this is for all of my usual movements….

    Here’s the thing though, these are for calorie surplus training, it’s unlikely that I’d break those PRS in a deficit…and it’s depressing to write down stuff that’s maybe gone backwards with both age and deficit…

    Still, I have a journal here on the forum, my new tracking is simply videos of my lifts…I write down a few notable sets and can remember PRS on a lot of things I’ve done in my training history…

    But alas, now…

    Training in a wider rep range and volume range too…as long as I’m in the range, the exact reps, weights, sets don’t even matter. Instinctive training will have me reaching for more iron some days and backing off others…
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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  26. #26
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Gained three reps over previous best with ssb @305 lbs

    Here is 305x9 on my P.I.T (performance improvement test)
    https://youtu.be/3aP5WjUPUms


    This is how I track it.I do these P.I.T sets, don’t have to be 1 rm, just best set with a select wt until PIG is met.

    P.I.t= performance improvement test (AMRAP)
    P.I.G= performance improvement goal (usually 8 reps)

    I really just need a set weight to test at, then train however I want day to day, whatever rep ranges or style or movements I want…then when I’m ready, test again.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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  27. #27
    Bands and chains FurtadoZ9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Gained three reps over previous best with ssb @305 lbs

    Here is 305x9 on my P.I.T (performance improvement test)
    https://youtu.be/3aP5WjUPUms


    This is how I track it.I do these P.I.T sets, don’t have to be 1 rm, just best set with a select wt until PIG is met.

    P.I.t= performance improvement test (AMRAP)
    P.I.G= performance improvement goal (usually 8 reps)

    I really just need a set weight to test at, then train however I want day to day, whatever rep ranges or style or movements I want…then when I’m ready, test again.
    Slippers gave you an unfair advantage.

    Great set, you had more in you.
    Email to chat about programming or anything training related : FurtadoZ9@outlook.com
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  28. #28
    Registered User Xpiro's Avatar
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    I didn’t even know paper existed in 2022.
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  29. #29
    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    Everyone has a different way of doing things and I'm sure what I'm seeing is a little bit of both. For me, not only does it help to know if I've set a new PR, but it also gives me a goal for every single set I do, so every set counts. If I know I want to get at least one more rep each set, it gives me something to work toward and having that mental picture has helped me immensely. Before I would only write down whether I hit all the reps and was ready to move on or not. But I've learned that slow, consistent progress over time adds up a lot more than a leap here and there. I've made more progress in this last year than all my years of lifting, which I attribute a big part of to tracking.
    New 1RM's for me 6/30/22

    Flat Bench 220
    Squat 250 w/ belt
    Lat Pull-down 270
    OHP 150
    Rack Pull 490 w/ belt & straps
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  30. #30
    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheShadowMan View Post
    I find if I stop after each set to log pr's, I lose the burn/pump i've got going on so I never write anything down until after the session is complete. I can usually remember what I did at that point, because the memory and feeling of what I did is still fresh in my mind. I do think logging is important, as something to look over later and gauge progress. If you don't know where the gas station is, how will you know where to go to fill up, ya?
    Agreed. My only question would be - don't you rest between sets? I probably rest an average of 3 minutes between sets unless I'm super-setting or doing lighter exercises, which has been more than enough time to write down how many reps I did in the last set.
    New 1RM's for me 6/30/22

    Flat Bench 220
    Squat 250 w/ belt
    Lat Pull-down 270
    OHP 150
    Rack Pull 490 w/ belt & straps
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