Weightlifting Charts

The Importance of Weightlifting Workout Charts
By Wendy Pan

In an age when diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are claiming more lives than ever, the decision to get in better shape can be life-changing. Engaging in fitness activities regularly, such as weightlifting, is the best way to stay healthy and happy; but staying motivated and seeing progress can be difficult.

One useful tool for keeping motivated and charting progress is weightlifting workout charts. By creating a simple chart template to keep daily records of your activities, you can dramatically improve your results while simultaneously staying motivated. Why? Because the most important factor in fitness activity is progression. We become stronger and fitter by breaking down muscle tissue and forcing it to rebuild stronger than before; this only occurs if we perform activities that are beyond our previous threshold of strength, forcing the broken muscle tissues to rebuild even stronger in order to accommodate the increased workload. In other words, if you're lifting 50 lbs one week, you want to be lifting 55 lbs the next. This practice of progressive overload is what induces muscle growth and improves fitness levels.

By creating weightlifting workout charts, you can track every detail of your personal progress at a glance, allowing you to recognize (and appreciate) the improvements you've made, determine your strengths and weaknesses, and plan for future workouts. Seeing continuous progress is the best way to stay motivated, and keeping charts both improves and quantifies your progress.

If you would like to create your own chart template, here are a few important items to include:

  • Date and time. This allows you to track when you exercise (and when you don't!). Keeping a regular record will reinforce your motivation.
  • Body weight. Recording your weight at every session allows you to track changes to your body composition. If you have a goal weight in mind, this is absolutely necessary.
  • List the specific exercises in your routine (e.g. Squat, Bench Press, Curls, etc). Note that if you do different routines on different days of the week (for instance, chest exercises Monday and leg exercises Tuesday), you may want to create separate charts for each day.
  • For each exercise, leave empty lines or boxes to represent each set of that exercise you intend to complete. While performing your routine, record the amount of weight lifted and the number of reps completed for each set in the empty boxes, e.g. "100 x 12". This allows you to keep track of the exact workload you've performed in terms of number of sets, number of reps, and amount of weight. Try to steadily increase this workload with each session to see progress!
  • You may also want to record other information on your chart, such as how much cardio exercise you've done or your nutritional/dietary intake for the day.

By keeping careful track of your progress using weightlifting workout charts, you can stay motivated and continue to improve your fitness. Remember to lift intelligently and progress steadily and always consult your doctor before starting on a new fitness program.

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