May 5, 2022
Tracking Your Strength Training Workouts to Enhance Your Fitness
Michael Bramlish, MPH, CHES; OSU Health Plan Health Coach

Do you feel like you are consistent with your resistance-training workouts, but you are not seeing any physical improvements? The missing element that may help you get the most out of your workouts could be tracking your workouts. Writing out your routine has several benefits that can help get you over the hump and start seeing results again.

Make your workouts more efficient. Writing out your workouts can help decrease the time that you spend working out. I used to waste a lot of time trying to figure out what weight to use for what exercise. Sometimes the weight was too heavy and sometimes it was too light. By having my workouts written down, I know what weight to start out using which makes my workouts much more efficient. In addition, I have a whiteboard next to my weights that I update during each workout to prepare for the next time.

Improve workout results. Doing the same weight, same exercises, and same repetitions can only get you so far. Eventually, your body will plateau, and you will start noticing that your progress stalls. Looking at previous workouts helps give me a plan for future workout sessions. If I notice that I have been doing the same exercises for more than eight weeks, I know that it’s time to shake things up. There are two changes that I like to make.

  1. The first is the weight that I am using. I can decrease the weight and do more repetitions, or I can increase the weight and do less repetitions.
  2. The second is I like to change up the exercises that I am doing for each muscle group. Looking at my notes can help me determine which exercises that I have been doing often and which ones that I should change. Altering workout exercises every 8–12 weeks can challenge the body to continue to improve. 

Show your progress. Sometimes it feels like you are stuck in a rut and not making much progress. By looking back at previous workouts, writing out your workout can help you see progress that you have made over time. For example, when you first started working out, you were using 5-pound weights and now you are using 10-pound weights. Maybe you started out by doing 8 repetitions of 15 pounds and now you can do 12 repetitions. These points of reference can be a great motivator by showing the progress that you have made over time.

For more tips on how to get the most out of your exercise routine, join health coach Michael for the four-week webinar series Exercise as a tool for weight loss starting on June 21 at 12:30 p.m. To register, click the link above or visit and search “Exercise” in the search bar under the group coaching tab.


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