A few days ago, I described a high intensity workout that forms part of my own Geek to Freak program. This program is based loosely on Timothy Ferriss' famous blog post From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks. Part of this program involves recording every workout in detail, including the date, the time of day, your weight, your mood, the order of exercises, reps, and weight/resistance.
As I mentioned earlier, a high intensity workout is characterized by a one-set-to-failure method. What this means is you only do a single set of each exercise and you keep doing reps until you cannot lift/move the weights any longer. In my case, each workout session consists of eleven different exercises covering the whole body. I perform a single set of each exercise using a 5/5 cadence (5 seconds up, 5 seconds down) which eliminates momentum and ensures a constant load. I choose the weight so that I reach exhaustion somewhere between 8 to 12 reps. If I can do 12 reps it is an indication to raise the weight next time. If I cannot do 8 reps it is an indication that the resistance is set too high. I prefer machines over free weights for this program because I feel machines have a better chance of ensuring both a full range of motion and discipline in each movement. I space my workouts by at least 48 hours.
I created this workout log to track of my progress. Here is how it works:
First, you enter the date and start time of the workout. I track my weight, but you may also like to track other vitals such as waist size, arm diameter, chest size, etc. I also track my mood. I know this is subjective, but I feel it is a major factor in the performance of exercise.
Next, you perform a single set of each exercise in sequence (so as to not alter the order of the exercises). For each exercise you fill in the weight or resistance used and the number of reps you performed. For example, if you lifted 100 lbs. for 10 reps, you would write in "100 X 10" in the spaces provided.
At the end of the workout, you capture the finish time, at which point you can calculate the duration of the workout. You can take this log home and enter the results into a spreadsheet, database or simply place it in a simple file folder. This can be used for tracking your progress over time.
In the hope of conserving a little paper, I formatted things in such a way as to allow two log forms to be printed on one sheet of 8 1/2 X 11 paper. You can simply cut the page down the middle and you have a log form for two workouts! Hopefully it helps you keep track of your own high intensity training which hopefully pays off in four weeks. So far, I have found this very useful.
Give it a try and let me know what happens!
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