Key to Motivation: Workout Logs

Posted by Nicole

Hey friends!  This is a featured post that I did for MAX U Fitness (I copied the text for you because I’m so nice).  It’s part of the intern work I’ve been doing for the company and I’d love if you would check out their website– especially if you are COLLEGE FEMALE looking to have personalized workout plans! :)  Check out MAX U Fitness HERE!


There are a lot of things that keep me motivated to work out.  On a physical level, exercise improves my mood, increases my self-confidence, and makes me feel better about my overall health.  On a social level, I love the peer support I get from both my friends and from my family.

(You can read about my experience running the Bulldog Challenge 10K HERE!)

When it comes to motivating myself, one of my biggest helpers is my Workout Log.  I have a workout log on Excel that I’ve been using since November of 2010.  I always put in how long the workout was, how many miles were covered, how many calories were burned, and what type of exercise I did.  If using many machines, I will enter the info individually, and then total the minutes, distance, and calories.

Here is an example of what the log looks like….

I use a different color each month so it is easy to see which months are considered “heavier” exercise months.    By color-coding what type of workout it is (ex. T for treadmill, E for elliptical), I can see when I get in a workout rut.

A few weeks ago I was super overwhelmed with schoolwork.  This is how the week looked on my workout log–

As you can see, I spent a lot of time doing “E”– code for Elliptical.  Seeing this inspired me to diversify my workouts and get back on the treadmill or stationary bike.

One of the problems with my workout log is that it doesn’t show my strength workouts.  I’ve started putting little notes on the side cells about what strength workouts I did (ex. “Upper body” “Lower body” “Core”).

One of the GREAT things about having a workout log on Excel is the analysis you can do.  Using the “AVERAGE” function, I can see the average amount of calories I burn in a typical workout.  I also have it setup so I can view the average distance covered.  My favorite function to use is the “SUM” function.  This allows me to see the total number of miles I have done– whether it be on treadmill, elliptical, run, walk, hike, or bike.

I highly suggest using a workout log to document your athletic achievement!  It will make you feel so great about yourself.  I love looking back on previous months and seeing how far I’ve come and how much time I have invested into living a healthy lifestyle.


I hope you guys enjoyed my featured post and be sure to check out the MAX U Fitness website and browse around!

Q4U: Do you keep a workout log?  If yes, do you hand-write it or keep it on the computer somewhere?

Maybe I’m just a nerdy technology lover, but I think Excel is the BEST for workout logs!

Comments (5)

  1. jenandberries

    I’ve never kept a workout log, I just exercise when I feel like it but I think I would feel a lot more selft gratification and achievment in the day I did, you’ve totally inspired me Nicole! Your reasons for staying motivated on the physical level are spot on!

  2. Megan Korbel

    That’s a really good idea! good post!

  3. Tara

    I keep a running workout log, though rarely for strength training. I probably should though. I’m diligent about recording my runs though. I love to add up my miles at the end of the week, months, and year to see how far I’ve come!

  4. Pingback: Diabetes Articles» Key to Motivation: Workout Logs | Sugar Coated Sisters

  5. Pingback: Fitness: Update + Tips 10/10 (and a B-DAY!) | Sugar Coated Sisters

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