Monday morning you walk into the gym. Chest day? Back day? Or maybe legs? How much weight did I use last week? What exercises did I use last week? How many sets and reps? Maybe you can remember, maybe you can’t. Bottom line is it’s important to know what you’ve done previously and what you going to do for that day. Using workout sheets will help you keep your workouts organized and on track.
If your serious about getting results you better have a plan. A good program can make a huge difference in how your workouts go. If your constantly using the same exercises your body will adapt in about 4-5 weeks. This will cause your results to diminish and you’ll quickly hit a plateau. A good program will progress you through phases of strength training, always changing up your workouts. Using workout sheets are imperative to following the program effectively. You can't possibly remember all the exercises, reps, sets, intensity, tempo and rest intervals for every days workout on a 10-12 week program. A good workout sheet will easily show you what exercises to perform. The weight to use, the reps to perform, the number of sets, the tempo to use and how long to rest between sets.
Organizing the exercise objectives are important. Organizing what workout to perform on each days is important too. The workout sheets should clearly state what the workout is, what day to be preformed and maybe what phase of training your in. Performing the wrong workout on the wrong day can throw a big monkey wrenching into your end goals. Here’s an example of a good heading stating the phase, date, days per week and goal.
Name:_________________________________________ Date: Week 1-4 M-W-F
Phase: 1 Strength Days/ Week: 3 Goal: Performance Enhancement
Does it matter in what order you perform each exercise? Not always, but in some cases it’s very important. When I'm building a workout for an athlete I want the to get a dynamic warm up in first before they do a static stretch. You never want to stretch a cold muscle and a dynamic warm builds heat and soft tissue extensibility. So, it should be done before a static stretch. Static stretching can reduce muscle performance though, so I don’t want them to follow up static stretching with stretch training. So, I’ll have them do their core exercises after their static stretch. This is also important because your core muscles are the most important muscles in your body. So I want them to be fresh and rested when they are trained. If I waited and had them do their core workout last, those muscles would have already been taxed and fatigued during the stretch training portion of the workout.
The order in which a workout is performed can get pretty important for a specific goal. If your just doing a weight loss workout then the order isn’t as crucial. Yet, I still always try and do largest muscles to smallest muscles. Large muscles burn more calories, so I want them to go first when they are fresh and full of energy. Small muscles like biceps and triceps don’t burn a lot of calories so they can be worked last cause they wont need as much energy. Using a detailed workout sheet that lists your exercise in the order to be performed is a great tool for keep your workout in order. Here is an example of some workout sheets with each exercise in order to be performed, sets, reps, duration, tempo, rest intervals and a spot for notes.
Using a well designed workout sheet will help you keep your workouts organized and on track. Performing exercises in the correct order will have your body performing at optimal level all through the workout. Keeping track of what workout is for what day will keep the program running smoothly. Most importantly, using a workout sheet keeps you from performing the same exercises all the time, allowing your body adapt to the workout.