• Welcome to realmuscleforum.com
  • Planning Your Workout: How To Create A Planning Journal

    Note: If you are viewing exercise videos on a mobile device, please switch to horizontal view for the best experience.

    You need to plan ahead in life. That is why we plan for our retirement, our life goals and in our daily lives. We plan our workloads, our eating habits and our social lives. This planning is an important human element that helps us achieve the very best by using targets to better help inform our successes and failures. This system, if applied to the weight loss, muscle-gaining or general fitness scenario, can help you achieve so much by understanding what you want out of your exercise and why you want to exercise in the first place?

    These are important questions as they formulate the very workouts and diets you will be undertaking. You need to be clear with yourself so as to create and target the right kind of goals. This means that you need to focus on your short, medium and long-term goals in such terms that you can literally write them down on paper. This means you can physically identify your targets which mean you can easily plan your workouts more efficiently to make sure your goals and targets are met. This article will help you create such a workout planner journal.

    To create a workout planner journal you will need either a notepad or you can create a document on your computer – for templates please visit here – which can log your goals and calculate your loss or gains. Your planner should be used as a guideline which means its long-term goals are fluid and not set-in-stone. The reason why this is important surrounds the psychology of newbies and the rate at which individuals with unrealistic goals give up. Therefore if you want to lose weight or tone up muscle then think realistic and plan accordingly. This article will help identify three main elements which will make your workout planning journal an invaluable aid to your weight-loss or muscle-gain objectives.

    The plan should be in the form of a weekly agenda style layout and should include a column for workout category (i.e. running, jogging, dancing, walking etc), a duration category (i.e. how long you ran or did press-ups for) and how many calories you burned. If you use an app like Runtastic, Nike+ or MapmyRun on your Smartphone you can find out the calorific details of your workout. Then by totalling up these details you can focus your attention on the long and medium term by understanding how successful or not your workout activities are.


    The Three Rules

    Here are three rules that you need to think about and follow when you’re creating your planning journal.


    Calories or no calories?

    Tasty yet packed with calories!

    Tasty yet packed with calories!

    When planning your initial journal approach you need to focus on the basics. This includes whether you will be counting calories or focusing on times/speed etc. This is important in understanding whether the planner will be activities-only based or activities/diet-based.

    The difference is important as your workout will only succeed if you focus on both your dietary intake and your workout activities. Therefore, this article suggests that individual’s who are new to fitness should include calories into their planning journal to better help focus on long-term objectives.


    Finding Time

    Find time!

    Find time!

    When you start planning your workout you need to not only focus on the ‘type’ of workout you want to undertake or the calorific intake of such activities. You also need to focus on the timings of your workout. You will, in all probability, have a pretty hectic life – work, social life, family and friends will take up a big part of your life and then there’s ‘you’ time so you need to factor all these pressures and commitments and find the right time to undertake your workout activity.

    So plan ahead, look at your diary or organiser and plan your workouts accordingly. Remember for the best results make sure you can do 30 minutes plus of cardiovascular exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week to get the maximum effect.


    Stick To Your Plans

    ALWAYS stick to your plans!

    ALWAYS stick to your plans!

    The third and final rule surrounds sticking to the plans. It’s very easy in our lives to skip a workout, maybe eat something unhealthy and not jot it down in the planner or maybe forget a week or two. But if you have invested your time in creating such a plan then you’re wasting your own time which is pointless.

    You need to remain focused – if your goal is to loose weight or gain muscle then you need to focus on this end goal. The week by week planner will help you re-enforce your commitment to use the plan to better think ahead which can help you stick to your strategy.



    The importance of the workout journal or planner lays in the successes pro Athletes from Paula Radcliffe to Andy Murray achieve from using such planners to help target goals and work on the short-term strategy. Remember the planner helps with the macro (big picture – i.e. weight loss) and the micro (the weekly ups and downs). So you need to use your planner in this capacity – willpower and a healthy diet along with some self-belief are essential together with a well-planned journal to help you get the most out of your workouts!