Weight Training Workout Sheet

Steve and I have been consistently going to the gym three times a week to work out, which consists of biking to the gym (nice warmup), lifting weights, playing basketball (Steve) or shooting around/watching (me), and biking home (nice cooldown, and sometimes we stop off somewhere to go out to dinner). Last time, we played ping pong instead of basketball, which was very fun as well.

We’ve gotten into a nice weekly routine:

  • Mondays: Arm and shoulder exercises
  • Thursdays: Chest and back exercises
  • Saturday: Legs

Although I’m not strong enough to spot Steve, we enjoy working out together (and Steve just does safer, lower weights at more reps), taking turns on various pieces of equipment and chatting.

At one of our old gyms, they offered free ugly forms that you could use to track your weight training routine, which were useful to track your progress as well as remember how much weight you were using on various exercises. Since I am now an officially acclaimed “form productivista” (thanks, Dave!), Steve asked me to make a form for us to use at our new gym. Here is what part of it looks like, filled-in:

Weight Training Workout Sheet example

This is actually version 4, after many various tweaks. 🙂 I originally had blank columns, and Steve asked for labels, so I added faint letters that you can write over: “S R W” for “sets, repetitions, and weight.” Then I realized I had to change it to “W / W / W” because sometimes Steve changes the weight he uses. Then I got rid of the “S” because it was repetitious. Then I changed the spacing of the letters. Thank goodness for Illustrator’s Transform and Distort feature, which made most of those changes painless!


Weight Training Workout Sheets

My personal version has the exercises listed out, but I’ve created a blank fill-out version for public consumption.

  • Weight Training Workout Sheetweight-training-worksheet.pdf (doh! ran out of box.net bandwidth so back to my original server link. Anyone interested in helping to mirror this link, please contact me!)
    The PDF is editable in Illustrator, if you’re the kind of person that likes to customize things.
  • Update 9/26/07: See v2!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Usage example and notes

Take a look at my sample screenshot above.

The PDF has two pages — one with boy-friendly colors and one with girl-friendly colors. I print this onto a two-sided sheet of paper for an ultimate couples’ workout tracking sheet — one piece of paper for two people, and instead of having our names at the top, we can quickly tell by looking at the colors which side we should be filling out. Of course, if you’re single (and care about having gender-appropriate colors), you can print out just one of the pages onto a two-sided sheet to help conserve paper.

Since Steve and I split out the various body groups into different workout days, each column represents a week’s worth of workouts, so I put the three dates in the top tab. If you’re into circuit training instead, each column might represent a day’s worth of workouts. It’s up to you.

We purposefully don’t have abs listed on this sheet, because we do situps and various abdominal exercises every time. If that really bothers you, you can add it yourself!

If you find this useful, or if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment!

Update 8/23: Several people have suggested customizations that might be useful to a larger audience. I’m taking these all under consideration and will look seriously into putting out some different versions after I move this weekend (and get unpacked, etc.). If you are more of a personal-customization type of person, but don’t have Adobe Illustrator, let me know. You can hire me to make some quick customizations or we can work out some kind of trade. Maybe something that involves yummy food. 😉


81 thoughts on “Weight Training Workout Sheet

  1. “Boy-friendly” colors? I dunno… they still look a tad too colorful to me. I always thought guy colors were various shades of… dirt. You know — “Khaki”, “Olive”… stuff like that. (Don’t mind me — I’m just putting up any excuse I can to NOT use your forms! You’re making it too easy for me to escape couch-potato-land…)

  2. Dave – Thanks for the link!

    Kate – Thanks! I think you can get by with Word or PowerPoint, too, although Illustrator does provide a lot more control.

    Albert – I see I shall have to come out with a “dirt” series for couch potatoes…

  3. Corrie these are great – pretty enough to stick to the door to remind me to get down to the gym. Thank you very much for making a version that is customisable in Illustrator – I’m going to download it and use it to put in all the strange physio exercises for my back!

    p.s I found my way over here from the link on Dave Seah’s site

  4. Very nice forms Corrie. I am thinking about rejoining the Y here and I really like what you’ve done with the ability to track progress. I’m a long time friend and co-conspirator of Dave Seah, so when I saw this posting on his site I just had to check it out. Great work!!!

  5. Great form. Gorgeous! I think I would actually find it useful to have abs on there though, even though I do them each time too, just for tracking purposes.

  6. I would be interested in seeing one that has a spot for seat settings. A lot of my people prefer machines instead of free weights and they have a hard time remembering their seat/back/other settings.

  7. Cool sheet, just an fyi though, you shouldn’t really work your back/chest the same day, as their both major muscle groups, instead go chest/shoulders/triceps, then back/biceps, then legs, or chest/triceps, back/biceps, then legs/shoulders (and maybe forearms)

    Also, your friend should get a spot, less weight and more reps is still good, but it doesn’t do the same thing.

  8. thanks, this is really useful. I was about to make somekind of program for myself instead of always having to remember what it was I did before and also being able to vary my workout.
    So thanks a bunch.

  9. Awesome looking form! I know everyone is asking for various different customized form, but if you get a chance you might consider doing one related to cardio. Though I’m not sure how you’d set the form up being that people measure their cardio in different ways.

  10. Good grief! I didn’t realize I got lifehackered, but that would account for traffic going through my (low) roof. Thanks for your comments, everyone!

    Emma – I was just thinking that myself! The challenge I’m running into is having the space to fit everything in, particularly as we do abs every day so I’d have to somehow fit them in three times. Will have to think about this – maybe I will come up with a solution.

    LightningCrash and Jon – Thanks for the tip to those specific workouts! I took a quick glance — after I move (this weekend) I’ll take a more detailed look and see what kind of nice-looking form I would come up with.

    Jason – Do you think there’s enough room to make some notes where you would typically write down the exercise? I think it would be hard to make a generic form considering the variety of machines — I know that some machines I use have two specific adjustments, others have three.

    Marilyn – Thanks for sharing that link!

    Matt W. and Bjorgvin – Thanks for commenting! Hope the sheet is helpful.

    Gdog – Thanks for the tips. We actually were doing chest/arms back/shoulders originally and may go back to that, so I’d agree that changing the grouping on the sheet makes more sense for most people and will do that probably next week. (And just in case you were curious, my husband’s workout buddy no longer goes to the same gym that I do, and his other workout buddy is a new dad, so we’re working out together for now and taking turns. Less muscle-building, I suppose, but more marriage building!)

    Matt and anyone else interested in cardio – If you can post some of the ways you track cardio, I think that would be helpful for everyone… and possibly inspire me to make a matching form.

    That’s it for my uber-long comment, for now.

  11. One quick suggestion is to make every other grey bar a little lighter. say by 10%, making each row easier to see.

  12. Can you re-host the pdf file somewhere else? I’m getting the following error when I try to load it.

    HTTP 403.9 – Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected
    Internet Information Services


  13. aside form peekamo this weight training sheet is the most useful thing to me in the gym. I was getting sick of lugging around the notebook.

  14. Okay – I’ve put a temporary file on box.net for download since all the traffic has crashed our servers. Sorry about that! Let me know if you have any problems accessing it.

  15. Very nice, although I’ve recently started using my mobile phone to log my workouts, since I carry it at the gym anyway (just do a search for “GymTracker”). The only problem is it only stores the most recent weight data, but on the plus side it provides pretty graphs.

  16. Re: Cardio

    I can’t speak for others, but I would track in terms of distance and/or time. I suppose it depends on the activity though. A swimmer might go for laps and a someone using a stair stepper might track themselves using steps. You may just have to leave a blank for people to fill in as they see fit. Regardless, thanks for what you’ve done up to this point. And thanks even more if you get around to a cardio version.

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  18. Ryan – Great suggestion for making the form more usable! I’ll see what I can do in a future release.

    Kevin – I’m into pretty graphs!

    David – Thanks for visiting!

    Matt – Thanks for your feedback.

  19. What work outs do you do for your chest&Back and for legs? I’m interested in starting a routine…and was just wondering what might be the best way to get going?

  20. Hi Eric – First of all, this post is NOT meant to be a “how to work out” post. I’m not an expert in weight-lifting, only in making nice forms! So the purpose of my blog post here is to provide a way for you to track your workouts once you figure out what you want to do.

    That said, your local gym should have someone who can help you get started with a program, or there are many other web sites (some linked in the comments) that you may find helpful. Good luck!

  21. Hello,

    Amazing work! Would love customization on the exercise names. So basically the whole form becomes customizable.

    Thank you so much!

  22. Matt – Thanks for that piece of feedback!

    Shoeb – I’m not sure what you mean by customizable. Right now the PDF is editable in Illustrator if you want to add your own text or move things around, so it’s already customizable for people who have Illustrator.

  23. Oh, ok.
    After I find my CD of Adobe products, I guess I’ll get on it.

    I was just thinking there might be something like “What would you like to name workout day #1?” heh.

    Good work, thanks a lot.

  24. OK, I want to print out your form sheet to make records of my exercise routine.
    But, there is no button to push to activate printing. So, where’s the button? Please advise as to how to get the form to print it out? Bob, 09.14.07

  25. A suggestion regarding your routine- you’re making the mistake that lots of people make, putting “arms” and “chest/back” as separate days. No, no-

    The general goal of any schedule is to not work the same muscle groups two (workout) days in a row, right? So here’s the problem with you schedule-

    Think about this- all of the excersises that affect your chest or back, also involve your arms. Right? Can you name an excercise that’s affects your pecs without your arms being involved? Maybe flys I guess, but that’s the only one… For back it’s the same story except for reverse situps…

    Another conclusion- most of the motions that affect your pecs also affect your triceps.

    And most of the motions that affect your back affect also affect your biceps. Think about it.


    Back/Biceps on the same day
    Pecs/Triceps on the same day
    Legs/Abs on the same day.

    That’s what I do. (I actually throw an extra shoulder excercise on the legs/abs day but that’s quirky.)

  26. Thanks for the Workout sheet – the one I attempted to create was so unnecessarily complicated. Thanks for showing me the RIGHT way to do it!

  27. Thanks! My girlfriend and I are starting at a new gym and we needed something like this! These are awesome!

  28. can someone explain the sheet a bit better? I am new to working out, never really lifted, actually. so i need some pointers. thanks, Z

  29. These workout sheets are great, people really need to track their progress accurately using these to get the best results from their workouts,especially at the gym. This should ensure much better results are achieved quickly.

    Mike Thompson

  30. I don’t usually post on strangers websites but I wanted to say thank you for coming up with such a nice and organized way to keep track of the daily workouts. I have looked every where and never really found one I really liked… until now. Thanks again I appreciate it!

  31. I like the screen shots that you provide. I also like the idea of riding a bike to the gym. I’m looking to get a road bike soon because it’s the best warm up ever!

  32. Pingback: 300 routine

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