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How to Make a Workout Chart

If you're like the majority of Americans, you're probably not getting enough exercise. Only 20.6 percent of adults in the United States meet the recommended guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Making and filling out a workout chart can help you stay motivated and track your progress as you work toward your fitness goals. Creating your own chart as opposed to working with a pre-made template allows you to track exactly what's important to you. Your chart can be as minimal or as thorough as you choose.

  1. Mark out a grid on blank or graph paper leaving enough space in each column and row to record information. If you prefer an electronic version, begin with a blank sheet in a spreadsheet program.

  2. Skip a row at the top and write the exercise names in the first column on your grid. Include whatever exercises you plan to do, such as walking or jogging a specific distance or for a certain time, weightlifting exercises or other specific strengthening or flexibility exercises.

  3. Write the dates in the first row of your chart, skipping the first cell above the column where you wrote the exercises you'll perform.

  4. Record your completion data in the cell next to each aerobic exercise under the corresponding date. For a specific cardio routine, you might simply want to place a check in the box to indicate that you completed the workout. Alternatively, write down the number of minutes you engaged in the activity, the distance you covered or the approximate amount of calories you burned.

  5. Split the boxes for weight training exercises in two with a diagonal line. Record the weight you used on the left side of the line and the number of repetitions you completed on the right side of the line.

    Tip

    Aim to complete between eight and 12 repetitions when doing exercises with weights. Once you can do 12 reps comfortably, increase the weight you're using by 5 to 10 percent, recommends ExRx.net. Tracking the weight you used and the number of repetitions completed on your workout chart helps you identify when it's time to increase the weight.

    Create a new chart with new exercises once every two months. Changing your workout routine helps prevent boredom and challenges your muscles to new movements.

    Make copies of a blank template if you're using a paper workout chart so you don't have to draw the grid each time you make a new one.

    Warning

    Avoid changing your routine every time you exercise, as this may increase your risk of injury. Completing the same program for several weeks at a time helps your body adapt to the movements and allows you to practice perfecting your form before you switch things up.

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Things Needed

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Spreadsheet program (optional)

About the Author

Amanda Knaebel is a self-professed gadget geek and loves all things tech, both new and old. Amanda has been working as a freelance writer for over 10 years on topics including technology, health, fitness, nutrition, gardening and many more. She has also worked with Fortune 50 tech and financial companies, both in technical support and content production.

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