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GeoffG's picture
Training diaries

I've been reading Jamie Clubb's training diary with interest, but it got me thinking about starting one myself. I'm thinking more along the lines of a diary of the drills I did, the number of reps, etc, rather than the format that Jamie chose. Has anyone used a diary in this manner, and if so did it help with your training?

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I don’t use one now (maybe I should?), but when I was younger I did find it very useful as a motivator. It was a purchased training diary and I used it to record what I’d done and various measures. How quick I’d ran a certain distance, how much weight and how many reps of a given exercise I had done, how many press-ups in minute, how far apart I could get my ankles when doing box splits, my bodyweight, body measurements (chest size, circumference of thighs, waist size, etc) and others.

I’d also included less objective measures and rated my performance (a score out of ten) in class training to include how well I thought I’d done in sparring, how well I’d done a give kata, etc.

I probably wasn’t as consistent as I should have been with it, but looking back it was good to see that progress had been made and what type of progress it was. A good remainder for the younger me that sticking to the process delivered the product.

I’m seriously considering starting another one now? ;-)

All the best,


PASmith's picture

"body measurements"

36-24-36? cheeky

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Not quite smiley

More a case of me reassuring myself that any increase in weight was "good weight" ... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

michael rosenbaum
michael rosenbaum's picture

I think training diaries are a useful tool, very useful in fact. If you're solo training a diary allows you to chart your progress, something that's very important with strength training.  For instance this week I did three sets of clean presses at 150lbs, 5 reps per set.  Next week I want to increase my performance, so I look back and see what I did previously and up the weight.  There's no  fibbing with a diary, which can happen when your training alone.  Sometimes a person can believe they lifted more than they really did, hit the bag longer than they really did, worked out more days than they really did, or lost/gained more weight than they really did.  With a training diary you can't be lulled into a false sense of accomplishment. Also, they're really fun to look back on after a few years time. I have some diaries from 15 years ago and its fun to compare them to my performance now. Sometimes it's depressing, while on others you get this, "Man I doing okay," feeling. Also when teaching a class a diary allows you to review your training program and improve it. For instance if you've had the class practicing Seisan kata for six week straight, then maybe its time to change routines.

Mike R

GeoffG's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I used a training diary to track how long I took to jog my normal route. Being a bit of a geek I did it in a spreadsheet and put some pretty graphs around it (I couldn't help myself). I found it useful until I injured myself and haven't gotten back to it.

For some reason the thought of writing down the number of pushups, situps, ... never crossed my mind. It seems to me that it might be time to start recording again to help me improve.

Jamie Clubb
Jamie Clubb's picture

Seeing as I am the dubious source of inspiration here, I thought I would add my thruppence worth. The diaries you see online are purely for my class. They are but one small part for an uninterrupted martial arts journal I have kept since late 2003. Some entries - usually the solo training ones - just contain a list of reps, number of rounds and are really just in note form. Others, usually my experiences in other people's classes, are written in prose. My own classes are written, as you see them, in a half note/half reflective style.