Female measuring her waist with a tape, while checking how much waist and belly fat she lost

How to keep track of your workouts progress

The gym can be a lot of fun. However, for some people it feels like a never ending battle. If you don’t recognize your progress you will never feel like you have improved. I have felt this way for months, it’s an awful feeling. It lead to me feeling very demotivated. This is why it’s so important to track your progress. But what is the best way to keep track of your workout progress?

Log your workouts to help keep track of progress

A great way to keep track of your workouts and progress is to log them into a log book. For £7 on Amazon you can get a workout log book. You can then write down and keep track of all of your workouts.

Having a workout log book will not show you physical progress. However, it will help you see the consistency of your gym sessions.

Trust me, this will help you in the long run. If you feel as if you aren’t making any progress you can simply look back at your workouts and see if you have missed any important gym sessions.

Your body loves to have a routine. When you change up that routine your body freaks out.

For example, I have always trained my chest every 3rd day of my weekly gym schedule. One time I decided to train my chest on the 2nd day of my schedule. This lead to me feeling a lot weaker than I usually do.

I thought that I had lost strength. However, after looking at my log book, I realised that I had not been consistent and didn’t allow my body time to recover.

Having a log book can save a lot of confusion and can really help keep your workouts on track. I would 100% recommend one. Have a look at this workout log book from Amazon.

Workout log ring binder book

Also feel free to look at some other products from Amazon, such as the songmics bike or Sunny treadmill.

Take pictures

Taking pictures is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your workout progress.

It’s very straight forward, all you have to do is take a picture of your physique every few days. Then you can compare the new pictures with past pictures and see if you are making progress.

Here’s what worked for me. On every Saturday morning I would take a picture of my physique. I only took pictures once a week, this is because I needed to allow time to show the progress I was making.

This is a very important point. You need to allow time for progress to kick in. No body changes over night. Going to the gym and trying to build muscle or lose weight is a long term goal.

If you take a picture of your physique once a week, you then will be able to keep track of your workout progress for free.

Use a free app

MyFitnessPal is certainly the Moby dick of fitness tracking apps. Don’t worry, I’m not about to try and sell you something, this app is totally free to use.

This is very similar to having a log book, like we talked about earlier. Except it’s all on your phone, so it’s going to be more convenient.

MyFitnessPal is capable of quite a lot. The reason this app is so well known is because of it’s massive data base of food. For example, if you walk into a supermarket and pick up a bag of chips. You can scan the barcode on the packaging and all of the nutritional information will be displayed to you.

You can literally scan anything and it will give you the macros of that exact brand of that exact bag of chips. Pretty cool right?

This app also allows you to log your exercises. So, after you train legs, you can log all of the different exercises you did along with the amount of sets and weight. Basically, you can keep track of all elements of your workouts and progress.


The only negative point about using MyFitnessPal is that you have to have the discipline to actually log your workouts. If you don’t you will end up having a very patchy history of your workouts. This will therefore give you little to no information and can even mislead you.

There are other apps that you can use, such as Body Fit. However, in my opinion your best to go with MyFitnessPal.

Just build a routine

Just by having a workout routine you can track your progress. This probably isn’t the best piece of advice on this list, but think about it.

If you have a workout routine and stick to it, you are going to make progress. Your body will be getting more capable of performing the workout. When your workout routine becomes easier, you will know that you have made progress.

Workout routines are like having plans. If you don’t have a plan you will have no direction.

Setting goals or challenges to help track your workout progress

Setting goals or challenges is a great way to track your workouts progress. Let me elaborate.

Let’s say I set a goal to be able to do 50 push ups in one set by 30 days. I’m going to have to work hard for this. I’ll start by doing a set of push ups until I fail. Let’s say I get 20. Everyday I am going to do a set of push ups until I fail. By day 5 I guarantee you will be able to do more than 20 a set.

This is how you can see progress. By day 10 you will be able to do a lot more than 20 a set.

So, when you put this into practice with your usual exercise, you will be able to notice strength gains.

As an example, I am currently trying to reach a 100kg bench press. So, every two weeks I test my max lift. On my last attempt I hit 90kg. I noticed that this was progress and improvement compared to previous workout I tracked when I only benched 80kg.

Taking measurements

Taking measurements of your muscles may seem a bit extreme. However, it does work.

Female measuring her waist with a tape, while checking how much waist and belly fat she lost

The first thing you need to do is actually find out the size of your muscles. Let’s say I measure my biceps and they are 14 inches. Now I am going to write it down to keep track of my workouts progress and effects. In 2 weeks time I am going to measure them again and see if there is a size increase.

An important thing to remember is that measuring your muscles after a workout will not be accurate. After you workout your muscles will be full of blood. This is also known as the pump. After an hour or so the blood will leave your muscles and you will have a more accurate measurement.

I recommend that you only take measurement sizes in the morning as soon as you wake up. This way you will not have any blood in your muscles.

Weighing yourself

This is how most people keep track of their workouts progress, they like to weigh themselves.

Weighing yourself can work for both tracking weight loss and for tracking muscle growth.

If you put on muscle your body weight will then increase.

I don’t need to explain how to weigh yourself, it’s a pretty easy concept of stepping onto a weighing scale and writing your weight down. Your not a dumbass!

However, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Only ever weigh yourself in the morning. Why? If you weigh yourself after breakfast you will have an inaccurate reading and will be mislead when trying to keep track of your workouts progress. You could very easily consume 2 pounds of liquids and foods in the morning.

So, the very first thing you need to do is use the toilet and get all of the liquids out of your body. Then and only then should you weigh yourself.

I recommend you write down your weight to make sure you remember your weight.

the lower half of a man placing a weight on a barbell with a second weight in front of him on the floor, and 3 different people in the background working out

How long will it take to see progress

This is something important that we need to talk about. If you keep weighing and measuring your body everyday, you will not be tracking much progress from your workouts in this short time span.

So, how long does it actually take to see progress from your workouts?

There are so many different websites and organisations that have published articles and studies with the exact purpose of answering this question.

After spending a good 45 mins of reading numerous different sources. The repeating answer was 4 weeks to build muscle for a newbie.

For someone who has little to no experience in the gym and more importantly, has not put there body through rigorous exercise before. Study’s tracked and estimate it to take around 4 weeks for progress to show from your workouts.

For people with more experience it may take a small bit longer. For example, for someone who has been working out for a few months, their body is use to exercise and it will not have as much of an effect on them.

From personal experience, I have been working out for around two years. I decided to improve my strength a few months ago. It took me around 6 weeks of tracking my progress with taking pictures after my workouts before noticing major changes.

You have to follow gym practices!!!

If you are trying to build muscle or lose weight, you will only succeed if you a line the stars.

Let me use building muscle as an example. People have gained muscle the exact same way for decades. You push your body to lift heavy, allow time for muscles to recover, and eat a muscle supporting diet.

Even if you lose track and leave one of these elements out, you will not progress from your workouts.

You don’t necessarily have to go on an educational course to understand the basics. It really isn’t rocket science.

All you have to understand is that

  • You have to eat a muscle supporting diet. For an average man this is around 2500 calories. Make sure it consists of around 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fats. This is a good bench mark. Also make sure to keep track of your diet as it is the most important thing contributing to the effects your workouts progress.
  • You also must have the right workout. Cardio will not build muscle. Instead focus on compound movements such as bench press, squats, deadlift, and overhead press. Find a comfortable weight that allows you to perform 3-6 reps.
  • Lastly you have to allow your body time to rest. It’s recommended that you should only train a muscle group twice a week. Here’s my training plan. Day 1 chest and triceps, day 2 shoulders and biceps, day 3 legs, day 4 abs and back. This workout schedule allows all of my muscle groups to have enough time to sufficiently recover.

Thanks for reading bro, hopefully you learned a new way to help keep track of your workout progress.


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