Looking back over my almost seven decades of working out or playing sports, I have concluded that one factor outweighs all the rest. It is crucial that we keep up with our progress or lack thereof. We need to track our workouts.

If not, our efforts become similar to playing a baseball game without keeping score. Or playing golf without counting strokes. Or competing without trying to win.

Tracking works for me – and for many others that track their progress. If we don’t know how we are doing, how could we possibly adjust our routines to make improvements? Also, how could we expect to have the necessary motivation to continue?

Most serious bodybuilders keep records of every workout – with sets, reps and poundages. Those trying to lose weight do better if they make a diary of food eaten, calorie content and exercise done.

As a tennis player, I was happy that my college coach took before and after pictures of my service motion.

Even today, in my eighties, I record my daily workouts in terms of sets of resistance exercise, minutes of cardio and calories consumed. I then know when to make lifestyle changes.

This post will briefly cover goal setting, more reasons to track and ways and means to keep accurate records.


Goals, to be effective, must be SMART, or:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound

If we tell ourselves that we will work on our golf game “if we get a chance”, that is not a goal. Nor is a New Year’s Resolution to “try to lose some weight next year”.

My prior post went into more detail on goal setting for fitness.


After we set goals, the next step is to keep up with how we are doing in our quest to attain those goals. We can’t reasonably memorize our activity in terms of how we did, what went right or wrong or the specifics of our routines. Of course, if we do exactly the same routines every day, with the same amounts of resistance or same sets and reps, we could easily memorize the details. But a resistance routine is based on continuous overload of our muscles, not on sameness.

We gain a sense of direction as we monitor our results daily. We get a boost in confidence and motivation as we reach a goal. Then we are energized to proceed to the next goal with a sense of accomplishment. This applies to food consumed as well as to exercise performed.

The next paragraph will list some of the best tracking devices that are available from Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I may use their links within my articles for relevance. I may benefit from activity on the links, which has no effect on the pricing. Each link will show descriptions, prices, reviews and further links to similar items at different prices. With Amazon, you may expect a huge inventory, great service and fair prices.



Fitness and Nutrition progress log

90 day weight loss planner – only $6.99

Food pocket journal

Scales – bodyweight, plus more features

Digital body fat scale – I use one very similar to this one

Measure body fat, body water, bone mass and BMI with this one

Health and fitness stand-on scale – more expensive, more like what is found in a doctor’s office

Smart fitness watches

Fitbit Sense 2 advanced health and fitness smart watch

Fitbit Versa 4 fitness smart watch

Fitness Inspire health and fitness tracker

Fitness Tracker – (also by Fitbit) smart watch – answer / make calls

Note – Amazon has plenty of fitness watches other than those made by Fitbit and plenty at lower prices. Look around.


Garmin products



The concept of record keeping, or tracking, is a very simple one. We need to know how we are doing and if we are making progress – or not.

This is a discipline that is imposed upon us by those to whom we report, but it is as applicable to our self-discipline if we expect favorable results.

If we make entries or write things down, we are hopefully inspired by our tracking and we want to keep it going. If we have a bad day or otherwise post negatives, we know what to work on!

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Let’s stay positive!


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