Recording my lifts - how how calculate?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Disco, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Disco

    Disco 11 years a white belt

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    WARNING! This thread is sort of silly. And it is in Kilograms.

    Since my first weights session in October 2009 I have meticulously recorded my lifts in an excel spreadsheet. For example, if I benched I would write

    3x5x65

    Yesterday I had a brainwave that if I converted this to a single number I would be able to graph my progress in each lift. Sounded pretty cool. A few hours later I converted said lifts to

    =3*5*65

    And excel would give it a number of

    975

    Which is basically the kilos I have lifted in the session.

    With great excitement I took all the data and got excel to generate a graph...

    ...but it didn't really work. And the reason is for about the first 50% of my lifting career I was lifting 3 sets of 6 reps, then I changed to 3 sets of 5 reps.

    And the problem with this should be apparent. The more reps the easier to get a higher total.

    A bench press of 3x6x65 is equivalent to 3x5x78. Clearly it is much harder to do 3x5x78

    So the question...

    What do I do? I would like to have a standard progression.

    So far my ideas include

    - change all my sets of 6 to 5
    - record only the final lift
    - come up with some sort of formula to chart how difficult a workout was
     
  2. Pearse Shields

    Pearse Shields Amateur Fighter

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    No idea. I keep track of my 1RMs, and that's about it. Also, I hate excel.
     
  3. KC Masterpiece

    KC Masterpiece Yellow Belt

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    Separate columns for sets (A) reps (B) and weights used (C).

    In cell D1 type =A1*B1*C1

    Copy that all the way down. Done.
     
  4. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    It's a matter of thinking about what it is you're actually measuring, or alternatively, what it is you actually want to measure - and in this case the latter is better than the former. So I think you're going about it backwards, thinking about trying to make your training fit the measure, rather than figuring out what the best measures are for your training.

    Total volume lifted can be a useful measure, of total training load over multiple sessions, if there's a certain amount of consistency in how you train. This doesn't mean always using the same reps, sets or intensity. Just that if there's a generally consistent approach or routine, you could make comparisons. But there are more important or better measures, like average intensity, total reps, RPE, than will tell you more about your training.

    The exception would be if the total tonnage moved was actually part of the progression, like in T3 or EDT, or if you're comparing progress between like workouts.

    If you're looking for what you might record, other than just reps and sets, to give a more complete picture of the workout, here's some ideas: RPE, or rate of perceived exertion, I'd suggest looking up the EliteFTS article for a quick rundown. Total reps above 50%. Total reps for work sets. Percent of training max of work sets. Average intensity. I don't think it'd ever be necessary to record all, or even most of those. But depending on how you train, so may be useful.
     

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