Blog/ Fitness

In praise of the nerdy little workout notebook

I have mentioned my Nerdy Little Workout Notebook before, more than once. It coexists constantly in my bag with my journal and my writing ideas notebook. Yes, that is a lot of notebooks to lug around. But they help.

Today is my Nerdy Little Workout Notebook’s one-year anniversary.

Now I ain’t tryin to turn this into some kinda fitness blog. But I thought that for comparison’s sake, I’d transcribe both my inaugural Nerdy Little Notebook workout from 4/6/11, and the one I did earlier today, 4/6/12.


Squats 2×15 = 20 lb barbell

Lat pulldown 2×15=70 lbs

Standing overhead shoulder press 2×15=20 lb barbell

One-arm dumbbell row 2×15=15 lb

Bench press 2×15=45 lbs (bar alone)

Calf raise 1×15=90 lb

Crunches 2×15


Bench press (in squat cage, which is far easier than with free weights since the bar itself is stabilized and you’re just pushing it up and letting it down) 1×12=95, 1×10=115, 1×8=135, 1×6=145

Lat pulldown 1×12=70, 1×10=85, 1×8=100,1×6=115

Incline press 1×12=10 lb dumbbells, 1×10=15s, 1×8=20s, 1×6=25s

One-arm dumbbell rows 1×12=15 lb, 1×10=20, 1×8=25, 1×6=30

Seated shoulder press 1×12=10 lb dumbbells, 1×10=15s, 1×8=20s, 1×6=25s

Front raises 1×12=5 lb dumbbells, 1×10=6s, 1×8=7s, 1×6=8s

Alternate dumbbell curls 1×12=10s, 1×10=15s, 1×8=20s, 1×6=25s

Hammer curls 2×12=20s

Triceps pushdowns 1×12=30 lbs, 1×10=40, 1×8=50


I try not to pay excessive, obsessive attention to certain other numbers one can track, the ones stitched into pieces of clothing or displayed on a scale. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

But I am totally fine with obsessively tracking the numbers that tell me how much I can lift.

And credit where credit is due: that first workout, and many of the ones that have followed, came from Stumptuous.


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  • Mette Harrison
    April 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

    This is really cool! I also keep a workout log, and I think it is a great way to train your mind to focus on what you want to matter to you. Because those are the numbers you have, those are the ones you pay attention to and try to change. I also try to write in little notes like “felt great” or “felt tired.”

  • miriam
    April 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Damn, lady! That is some woop-ass if I ever saw it!