Do you want to run a 5K this year or finish a triathlon next spring? Or are you starting your first fitness program because the doctor said you have to lose weight? Do you drink enough water, or overdo it on the carbo-loading? The Ultimate Fitness Log
can assist you in tracking your fitness progress, whether you're concerned about nutrition, cardiovascular fitness, strength training, weight loss, or all four.
Suzanne Schlosberg, coauthor of Weight Training for Dummies and Fitness for Dummies, says while she scoffed at keeping a personal diary in high-school English class, she finds fitness diaries extremely helpful for monitoring her training for the Northern California Death Ride bike race.
Schlosberg starts with minichapters on how to use the log (including how to rate the intensity of your workouts), hints for finding your way among the health-club equipment, how to prevent workout-related injuries, and answers to frequently asked questions about cardio and strength-training exercises (like how to calculate your target heart rate--and how to use it). Then come six months worth of diary, with space for tracking time and distance for cardio; weight, sets, and reps for strength training; and space for nutrition notes. By monitoring your progress from day to day and month to month, you can more easily reach your goals. Inspirational quotes, fitness definitions (do you know what a "whipper" is to a rock climber?), and fitness tips are interspersed throughout the days to help keep you motivated. --Erica Jorgensen
"Before you invest in the latest piece of high-tech exercise equipment, check out [this] simpler, more affordable solution. Whether your goal is to run a marathon or just make it through an aerobic class, this training log can help you get there." (Shape