The Ultimate Guide to Tracking Progress in Calisthenics: Top Tools and Apps

Keeping track of your workouts provides you with valuable information, motivation, and accountability to help you reach your fitness goals. It allows you to make informed decisions about your training and ensure you are on the right path to success. Read on to learn more!

Keeping track of your workouts provides you with valuable information, motivation, and accountability to help you reach your fitness goals. It allows you to make informed decisions about your training and ensure you are on the right path to success. Read on to learn more!

Why it is essential to keep track of your workouts

If you are not keeping track of what you are doing during your workouts, how will you know you are making any form of progress toward your goals? Keeping track of your workouts is essential for several reasons, regardless of the type of exercise you engage in, including calisthenics.

  • Quantifying Progress: By keeping a record of your exercises, sets, reps, and weights, you can easily track your progress. You’ll know precisely what you did in previous sessions, allowing you to make informed decisions about increasing intensity.
  • Identifying Plateaus: Plateaus are natural in any training program. By tracking your workouts, you can identify when progress stalls and adjust your training to overcome plateaus.
  • Motivation and Accountability: Tracking your progress allows you to see how far you’ve come, which can be incredibly motivating. When you observe improvements in strength, flexibility, or mastering new exercises, it reinforces your commitment to your fitness journey. Additionally, knowing that you are monitoring your progress can increase your sense of accountability, making it more likely that you’ll stick to your training routine.

tracking your workouts provides valuable insights into your fitness progress, helps you stay on track with your goals, and empowers you to make informed decisions for continuous improvement. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, keeping a training log is a must!

Best ways to track your progress

Tracking your calisthenics progress is essential to monitor your improvements, set goals, and stay motivated. Here are some of the best ways to track your calisthenics progress effectively:

1. Pen and paper(notebook)

Keeping an old-school notebook journal is an excellent and straightforward way to track your calisthenics progress effectively. Additionally, it is no tech so you don’t get distracted during your workouts which is a big benefit.

Tips for Keeping a Notebook Journal:

  1. Choose the Right Notebook: Select a notebook that suits your needs. Look for one with enough space for writing, a sturdy cover, and quality paper that won’t bleed through with ink.
  2. Create a Layout: Decide on a layout that works best for you. You can have a dedicated section for each workout day or create a two-page spread for each week. Include columns for exercises, sets, reps, and notes.
  3. Be Consistent: Make a habit of writing in your journal each workout. This ensures you don’t forget any details and keeps your records accurate.

2. Specific fitness-tracking apps

Using a fitness tracking app is a convenient and effective way to track your calisthenics progress. There are numerous fitness apps available, and many are specifically designed for calisthenics and bodyweight training.

Benefits a fitness tracking app offers over pen and paper:

  1. Time efficient: Most fitness apps provide predefined templates or workout logs, making it easier to record exercises, sets, reps, and rest periods systematically.
  2. Data Analysis: Fitness apps can analyze your training data and provide insights into your performance and progress, identifying patterns and trends.
  3. Goal Setting and Reminders: You can set specific fitness goals within the app, and it can send reminders to help you stay on track with your training schedule.

Best Fitness tracking apps:

Look for an app that aligns with your calisthenics goals and preferences. Read reviews, check the features, and try out different apps to find the one that suits you best. Here are the top apps I recommend for calisthenics:

  1. Progression (Android): Progression is an Android-only app designed to track your progress in various exercises, including calisthenics movements. It allows you to create and customize workout routines.
  2. FitNotes (Android): FitNotes is a simple and easy-to-use workout tracker that can be adapted for calisthenics workouts. You can log exercises, sets, reps, and track your progress over time.
  3. Fitbod (iOS, Android): Fitbod is an AI-powered fitness app that generates personalized workout plans based on your goals, preferences, and available equipment. It can incorporate calisthenics exercises into your routine and track your progress.

3. Google Sheets or Excel

Using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel is a highly effective and versatile way to track your calisthenics progress. Spreadsheets provide a customizable and organized format to log and analyze your workouts. Here are some tips on how to use Google Sheets or Excel for tracking your calisthenics progress:

1. Create a Workout Log Template:

  • Start by creating a table with columns for exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and any other relevant details you want to track.
  • You can also include columns for the date of each workout and additional notes about how you felt during the session or any challenges faced.

2. Record Your Workouts:

  • Each calisthenics workout, enter the data into the spreadsheet. Input the exercises you performed, the number of sets and reps completed, and any other information you want to track.

3. Use Conditional Formatting:

  • You can use conditional formatting to highlight progress or achievements automatically. For example, you could set it to change the cell color if you achieved a personal record or hit a specific goal.

4. Calculate Totals and Averages:

  • Utilize functions like SUM and AVERAGE to calculate the total volume (sets x reps x weight) or average performance for each exercise over time.

5. Visualize Your Progress:

  • Create charts or graphs to visualize your progress over time. Bar charts can display improvements in the number of reps or weight lifted, while line graphs can show trends in overall performance.

Google Sheets and Excel offer flexibility in customizing your tracking process, and they can serve as valuable tools for monitoring your calisthenics progress and helping you reach your fitness goals. Here is a free google sheets template you can use. 

What to include in your calisthenics training log?

In your calisthenics training log, you should include essential details that provide a comprehensive record of your workouts and progress. Here are the key elements to include in your calisthenics training log:

  1. Date and Time: Record the date and time of each training session. This helps you maintain consistency and track the frequency of your workouts.
  2. Exercises: List all the calisthenics exercises you performed during the workout. Include both the main movements and any supplementary exercises.
  3. Sets and Repetitions: Log the number of sets and repetitions (reps) completed for each exercise. For instance, if you performed three sets of push-ups with 10 reps each, write “3×10” for push-ups.
  4. Rest Periods: Record the duration of rest periods between sets and exercises. This information helps you manage your workout intensity and progress.
  5. Workout Intensity: Use a rating system like the RPE system or reps in reserve(RIR) to indicate how challenging you found the set. This feedback helps you gauge your effort levels.
  6. Set Goals and Track Achievements: Create a section to set specific calisthenics goals. Regularly update this section with your achievements and progress towards those goals.
  7. Track Progress Over Time: Regularly review your past entries to see how you’ve improved. Observe patterns, identify plateaus, and make adjustments to your training plan accordingly.
  8. Track your personal bests(PR): Keeping a special section for recording your personal bests in various exercises and updating it as you achieve new ones is a good idea.
  9. Additional Comments: Include any relevant comments about the workout, how you felt, or any challenges faced. This can be beneficial for future training adjustments.

By maintaining a detailed calisthenics training log, you gain insights into your progress, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about your training routine. Whether you choose to use a physical notebook, a digital spreadsheet, or a fitness tracking app, a well-organized training log will be a valuable tool in your calisthenics journey.

Recording Your Training Is Key!

Keeping track of your calisthenics workouts and being mindful of your form plays a crucial role in ensuring continuous progress and ultimately mastering advanced movements. It is essential to assess your form regularly to maintain proper body alignment, posture, and precise execution of each movement. By carefully examining video recordings of your exercises/skills, you can analyze your form in detail and identify any deviations from the correct technique. This scrutiny allows you to recognize areas that need improvement and provides valuable feedback for enhancing your progress.

When you record your exercises, especially isometric exercises such as front lever progressions, you can record how long you hold the exercises, which is very important information to keep track of.

To gain additional insights and guidance on improving your form, consider sharing your video recordings with experienced calisthenics practitioners, coaches, or engaging with online communities like r/BodyWeightFitness.

Final thoughts

Tracking your progress in calisthenics is a fundamental aspect of achieving success in your fitness journey. It provides valuable insights, keeps you accountable, and serves as a roadmap to help you reach your goals.

tracking your progress in calisthenics is an empowering and transformative practice. It empowers you to take charge of your fitness journey, make informed decisions, and continuously make progress as a calisthenics practitioner.

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