The Training Log


The training log is perhaps the most underused and underrated tool in making the athlete better. I have kept a training log since my junior year in high school – 57 years. Why, because we had a pro football player from the Dallas Cowboys come and speak to us and one of the things, he emphasized was writing down your workout. It made sense, so I started. As I got to college it became even more meaningful as we had little or no guidance in regard to our physical preparation at Fresno State 1964 to 68 (Few did in those years). In 1969 when I began coaching, I emphasized that each athlete keeps a training log. I began to notice that over the years that those who kept detailed logs had a better command of what there were doing and the process to getting better. They were able to give me more accurate feedback as to what was effective and what was not. I still emphasize it with the athletes I coach today. It gives the athlete a sense of responsibility and ownership. It is a great resource to gauge progress or trace training errors.

Here are some ideas of what should be included in a comprehensive training log:

Day/Date, Time of Day, Weather

Pre-training Readiness Scale

1 to 10 scale – 10 feeling peppy, fired up ready to go, 1 being low motivation tired.

Actual Workout

Warm-up (Be specific)

Actual Workout (Details)


Type/Method duration


Length & Quality


Any meals missed or changes from ordinary diet

Note any life stress (24 Hour Athlete)

Time of Workout (to nearest quarter hour)

The last day of each week note total hours trained and number of training sessions. Note: I have found that when there are more sessions relative to hours trained the athlete adaptive response is better. There look at ratio of hours trained to number of sessions. Anything over 15 minutes counts as a training session.

Training Demand Rating

1 to 10 Scale (Encourage verbal descriptors)

10 – toughest workout ever!

1 – I could do that forever

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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