Evernote for Fitness

Evernote for Fitness

Today I´m going to show you how to use Evernote for fitness, as your digital training diary. But first, give me a few minutes to explain why a training journal is important on your fitness journey.

Many people are still not sure what to write in their journals. Others think that their smartwatch already collects all the relevant information. Speed, heart rate, or anything a smartwatch track is not the most important data. There are more important factors to consider: how tough the workout felt? Are you fatigued from work or previous sessions? What did you eat and how did you sleep?
 
You might want to follow these suggestions, and I hope you will. You can tweak them the way that suits you best, it comes down to your personal preference. The level of detail you’ll go into depends upon how you plan to use your diary.

Things you should write down

Date and time of workout.

The date is key for staying consistent and tracking your progress. By seeing how many days you worked out you get a boost in self-confidence and also, help you to work out on days when you don’t feel like it. Knowing that you have to write down ” I didn’t work out today” is a good reason to make sure you get up and do your routine! Later on, you can review your progress, how many more reps or sets you´re able to perform compared to when you started, how your Personal Records improved, and so on. It´s hard to rely on all this info on your sole memory because trust me, you´ll forget most of it in a matter of months. That´s why it´s important to write them all down.
 
The time is useful to realize what times of the day you perform best, and don´t be too hard on yourself if you have to work out at other times.
Personally, my best workouts are typically around 4 p.m. How do I know that? I tried morning workouts, afternoon workouts, and late evening workouts over the years. Comparing my notes, I realize that I perform better at 4 p.m.  If it´s early in the morning or late in the evening, I know I can’t demand so much from myself. I expect a good workout but not crushing any personal record.
 
Work out at different times of the day and find what works best for you.
 

Your long-term, mid-term, and session goals.

It’s hard to work towards a goal without knowing what and when it is. Make sure you’re clear on your goals (strength, fat loss…). For instance:
  • My goal is to lose 30 kgs of fat this year. That´s a long-term goal pretty specific. How I plan to do that?
  • I´m going to lose 8 kgs in 12 weeks. Affordable mid-term goal.
  • Week 1, Day 1: In this session, I will be focused on my squatting technique.
You can write down in your training diary all these goals. Add explicit descriptions so your future self will understand why and how you´ve been doing what you´ve been doing.
Planned workout routine (sets, reps, rest in-between sets, and weights you plan to use)
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Training without a plan is nonsense. Too many people come to me discouraged because have been jumping from fitness challenges to random workouts with no real change in their bodies. Their only problem is they lack planning. You have to stick with a consistent workout plan. Perform the same routine for 4-8 weeks, then evaluate the results.
This could be something like this:
 
  • Squats. 100kg. 5 sets of 12 reps. 90 seconds rest.
  • Extensions. 60kg. 5 sets of 12 reps. 90 seconds rest.
  • Hamstring curl. 60kg. 5 sets of 12 reps. 90 seconds rest.
 

What you actually did in the session

Let´s imagine our planned session didn´t go so well.
 
  • Squats. 70kg. 5 sets of 12 reps. 90 seconds rest.
  • Extensions. 40kg. 5 sets of 12 reps. 90 seconds rest.
  • Hamstring curl. 40kg. 5 sets of 12 reps. 90 seconds rest.
 
Far from a bad session, this example could be one most athletes could relate to. We can learn a few things here by adding a few notes-to-self:
  • Squats. Note: I can´t keep the bar balanced, it goes left. My dominant leg seems to be the right one. I need to work on my balance and don´t focus only on the weight. Work on perfecting the form with lightweight.
  • Extensions. Note: It burns much more than I thought.
  • Hamstring curl. Note: I can barely walk after the last set. I did my best and should be proud!
With a few notes, you added a lot of valuable info turning cold numbers into a thoughtful description of your training session. Don´t be afraid to express your thoughts, feelings, and frustrations. It´s your personal diary, it´s for your eyes only.
 
Some other questions you could address: Did you have a rough night of sleep? Did you eat too much before your session? Was your mind swimming with stressful, distracting thoughts that made it hard to focus? Being aware of the issues that hurt the quality of your training will help you become aware and deal with them.
 
Complete your training diary immediately after every session as your thoughts and feelings will be fresh in your head. This will ensure your entries are valid and can help you plan the appropriate next steps.

Recovery.

For some people, taking the time to recover is the problem. They go from a demanding physical job to an extenuating workout with no rest in between. And then they are frustrated because they didn´t lift heavy enough, they didn´t lose enough weight, and so on. Keeping a diary can make it very clear when you’ve not had a rest day for too long, and looking back at completed sessions should reassure you that you do deserve a break.
 
You should write down how many hours you slept the night before and the quality of that sleep. Also, how do you feel right before the workout? Because if you feel exhausted, it doesn´t make sense to push yourself to annihilation. Each day, rate and record your level of fatigue.
 

Nutrition/diet

Writing down what you eat can help make sure you’re not overdoing your recovery treats or under-fueling.
 

Weight and body perimeters.

Getting on the scale every morning only adds stress and pressure. Once a week is enough to check your progress.  Are you going in the right direction? Perfect, keep going. Things don´t go the way you want? Review your notes, analyze and change what´s wrong. More doesn´t mean better.  Most of you are ready to train more and harder, but often doing more of the wrong thing won´t move you in the right direction.

Benefits of a well-structured training diary

  • Identify effective vs not effective training methods
  • Notice your personal adaptation to certain training loads + Planning of the future training loads
  • Individual needs for recovery
  • Allows you to check if you are meeting each short, mid, and long-term goals
  • Notice patterns
  • Rises motivation and self-confidence
I have given you reason enough to start your own training diary today. Next, I would like to show you how you could use Evernote for fitness, instead of pencil and paper. I’ve been using it since 2014, delivering personalized workouts and meal plans to my clients and it’s one of the best ideas I’ve ever come up with.
 
There is a free version so giving it a try will cost you nothing. To get started, make sure to download it on your computer and smartphone, here.

Let me introduce you Evernote for fitness

Evernote is a note-taking app that makes it very easy to keep track of everything. All you have to do is create a note and start writing. In each note you can include photos, screenshots, audios, videos, pdfs, docs, and links to websites or other notes, so you can enrich your annotations beyond what a traditional notebook allows you.
 
What I like the most about Evernote is that there is no right and wrong, it is a white canvas without a default system, where you can create the workflow that best suits your needs, your taste, and the way you do things; organize your notes in a way that makes sense to you, and if you want to change it in the future, you can easily do so. This flexibility is the fundamental difference with any other app to record your workouts.
 
Let´s see how you can convert your training sessions from plain text to a vivid experience.
Plain Text
Customize it
Add tables, checkboxes, emojis,
Change colors
Insert links...
Embed videos
And this is just the beginning.
Click Here
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You can do even more with Evernote!
Once you customize your training note to your personal preferences, you can save it as a template. This makes the note-taking part of your routine more pleasant and less time-consuming. Evernote makes it easy to create a training diary that´s completely customizable and extremely mobile-friendly. 
 
But you can go further and create your own exercise library and recipes collection.

Use the Evernote Web Clipper

Thanks to the Evernote Web Clipper you will be able to collect anything from the web.

There are 5 modes of saving a note via the web clipper.
  1. The page as it is (“Article”)
  2. A simplified version (“Simplified Article”).
  3. The “Full Page” option, stores the whole web page on your Evernote account.
  4. The “Bookmark” option saves the URL along with a pic and a short description.
  5. The “screenshot” option can be handy. Take a screenshot using the extension and use its rich set of annotating tools.
As you can see, you can save any exercise, workout, or recipe you like in Evernote the way that best suits you.

Organizing your workouts

Organizing is a very personal thing and you have to find which way works best for you. You can organize your notes in notebooks, adding tags to the notes, or both. Again, there is no right or wrong in Evernote.
 
Applied to your fitness notes, you have at least three options to organize them:
 
  1. Create multiple notebooks for different topics: Exercises, Recipes, Tips, Motivation, My workout, etc.
  2. Create a single notebook to store all your fitness notes. Instead of placing a note into a specific notebook, create a tag and assign that tag to the note. For example, instead of a notebook called “My workouts” create a tag and assign it to all your workouts. The advantage is that you can add other tags as well, like “Weightloss”, “Hypertrophy”, etc. so you´ll know what´s the goal of each workout.
  3. A mix of notebooks and tags.
These are some differences between notebooks and tags you should know:
 
  • Notebooks are limited to 250 per personal account, but you can have up to 100,000 tags per account.
  • A note can only exist in one Notebook at a time, but a note may have multiple tags.
  • Notebooks can be stacked but not nested. In essence, this means you can only create a hierarchy that is one level deep: a stack with a group of notebooks. On the other hand, tags can be nested into multiple hierarchies.
My Notebooks
My Tags
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The possibilities are limitless and this article is meant to be an introduction and spark to explore Evernote and see how you can make Evernote your own custom fitness app. Next time I´ll show you how to sync your fitness trackers/other fitness apps to your Evernote.

Let your imagination fly for a second, create your Evernote account and build your own enhanced digital version of the traditional training diary.

 

26 thoughts on “Evernote for Fitness”

  1. What a simply great idea! Would you be prepared to help with my training? I hope to improve my running performance over the winter and would like to have a good year on the bike in 2017, targeting the Etape and also a 12 hours mtb race.. not had a trainer before or even much in the way of planned routines! So I’m keen to see what I can achieve as I hit 40

    1. I’ve trained a couple of guys for a mtb race like that some years ago. The race is called, Los 10,000 del soplado. Famous and tough race, they finished, haha!
      Create your account, because I guess you’ve been training for quite some time. Maybe you had not a plan, but you wrote your workouts?

      1. Yeah, I wrote them down.. I’ll dig them out. I’ve already created the account so will transfer them across

      2. Great! You can take pics directly from your phone to Evernote. It’ll save you a lot of time. Btw, it recognizes handwriting ;-)

      3. I couldn’t find the books.. I think they got lost during our last house move. I’ve recalled from memory. How can I share it?

      4. Sorry to hear that! Another reason to keep a digital record ;-)
        Anyway, to share a notebook: right click on it, then share notebook. To share a note: right click on the note, share, and share note. My mail is chape@chape.es

      1. I’m pleased you like my videos :-D
        The app is a white canvas, you can save anything you want/need, workout videos included.
        You can create your own exercise library if you wish :-D

      2. Of course I like them. Working out alone, I should have someone to look up to. Its hard to do workouts if you are alone and is not looking up to someone doing the same thing with ease. It motivates me somehow.

      3. I understand, I usually workout alone at home. Sometimes is Boring, with capital B. I’ve been thinking on upload my daily workout to YouTube.

  2. Wow I love this! I’m a nineteen year old who is in the beginning of my fitness journey. I started a blog to share my experiences and progress along the way! If your interested check it out! braedonsjourney.wordpress.com

  3. Pingback: Fitness Meet and Greet - Chape Fitness

  4. Pingback: Build healthy habits with Evernote - Chape Fitness

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Lower Back

The Erector Spinae is not just one muscle, but a bundle of muscles and tendons. Paired, they run more or less vertically. It extends throughout the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions, and lies in the groove to the side of the vertebral column.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is the larger, flat, dorsolateral muscle on the trunk, posterior to the arm, and partly covered by the trapezius on its median dorsal region.

Deltoids

The Deltoid muscle is the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder. It is divided into three portions, anterior, lateral and posterior, with the fibers having different roles due to their orientation.

Infraspinatus

The Infraspinatus muscle is one of the four rotator cuff muscles crossing the shoulder joint and is commonly injured. It is the main external rotator of the shoulder joint.

Biceps

The Biceps brachii is  actually two separate bundles of muscles (heads). The two heads of the Biceps vary in length and as a result, are called the Short and the Long Biceps heads.

Triceps

The Triceps Brachii muscles  have three muscle heads: Lateral, Medial and Long head. Primarily responsible for the extension of the elbow joint. The lateral head is used for movements requiring occasional high-intensity force, while the medial fascicle enables more precise, low-force movements.

Forearm
(Anterior muscles)

The Pronator teres pronates the forearm, turning the hand posteriorly. If the elbow is flexed to a right angle, then pronator teres will turn the hand so that the palm faces inferiorly. It is assisted in this action by pronator quadratus.

Forearm
(Posterior muscles)

The Extensor Digitorum muscle helps in the movements of the wrists and the elbows. It extends the phalanges, then the wrist, and finally the elbow. It acts principally on the proximal phalanges. It tends to separate the fingers as it extends them.

Pecs

The pectoralis major makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle, situated at the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major. 

Abs

The Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.

Obliques

The External Oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. 

Glutes

The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three muscles originate from the ilium and sacrum and insert on the femur. The functions of the muscles include extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip joint.

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Quadriceps

The Quadriceps Femoris is the knee extensor muscle.  As a group, the quadriceps femoris is crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. It´s subdivided into four separate “heads”.

Hamstrings

A hamstring is any one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris). The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

Lower Leg

The gastrocnemius and the soleus form what we know as calf. They are involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping… 

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Trapezius

The trapezius is a broad, flat and triangular muscle. The muscles on each side form a trapezoid shape. It is the most superficial of all the back muscles.

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