We cover a wide variety of tracking topics on this site, related to health, wellness, and fitness. While many of these are apps or devices that can help with gathering data or providing new insights, sometimes there is a more manual solution that works fine. The analog way of tracking can be as simple as a pen and a notebook, but if you are going to want to play with the data then taking notes in a spreadsheet can be very powerful.
We prefer to use Google Sheets for tracking goals and activities since the service is free and easily accessible. With the right setup Sheets shortcuts can be added to smartphone home screen and functions just like a good app, while also having the deep integration potential of bringing in data from shared services like Strava exported data or other activity trackers. Below are some top ideas and tips on how to get the most out of Google Sheets when it comes to goal tracking, activity tracking, or monitoring workouts.
Google Sheets Goal Tracker
Annual goals and other long terms goals are naturals for tracking in a spreadsheet. A simple year long goal is easy to setup with just a handful of columns and then dedicating a row to each day. In the past we did this with a daily tracker to monitor a goal of 20000 push-ups in a year. It’s easy to see motivation trends in the resulting graph too!
Before looking for a custom workout template in google sheets, consider making your own. Personal tracking is so individualized that if you are able to monitor your own it will be easier than adhering to a template. Consider that the hardest thing about managing data is usually the data entry, so if you define a spreadsheet that is easy for you to manage and incorporate into your daily routine it will be more beneficial in the long run.
Eight Great Free Google Sheets Workouts and Training Plans
Track a lifting session or simple workout activities with a custom worksheet. Across the web there are helpful links to various sheets that are editable and customizable. Training plans for running are also often built in spreadsheets. A half marathon training calendar and a marathon training spreadsheet are common needs for runners.
There are a few public sheets available for these including one for the Pfitz Marathon training plan spreadsheet. Below are direct links to various training templates. A handful of these prompt you to create a copy immediately, if not and you just having viewing rights, just make a copy to your personal drive and edit away. All of these are publicly available
- Pfitz Marathon Training Template (Google Sheets Link)– For anyone looking for an easy to manage spreadsheet with tons of power, this is a publically available one based on the widely popular Pete Pfitzinger training plans.
- Annual Running Training Diary – This diary lets you include daily notes on fatigue, stress, etc. while managing workout and run data. The format makes it easy to review how you felt day to day compared to most trackers like Strava or MapMyRun.
- LogRun, A Running Log (created by a developer who now works at Strava) for those not doing a training plan or managing their own season of track or cross country.
- Weight Training Workout – Comes with suggested lifts, but totally customizable to use the workouts you want.
- Couch to 5K Training Plan – There is not much actual tracking in this one, though the format shows a training plan that is easy to copy and then write over to show what you really did.
- Weight Loss Tracker – This is a simplified version of the same thing that Apple Health kit shows (if you have a connected scale) or which can be put into MyFitnessPal. If you just want to manage things locally this is a good option.
- Printable Workout Log by Vertex4 – An easy to share printable version is great if you need something analog to bring to the gym.
- TwoWorkouts Full Body Two Day A Week Plan – This is a plan made by a dedicated lifting fan with a complete full body workout. The setup is designed for those who are lifting two days a week, but can be customized to fit your needs.
Fitbit Export Data to Google Sheets
One of the best parts of using Google Sheets is to provide more insights than are natively available in your primary tracking apps. Devices like Fitbits generate tons of activity data and the front end displays of it are typically simplified to ensure everyone is able to use them. If you want to dive into the data, exporting it form the primary device and bringing it into sheets lets you do everything from build fun pivot tables to chart it in a method that works best for you.
Typically the data from most trackers can be exported to a .csv file, which can be brought in directly to a Google Spreadsheet. We have covered before the benefits on how to import data from services like Strava. Fitbit has a similar function which allows you to export all of your activity and step data, to do so you need to submit a request to Fitibt and then wait for the email with links to relevant files.