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Help Me Hack My PT
July 22, 2014 9:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm an obsessive tracker. I have an awesome to-do list that helps me get shit done. I just started physical therapy for an ankle injury (yet again). I want to keep track of the exercises and how much I'm able to do.

I've been wracking my brain all night trying to figure out how to put this in a spreadsheet, and I can't come up with anything. What I have to track is date, exercise, number of reps, number of sets and number of times per day. For example, one exercise is heal lifts. I should try to do 30 reps, 2 sets, 3 times a day.

An additional wrinkle is that I won't necessarily do all the reps in each set. Using the above as an example, I might do 30/30, 20/15, 20/10 depending on pain level and fatigue (I generally rest about 5 minutes between sets).

I tried Googling for something out of the box, but either my Google-fu is weak (quite possible) or this is something too niche that would only cater to OCD perfectionists like me.

I have access to Libre Office and Google Docs or any other free option. I'm not opposed to installing software as long it is something you have personal experience with. I basically don't install stuff I've never heard of or doesn't come on a personal recommendation.

I wonder if I wouldn't need something closer to a database, but I know less DB than I do python (also an option) and I know very little python.

I'm running Windows 8.1 but I'm going to try to get my laptop to dual boot with Fedora this week (if I can figure out this bios thing).
posted by kathrynm to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is easily done with libreoffice's spreadsheet. Your column headers should be something like:


"date" "Exercise" "set number" "# of reps 1" "# of reps 2"


So in your example, if you did leg lifts in sets of 30/30 and a 20/15 today, and a 30/30 and a 30/20 tomorrow after which you stop, it would look like (ignoring the dots)


"date" .."Exercise" "set number" ".......# of reps 1" ...."# of reps 2"
7/22/14.. leg lifts .........1.......................30................30
7/22/14.. leg lifts .........2.......................20................15
7/23/14.. leg lifts .........1.......................30................30
7/23/14.. leg lifts .........2.......................30................20

you could also do all 4 sets on a single day so each line was a day

"date" "Exercise" "# of reps 1" "# of reps 2" "# of reps 3" "# of reps 4"

where reps 1 and 2 are your first set of the days, and reps 3 and 4 are your second set of the day.
posted by zug at 10:05 AM on July 22


So if you do it the second way, that same leg lift data would look like:


"date" "Exercise" "# of reps 1" ......."# of reps 2" "# of reps 3" "# of reps 4"
7/22/14.. leg lifts .........30.................30................20............15
7/23/14.. leg lifts .........30.................30................30............20
posted by zug at 10:07 AM on July 22


Admittedly, not doing a ton of research, but if you have an Android phone, might this be of any use to you?
posted by WCityMike at 10:26 AM on July 22


Oh, hey, I've done something similar and could give you my python script (which can work on Windows with some light modification). Basically you go to the command line and type something like

> python track_reps #1 #2 #3 #4

And it just appends that to a text file, along with the date in unix time and a human-readable format.

You could then also have a script that would print out reports based on crawling the data.
posted by Maecenas at 10:31 AM on July 22


How about something like jefit? Has web interface and apps, allows you to add custom exercises if the PT ones aren't in their database, tracks sets and reps (and weight, if applicable) and lets you see how you did last time as you work out. If you have a smartphone, it's easy to track reps as you do your exercises. The down side is that reporting is pretty rudimentary, and it looks like even if you pay them it's powerlifting-focused.
posted by momus_window at 12:58 PM on July 22


Thanks zug. I think that'll work for the time being. Or maybe I'll do it the old fashioned way that way I can take it to PT with me. There's no cell reception in the basement of the hospital and I know I won't remember to sync it with dropbox every time I go.

WCityMike. That looks good too. I have an android tablet.
posted by kathrynm at 2:31 PM on July 23


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