inkWELL Fitness Planner Review: Get Fit and Stay Organized
Words don’t quite capture how giddy I was receiving the inkWELL fitness planner. I love all things inkWELL Press, and the return of their fitness planners is a big deal for someone like me (aka planner and fitness-obsessed).
Right off the bat, I noticed it’s a near-perfect size. It’s not too big to carry around with my regular planner, but not too small to fully write things out. I was particularly concerned with having room to write because I follow Tone It Up’s weekly workout schedule, and it typically involves two to four routines, plus cardio. So I need room to write all of that down each day. And hey-oh, there’s room for that and more.
The paper in the fitness planner really took me by surprise. It’s incredibly thick and feels buttery, but pens don’t bleed through or smear on the page. Even my plum-colored PaperMate Flair didn’t show through to the other side.
In short, this is a planner/pen miracle. This is the first planner/notebook/anything I’ve used that doesn’t let the Flairs bleed through.
Setting You Up for Success
The Fitness Planner spans 12 weeks (aka three months), and is designed to keep you on track during a fitness challenge, weight loss program, or other training program. It begins with goal setting and logging your starting weight and measurements.
The first page is where you write down your goals and motivation. It keeps things simple. You write down what your motivation is (a beach trip, your kids, your wedding, etc), your workout goal (a mile time, lifting a certain weight, etc.), your nutrition goal (following a meal plan, cutting out dairy, figuring out what foods upset your stomach, etc.), your personal goal (getting enough sleep, practicing positive self-talk, etc.), and how you’ll reward yourself at the end of the 12 weeks when you’ve accomplished your goals.
I love that there’s a spot for personal goals. For me, this is the biggest challenge because I so often find myself sacrificing my workouts or diet in order to please other people. You know, like if a friend wants to meet up after work and I’ll say yes even though I know it means I’ll have to rush the gym or skip it all together. Or I’ll go home to my parents and just eat whatever they have prepared because I don’t want to be difficult or make things harder on them. Typical, right? So when I got this fitness planner in, I knew I wanted to make prioritizing my health my personal goal.
Then you have a 12-week “attack plan” section. Here, you write down what workouts you’ll do every day for those weeks and when your rest days are. The boxes aren’t ginormous, but there is enough room to write multiple things. I managed to fit all of my TIU (Tone It Up) workouts in each day’s box. However, you can just write whether it’s arm, leg, or ab day, a cardio day, or a rest day if that works better for you. Once your workout for each day is completed, you can check it off.
This is a great feature because it’s helpful to look back at your workouts from a larger scale. When you’re trying to fit exercise into your already-busy schedule, it can be easy to skip “just one” day, but sometimes that snowballs into several days. And one extra day off every week can really add up, especially if you also take off on the weekends. After all, the weekends are 30% of your month. Skipping exercise on the weekends can be detrimental to your progress, which is why it’s helpful to see how many days you’ve exercised in a larger time frame, rather than in one week.
Check in Daily
Unlike many other fitness trackers, inkWELL’s fitness planner dedicates an entire page to each day. This gives you more room to track your meals and workouts and allows you to be very detailed with it all. I like this because it allows me to write down things like my heart rate, how much weight I lifted, how many reps, and how many sets, and also a place for any fitness classes I take. It’s nice that each day is so comprehensive, and no matter what your workout is, there’s somewhere for it to be recorded. This is great for reflecting on your overall dedication to your plan at the end of the day.
The bottom of each daily page is dedicated to your meals for the day. There’s a row for breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and even a late-night snack. There’s also a box for each items calories and rating. For me this is huge because I need the reminder to check the calories and think about the quality of what I eat—otherwise I’ll go a little crazy. The only thing I’d add to the daily page is a box for the day’s total calories.
Reflect at the End of Each Week
After a full week of daily check-ins, you have a weekly check-in. This is where you reflect on the week by noting how the week felt, whether you met your weekly goals, the good and bad things that happened, and what you’ll focus on in the week. These weekly checkpoints are important because they serve to keep you accountable for the previous seven days. Without them, it’s easy to feel like you have a ton of time left and fall off the plan.
How Did You Do All Month?
After four weeks of hard work and detailed note taking, there’s a monthly check-in. Here, you measure yourself again and log it, reflect on how you feel about your progress, write down three successes, and record what you’ll be focusing on in the next month.
When you’ve reached the end of 12 weeks, you have the final check-in. Here, you write down your starting and ending measurements, weight, body fat, and your personal best. You also journal what you feel most successful about, what you’ll continue to do in the future, and how you rewarded yourself. This final page serves to show you how your hard work (or lack of hard work) paid off and lets you reflect on your choices in the previous three months.
Everyone Needs a Little Help
At the very back of the fitness planner are some resources for you to reference throughout your plan. There’s information on how many calories you can expect to burn per minute for certain exercises, a portion guide, and a graphic of snacks worth 100 calories. These are great tools to have when you’re on the go and need some snack ideas, need to know how much a real serving is when eating out, and want to know how many calories you burned during your workout.
With this planner, experienced health nuts and beginners can both find everything they need. The built-in goal setting and accountability checkpoints take far above the regular meal trackers out there, and it sure beats a normal lined notebook. Before you start your next diet or fitness program, order inkWELL’s fitness planner so you have an extra boost in reaching your health and fitness goals.
Do you use a fitness planner? Let us know in the comments!
Last modified on November 13th, 2018