You Can’t Manage What you Can’t Measure
One of the worst things about CrossFit training is that it is always, if you are doing it right, HARD. It never seems to get easier because every time it starts to; we nudge you on. We’ll encourage you to add weight on your barbell, or to achieve a faster time on your 2km row, or move on to the next progression in your work towards handstand pushups. Because of that you can, at times, doubt your progress. So how can you make sure you are actually getting fitter? After all, thats really what you come to CrossFit for right?!?
Set some goals.
Set SMART goals that are truly Measurable. Now chances are that your decision to join CrossFit was based on a desire to become generally fitter. General Preparedness is one of the main tenets of the CrossFit training methodology. So make sure your goals reflect general fitness – e.g. not just strength.
For some of us and from time to time, you may have a much more focused aim e.g. to improve your London Marathon time this year, or to enter a weightlifting competition, or to rebuild core strength after having children. In that case you will need to set some specific milestone goals that demonstrate you are on track to do that. Use your complimentary 1:1 to set the goals with a coach.
Haven’t got a 1:1 to use in the system? Chances are it’s an admin error on my part as I have to update them manually so let me know and I will sort it within hours – promise.
Especially on the days that look as though they will suck. Turn up even when you can’t see the direct link between the programme and your goal. I can assure you that olympic lifting days will help you towards almost every goal – not just making the olympic weight lifting squad. You have to engage your core, you have to use all muscle groups. Weightlifting demands flexibility, coordination and balance to nail the full range of motion. Want to get stronger? Make it to those running days so you can build your engine and therefore the capacity to keep lifting to genuine strength limits rather than just until you’re gassed. Want to beat your marathon time? Come along to yoga sessions so that you can master your breath control and maintain a much stronger and more balanced posture during your run.
Measure and record
It’s great to get in the habit of keeping regular notes on your training – especially when it is a session that will be repeated at some point. Your Wodify app is designed to make that easy for you. Many of our programmes will be truly one offs so you may never again see another ‘Sea Legs’ or ‘Frank the Tank’ in the programme. You will however see ‘Randy’ again as it is a global CrossFit benchmark workout. This means if you’ve made notes from Thursday, next time it comes up you can compare weights and times.
You will see another 1 rep max squat clean but equally importantly you will see 5×3 squat clean in the future and it will ask you to work at a percentage of your 1 rep max – Wodify helps you calculate that if you have fed it with your other training results. It also helps to keep you motivated when you’re feeling that it’s just ANOTHER hard workout.
Monday 18th is a 1 rep max front squat – if you haven’t been logging your results yet then make that one a must. It’s the best way to see how your comfort zone is increasing. By measuring your progress you will know when you have achieved your goal and you will also be able to see when you are at a plateau and maybe need to switch something in your approach.
Without that data available it’s all just HARD. Consistent Boditrax scans are another great measure of your progress – I’ll talk about that next time.
Obviously if you are working towards a specific sporting event you have an inbuilt test for your goal. Another great, and upcoming, test is the CrossFit Open. It is one of the only ‘competitions’ we personally encourage everyone to get involved with. Not because we think you all dream of becoming the next Matt Fraser or Sam Briggs but because it’s a great test of your general fitness. It’s also a great spotlight on your weaknesses which, guess what, helps you set some new goals. Oh and it’s great fun. Learn a bit more about the Open at CrossFit Evolving here.
For those keen to find that x-factor in their open performance you may be interested in Matteo’s specialist session at Holloway on 16th February when he will be coaching competition strategies and pacing.