There’s nothing I love more than a good test workout. Being able to see progress over time is a huge motivator and keeps me engaged in my day to day training, even when I don’t feel like working out. How often should you test your benchmarks? Read on to find out.
In CrossFit, we have a ton of benchmark workouts, from the classic, “Girl WODs,” to the tough, “Hero WODs.” It can be tempting to do one of these every day or every week, but you don’t need to. These workouts are hard. They all have something in particular they are testing like aerobic capacity, local muscle endurance, anaerobic power, etc. And they are just that, tests.
To improve on these tests, you need to train what the test will be on and then take the test. If you were taking an exam in a classroom, would you take a bunch of practice tests and then hope you gained the knowledge needed for the big exam, or would you study the material the exam will be on, and then take the exam? You would be better off (and less stressed) studying for the exam instead of taking a bunch of practice tests. The same goes for your workouts.
Getting faster, getting stronger, losing weight, etc., are intricate processes. They require taking an initial baseline, then training specific areas, then resetting the baseline. This is where you will see progress. Generally, we like 8-week cycles. This gives us plenty of time to test, get specific training in, and then retest. This goes for any strength movement, Girl WOD, or Hero WOD.
Pick 1 item and work on it. It can be tempting to try to test and train everything all at once. Not to say it can’t be done, but unless you have a high level of technical knowledge on training, energy systems, and adaption, you likely will not do yourself any favors. Instead, pick 1 area, dill it for 8 weeks, and then retest it to see where you are compared to 8 weeks ago. DO NOT DO OTHER TESTS. DURING THIS WINDOW. They won’t help. Doing Murph to improve your Fran time or vice versa won’t help. They are two totally different tests and training stimuli.
If you are ready to progress your fitness and need to set a baseline, schedule an intro and we’ll help you out. You can do that here: