About two weeks ago I coached a morning block of classes with Aaron. I was dreading it for days, only because he had planned for us to do this one specific workout together after class. The workout we did was one that I’ve done several times before and it always acts as a good benchmark for me to understand where I’m at in terms of chasing fitness. I hadn’t been getting enough sleep, my eating habits had been terribly irregular and the stress of my recent wedding hadn’t completely dissipated.
I’ll be honest. It was a rough experience. I struggled through it, but I finished it. The biggest point was, though, that this workout did two things for me - it showed me where I was at in relation to the last time I did it, and it showed me how I stack up against Aaron (and Kristin and Jason, who we harangued into doing it with us). We do this in class all the time. It’s why we have you write things down - it tells you the story of your training session and gives you an understanding of where you’re at any given point in time.
This week we are including mini challenges in your training sessions. These challenges will range from how many pull-ups you can do to how quickly you can finish 100 of your most consistent KB swings. Some of these tests are functional and some are not, but they will tell you how you stack up against someone else or how you compare to the last time you did this. Competition is a good thing. We can’t always win, but sometimes it’s good to compare 1st, 2nd and 3rd. It’s also good to compare how you did last time and how you did this time. Both of these comparisons have value.
We are creating a platform that allows us to assess ourselves over time in a way that has the potential to tell us more than just, “Am I better, worse or the same?” Measurables are important, and we have to continue to watch our trends to determine a baseline. Once you understand where your baseline is, you’ll be able to use these tools to diagnose where your performance is and overall, start to see improvement.
So you know, I came in last place in my workout that morning. But I also realized that I used a lower target for my squat than ever, I was more consistent with my push-ups and I moved from a TRX pull-up to a banded pull-up. I saw improvement across the board. Even though it didn’t reflect in my placing in the group. I also took into account that I was sleep deprived, poorly nourished and just a tad stressed. Overall it was a good diagnostic that told me I needed to take some more time for sleep and mental down time. The key to seeing progress is that you need to be consistent with testing and you must incorporate a movement practice that allows for you to stay fit across the board.
Keep track of your results this week and let us help you figure out how to get on a path that will show you general improvement over broad time domains.