Assessing vs. Guessing
The big question in the gym is always, “Am I making progress?” The only way to really understand this is to find a way to measure and assess. I also understand that measuring and assessing can be scary. I hated fitness testing as a soccer player. We did a 2 mile time trial that had to be done in under 11 minutes and 30 seconds. It was nerve racking and, if I didn't do well, I let that determine the rest of my season. It wasn’t until later in my career that I realized that the fitness assessment was what I made of it. If I looked at it the way I wanted to, it would have been less for the coaches to assess me and more of an opportunity for me to assess myself. After all, it was only a small picture of what went into making progress as an athlete. For me, I wanted to use it as a benchmark to see that I was managing the other 23 hours of my day to be at optimal performance. In other words, I didn’t have to crush myself to get first place or set a new team record. I just wanted to be consistent. I knew, when I was able to be consistent, it meant that I was managing my sleep, nutrition, and recovery. I wanted to save my exceptional for the field during games. Basically, when I decided to make it about what I wanted out of the assessment, it worked for me and it wasn’t scary. When I made it about what I thought the coach wanted out of me, it didn’t work for me and I got stressed.
In the studio we will be giving you the opportunity to assess on Friday, April 20th. It’s great to adopt something in your training program that is repeatable and measurable. The workout that we will use is one of our first workouts of 2018. We will revisit this workout throughout the year. We will give you plenty of warning each time so you can prepare for it, and you should prepare for it. If you weren't here on that day, don’t worry. You can begin your journey of assessing on April 20th. If you aren’t interested in doing this, that’s ok. We get it. You can still just show up and get a great workout in.
Think about what you want to get out of this. Some of you might want to beat previous times and loads. Others might just want to see consistency. Some of you might just want to get a great workout in. It’s really up to you.
My tips on preparing for the workout are simple.
- Make sure you are actively hydrating 48 hours before your class time. Drink a half ounce of water for every pound of body weight at minimum.
- Get 8.5 hours of sleep or more for the 2 nights leading up to the workout
- Continue to come in and train as usual each day. We will take care of preparing you in the gym.
One of the reasons I like to see the results of my benchmark workout is because it allows me to actually assess. I get a chance to reflect and see not just what performance looks like in the gym, but what behaviors look like leading up to benchmark workouts. Stress, sleep, and nutrition all play a role in what performance looks like. We know that we can’t segment these things, we have to assess results and look at the full picture. It might not be that what you are doing in the gym isn’t working, it might be what you are doing outside the gym that isn’t working.