When it comes to your health and fitness, it is important to measure your progress. This could be tracking your weight loss, measuring biomarkers, or testing strength.
In the gym, we use what we call “Benchmarks.” Examples of benchmark workouts are any of “The Girls” workouts (like Jackie and Helen, which we’ve done in the last few weeks), Hero WODs (DT, Murph), and other things like your 5k time or 3-RM deadlift.
A benchmark does a couple of things: it tests your improvement over time and gives you a snapshot of your current fitness level. It also allows you to test yourself against others at your level.
It’s important to track your benchmark workout times, that way when we do them in the future, you can look back and compare. When you measure, you can then manage and improve. It’s difficult to gauge improvement over time if you aren’t keeping track of your scores and weights. This is why we encourage that you record on your phone or in a notebook the weights that you use for movements that we frequently do.
Keeping track of these variables can also help to motivate you. This will allow you to push yourself a little bit more the next time we do the workouts, Jackie or Helen, as you will know your previous times and will have something to shoot for. Not knowing your previous scores may result in you not pushing the same intensity. Also, knowing and tracking which scaling option you used. Maybe this time your score was a little bit slower but you used a heavier weight and did pull-ups vs. ring rows. All important information to track.
This isn’t to say that you should keep track of every single workout that we do in the gym. This is to say that there are important things to keep track of so that we can measure them and see how we are doing. There may be times we do a benchmark workout and you don’t improve your time. And that’s okay! Use that as motivation to keep improving and keep getting better each and every time you come into the gym.