We talk a lot about community at Catacombs. It is the magnet that pulls us in for a workout after a long day or compels us to get out of bed at 5 AM when we would rather sleep. There is no doubt that the bonds of friendship and camaraderie are what make Catacombs so special and are critical to allowing us to achieve of our goals. But community alone won’t make us healthier or improve our fitness. While we all have a long and varied list of reasons why we train or workout, getting more fit is near the top of almost everyone’s list.
But how does an athlete know that they are getting more fit? Yes, might notice that our clothes are fitting a little better or we “feel” better during a given exercise, but those aren’t really quantitative metrics. If you track your loads for various workouts, those might suggest that you are getting stronger, but often even those comparisons are not apples to apples. Given the varied nature of CrossFit workouts, it takes deliberate effort to measure fitness and track progress.
Over the past few years, we have tested and retested benchmark workouts to evaluate the effectiveness of our training. We have used intake workouts for the Whole Life Challenge, Memorial Day Murph, or one of the other named CrossFit workouts to compare results. These have been valuable data points, but we have not had a predictable and consistent strategy for you to measure and evaluate your progress.
Well, that’s about to change.
We have designed a series of benchmark workouts that we will use to test your fitness across a wide range of movements, loads, and time domains. These are standard CrossFit workouts, not the craziness of the CrossFit Open or CrossFit Games. And we aren’t just going to test them once, we are going to test them 4 times over the course of the next 12 months. These workouts are in addition to our annual benchmarks like Memorial Day Murph and the CrossFit Total. This will provide a robust collection of data points to evaluate the trajectory of your fitness without interrupting your regular training cycle.
Why should you participate?
These workouts are part of the regular programming for all group classes so you are participating by default. We will announce the Benchmark Workouts well in advance so that you can make sure you get to class that day. All that is required for you to get the maximum benefit is to track your results. SugarWOD makes that a breeze. A little PR confetti paired with a bunch of fist bumps is a great way to stay motivated. Tracking benchmarks allows you to see progress and the results of sticking with the program over time.
Data doesn’t lie. When workouts are not retested, an important and underutilized metric is eliminated that can help you realize that your lifestyle needs a check. If you do Helen in 7:52 one month and 8:45 three months later – you’re going to think big – about your sleep, stress, and lifestyle. And that’s when your coach can help you get back on track.
The benchmarks are just another way to make sure we are meeting your fitness needs. No one cares about your score or your time. It is all about progress. Don’t get all stressed out or make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. It is another weapon in the fight against aging, sickness, and loss of functional capacity.
Mark your calendars now and get signed up for class…the first of the Benchmarks is on April 11th.