Are you Tracking?
I was having a conversation with one of our athletes a number of months ago. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but it was long enough ago that I’ve since noticed a significant difference in this athletes approach to his training.
This person showed up a couple times every week. He came in a couple minutes late to class, did a little of this and that, got real sweaty, and walked out. It went on like this for a while, and I noticed that his performance was completely stagnant, he wasn’t getting any better, just sweaty. I guess he was ok with that, but I flagged him down after class one day and asked him how much weight he had used for his front squats that day, and if he felt good about his progress. He looked at me like I was speaking Swahili.
I asked him if he’d be up for a little experiment. And he eagerly agreed to play.
I challenged him to write down the details of his workouts for 2 months. His weights, his times, his, even how he felt during and after the workout.
The two months went by, and I followed along, and amazingly the guy squatting #225 every week for a year, all of the sudden added #40 pounds to his squat. When I asked him about it, he said that he just did what we were telling him to do. Try and add #5 pounds every week.
What’s the point?
Ha! That would have been an impossible task for someone who has no idea how much weight they’re actually using in a given workout. With this athlete, the workout was about the workout until he had numbers to work with. Then it became about the progress. His goals all of the sudden became measurable.
Can you relate to this athlete?
I have 95% of all the workouts I’ve ever done since we opened CrossFit Regeneration. I keep them in notebooks. I love the texture of paper and pen. There’s dried sweat on the pages, and smeared ink. But, occasionally, I get discouraged about my lack of immediate progress. When that happens, I can look back 4 years and see just how far I’ve actually come, and that encourages me to keep it up.
Tracking is huge with what we do. With so many simultaneous goals being juggled at once, it is imperative that we have a handle on our current reality with each (thing) in order to optimize our performance. If I don’t know what my Fran time is; first of all, I can’t carry a real conversation with another CrossFitter, but additionally, I don’t have a target to shoot at on my next Fran attempt. The target defines the progress.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have visual proof of improvement!
Currently, we use Wodify for the majority of our tracking, but I don’t think anything can ever truly replace paper and pen.