We all start our CrossFit journeys for different reasons – to get fitter, to get leaner, to get stronger – and it’s the progress toward each of these goals that drives us to keep coming back to class.
It might sound cheesy, but because the coaches of CrossFit DireWolf see so many of our members day in and day out, they are afforded the privilege of watching that progress through each WOD completed. But it’s often not so easy to appreciate that progress in your own training.
Tracking can be hugely motivating
Keeping track of progress means you can look back on old sessions and compare – one rep max lifts, benchmark workouts, and certain movements in WODs.
Think about it; if you were staring a new diet, you’d weigh in regularly to check the number on the scales is moving in the right direction. It’s an indicator of progress and therefor success. It “proves” it’s working. So why wouldn’t you do the same in CrossFit?
How to track effectively
Find your starting point: You need something to refer back to so you can see how far you’ve come. This essential step is so handy when it (inevitably) feels like you’ve hit a plateau in your progress because it not only will reveal how far you’ve come, but also help you to continue to trust the process. Make a note of your 1RMs, your Benchmark WOD finish times, and your abilities in some key movements (rig work, double unders, high-skill stuff).
Monitor progressive overload: The programming blocks at DireWolf see the gradual increase of weight, reps, or movement frequency. By tracking, you’ll be able to keep on top of previous weights lifted and rep schemes completed so you know what to aim for in your next sessions. Make the most out of each session and make your hard work count.
Be accountable: Not everyone everyone looks forward to every training session. Perfectly normal. But in those instances it can be very easy to tell you yourself you “need” a rest day. Maybe you do. But maybe you need some accountability. Having your workout goals mapped out can prevent you from skipping a session or over-scaling weights or reps in that session for an easier ride.
Become well-rounded: Your tracking will highlight the movements that slow you down in a workout, or the lifts where your progress is slower. It’ll show you where you need to focus. For our members, it might prompt them to get on our specialist gymnastics classes at the weekend, drop in at EWC for some oly lifting, or get involved in our endurance sessions.
Celebrating progress is celebrating success
Unlocking a new skill, hitting a PB, or shaving a few seconds off a workout is a clear marker for success, and cause for celebration for sure.
But success isn’t always so clear. In 6 months’ time, if you feel frustrated during your back squat session, are whipping yourself with a skipping rope, or have red-lined on the assault bike, it might just be that you need to take a look back to see how far you’ve come. And if you wrote it down, stuck it in a fitness app, or posted it on social media, you can do that.
It might not be heavier, but you’re moving so much better with the barbell; you might not have 100 double unders unbroken, but you’re stringing multiple reps together regularly; you might be red-lining on the bike, but… who are we kidding… the bike will always suck… but it might suck at a higher RPM now??
That’s progress too.