In CrossFit it is very important to keep a workout log. It’s soooo important that we practically insist upon it! When I first started training I was doing the main site work outs and recording my performance on the BrandX website (only because they scaled all main site wods and had a forum). I then began going to CrossFit classes and, for some reason, I just stopped recording. It wasn’t until I was asked, in order to complete a work out, “what’s your max back squat?” and I had no clue… that I went out and bought a training journal. SO… you see NOW why we preach- GET A JOURNAL!!!! Guess what??? We now OFFER binders AND special pages to insert into your binder. Please inquire… we are more than HAPPY to help you out with your logs.
Besides just figuring out what you can lift, the point of CrossFit is to increase our work capacity (shaping softies into hot bodies is just an added bonus). SO… the daily WODS that we struggle through, you know the whole stop watch, “ready, set, go thing???” That’s your measure for work capacity! Not to mention we focus a lot on strength here at CrossFit.
Often times we work in “rep ranges” which means we are lifting a certain amount of weight for a certain amount of reps and sets. For example, if we were working the Push Press in a 5 rep range it might look something like this:
Generally the amount of weight you lift for a certain number of reps will be based on a percentage of your max effort (the amount you can lift 1 time) or simply based on the amount you lifted that last time you lifted in that range. You’re gonna need to know that weight so you can figure out 80% or 60% of your max effort or whatever the lift calls for. That way you have an idea of where you should be this time around.
As for the metcons: (METCONS WHAT???? Metabolic Conditioning-timed events) as you well know, we use stop watches and record your time when you yell, “Jess-TIME” (well you wouldn’t yell “Jess” unless that’s your name, but you get it… I hope) The purpose is to have a measure of your work capacity (aka your fitness). We can measure the growth of your fitness by documenting the amount of weight you used in a wod as well as how long it took you to do it, and then testing it again later.
For example, the first time you did Helen, you may have done it with 20lbs kettlebell, and band pull ups- and it took you 15 minutes. Written in your journal it might look like this:
“Helen” (20 lbs), green band pull ups- 15:00 (the run sucked, but I think I need lighter bands, too easy)
Three months later you re-visit Helen, but this time you do it with 35lbs w/kipping pull ups and you get it done in 16 minutes. That’s a huge increase in your work capacity. In fact, mathematically, using weight, distance, and time, you can actually calculate how much horse power you put out in a particular workout (So I’ve been told..).
Still not convinced??? You shouldn’t just be going through the motions while crossfitting. Write this stuff down! Not only will it allow you to measure your gains, but it can keep you on track to reach your goals, and help re-inspire you during stagnant times. This is how we measure progress… screw the scale it doesn’t account for muscle mass; and MUSCLE weighs a lot more than fat!!!!
I happen to have an APP for journaling for WOD journaling, it’s called “WOD” on the iphone… it works for me when I’m entering in new PRs, but otherwise I write it all down.
Here are a few tips-
1)Copy the WOD and warm up down right from the white board (did you use bands? what weights did you use? Did you finish? PR?)
2)Record your time and then how you were feeling after
3)If you’re a good rememberer- or if you have a good memory- then bring it home with you and also record what you have eaten that day- how much water you drank…
4)START small- just copy the date and the WOD and the time of the class- some people perform better at 5AM than at 6PM- and vice versa.
5) Write down how much sleep you had the night before, did you eat a bunch of junk? Did you eat enough? It’s all good info to have so you can see how daily living affects your fitness.