Benchmarking or testing is a great way to see if there is progress being made, but quite often there are mistakes being made which give false information about the level of fitness of an individual.
there are two things that are important for data collection:
- If the program includes thousands of different exercises and methods then the data derived from your benchmark will be insufficient.
- Control the variables as much as possible
- Some stuff works, for you, at a specific time. Some stuff just don’t, the reason you would want to test anything is to see if you have been making progress with the current way of training. So if you have not been making progress then you know that the stuff you are currently doing is not working out for you, but if you have been doing thousands of different things then you can’t really trace back to where things went wrong. This makes it difficult to make any adjustments which makes the test somewhat less useful because the data should guide you in becoming a better CrossFitter.
- Different things influence your ‘’score’’ or test results. For instance: let’s say the first time you do the hero workout Murph:
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run
and you did it on a monday morning before work after a weekend of training and drinking alcohol. Then it’s quite likely that your so-called ‘’score’’ is compromised, doesn’t mean that you should skip a workout or skip Murph, but it does mean that your results are off. So if you decide to do Murph again 6 months later to retest your level of fitness, and do murph on a monday after a good weekend of rest and proper nutrition, then the results of the re-do will not give you an indication of how much progress you’ve been making. Hypothetical speaking, it is a possibility that you would have gotten the same results with a well rested body the first time. This doubt debunks facts which debunks data which makes it harder for you to make any adjustment (if that is necessary according to the results)
For recreational CrossFitters and even for advanced ones, it will be impossible to control all of the variables. But we should aim for consistency in testing as much as possible because it provides information which is valuable for progress. So be as strict as possible with controlling the variables like:
-do testing only on a specific day
-always do testing after a rest day
-don’t test after a day where you drinked alcohol.