16 July 2015 – Measuring Progress on Beyond the Whiteboard

In this post we are going to look at how you can chart your progress on Beyond the Whiteboard (BtWB).

BtWB is set up so you can easily see how your progress is going. Some of the more obvious places to look (which I won't cover in great detail) are...

Fitness Level: Your overall 'Fitness Level' gives you a good gauge of your progress, by clicking on your fitness level number you can see its increase/decrease over time and also quickly identify areas of strength/weakness.

Individual Movements: By typing a movement into the search bar e.g. 'back squat' you quickly pull up your history with that movement such as rep maxes (the heaviest load you can lift for a given number of reps e.g. 3 rep max), when and what previous workouts you completed containing the movement etc.

What about individual workouts? How can you see if you have improved if you repeat a workout a few months apart? This comes down to power output, measured in foot pounds per minute. If you want to see improvement, this has to increase.

If you search for the workout in question using the search bar (in this case, 'Grace'), and then click on 'History' you can see all your past results for the workout, and also a graph which plots your results against your power output.

From my examples above, my last 3 attempts at 'Grace' were all at 60kg, but the time increased from (1) 2mins 52secs, to (2) 2 mins 38secs, to (3) 2mins and 9secs. As the graph shows, this is an obvious increase in power output. So I have made definite progress....#GAINZ!

What about if you repeat a workout but use a different weight or a more complex movement? For example the first time you did 'Grace' it was at 50kg and was finished in 5mins 24secs, but the second time you used 60kg but completed it in 6mins 47secs. Well, the same thing applies, it comes down to your power output.

Below is an example of an athlete who completed Grace at 50kg in their first attempt, and then a few months later at 60kg. We can see from the pictures below that at the heavier load and a slightly longer workout time, the power output actually dropped 9.4 (ft*lb)/sec.

Before you look in horror at this athlete's decrease in fitness.....

Things to consider...

1) Have you made progress or not? When repeating workouts, our ultimate aim should be for higher power outputs. That being said, a decrease in power output (when using heavier loads or harder movements) does not mean you got worse! You have done a workout with a load/movement that you could not manage before. So herein lies your improvement.

2) Off days: We all have off days and you will not feel like a 100% WOD-Killer every time you step into the gym. Not every session is going to be laden with PBs! Check back on our blog, A CrossFitters Road Map for the Intermediates Athlete.

3) What is the trend in your results: This is most important... are your results, fitness level and power outputs trending upwards? If they are then you are making progress!

Beyond the Whiteboard provides a very valuable tool for your training, provided you are consistently (and accurately) logging your results. 

So get logging!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Alternating EMOM x 20:
Minute 1: 2 Front squat (Heavy as form allows)
Minute 2: 10 Push-ups @ tempo 2020
Minute 3: 10 Ring rows @ tempo 2020
Minute 4: Rest

B) Front squat finisher
Drop the weight by 15% and perform 2 sets for max reps, rest 2 minutes between sets.