Imagine you are watching the CEO of a large drug company on the news touting the release of a new treatment for high blood pressure. When asked about the research supporting the safety and efficacy of this new medicine, she responds, “Oh, we didn’t do any. We just have a really good feeling about this drug!”
Imagine you run an advertising company, and you’ve just finished a major campaign to boost sales for a large chain of department stores. When you ask your client if sales improved he says, “I think so, but we have no way of knowing since we don’t have sales data for before the campaign.”
That would be crazy, right?
If you are serious about improvements in anything you do, you need to collect and record data. By comparing your previous efforts with more recent ones you can determine if the things you are doing are contributing to your improvement or just wasting your time.
CrossFit is no different. Lifting weights and doing WODs without recording your times, weights, scores and scaling is every bit as crazy as trying to run a company without collecting the relevant data.
CrossFit emphasizes measurable results. The loads, the distance, the specific movements over clearly specified times should all be recorded each and every time you work out. This allows for a clear measurement of performance. The CrossFit Level One training manual calls this approach “evidence-based fitness.”
Firebird CrossFit has provided two equally awesome ways to collect your data and you should be using them both.
The first is your WODbook. Even in our age of ubiquitous smartphones and tablets, there is no replacement for good, old pen and paper. WODbooks are suitable for use in the gym where barbells are dropped and chalk fills the air. It is in this rough-and-tumble environment that you need your data to determine what your next lift should be and where you need to record your data before you forget it. If someone steps on your WODbook or drops a kettlebell on it- it will be just fine. Try that with your iPhone.
However, we are not Luddites (look it up). We love the internet, gadgets and technology in general. We also love recording our data in the cloud where it can reside forever (or until the Zombie Apocalypse). That’s why your membership to Firebird CrossFit also includes a subscription to Beyond the Whiteboard where you can compare your efforts to CrossFitters worldwide as well as in our box. You can even link BTW with Facebook. Yes, this site has recently made some changes and always has a few bugs, but it’s still the best service of its kind out there. Be faithful about logging your WODs here and you’ll have your results to look at for years after you’ve lost your old WODbook.
If you don’t measure and track your performance, you have no idea if and how much you are improving. Your training, your fitness and your health are too important. Start recording your results in your book and online today!