A quick note on “training”, as opposed to “testing”.
Training is the work you put in to prepare for testing. The majority of your training is done at a sub maximal effort, keeping your output lower than your absolute ability and allows you to maintain proper technique, avoid injury, and recover better. Training at a sub maximal level does not mean it will be easy. It is the correct amount of stress that your body can take and still adequately recover from to enable progress and be ready to train again the next day or two. You’ll see that our strength cycles are mainly based off of a linear progression model intended to slowly and steadily increase your strength.
Testing is a great tool to measure your progress. How can you do this during training? If you are able to continually add weight to the bar and successfully complete your lifts, you are indeed progressing. While it may not be as gratifying as recording a new 1RM, it is still a noteworthy accomplishment.
Testing 1 rep maxes at Black Box is rare. Testing takes a rather significant toll on your body (your muscles and central nervous system) as well as your mind. It can be a nerve-racking, exciting, frustrating and gratifying experience all at the same time. During testing, the opportunity to miss lifts is higher, which can be a blow to your confidence. Additionally, testing carries very little progressive effect on your body. It takes much longer to recover from and provides less adaptive stress.
As you know, we occasionally program “benchmark” workouts: Girl, Hero or Open WODs. These can be considered “tests”, however you do not have to test every time one of these WODs is programmed. The way you decide to scale the workout will allow you to use these classes as training without beating yourself up once a week. Pick a benchmark WOD once every two months to really go for it. Use these to measure your progress for your conditioning capacity and movement efficiency.
Remember, looking at the bigger picture will allow you to sustaining achieve your goals, hit milestones and set you up for a lifetime of training without injury and burn-out.